The U.S. Olympic Volleyball Teams have caused an explosion of new and developing competition at junior, high school and college levels across the Southeast as well as the entire United States.
A key contributor is USA Volleyball (USAV) recognized as the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of volleyball in the United States and authenticated by the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
Some of the goals of USAV include competitive success, growth, enhancement, representation and national recognition as an advocate for all Americans-endeavoring to assure universal access to opportunities at all levels of the game.
According to Ali Lamberson, Director of Beach Programs, a top personal goal is to emphasize the development and expansion of the beach game (sand) during an interview with the Gulf Coast Examiner.
Says Lamberson, “I have had the opportunity to interface directly with athletes having been involved in the sport of beach volleyball, first as a professional athlete for 16 years then in my role at USAV for nearly seven years. I have come to know all of the beach Olympians, many of whom I have competed against in the past.
My normal role at the Olympics and other marquee international events is to serve as the Team Leader, basically the Head of Delegation handling all administrative issues for the team at major international events including the Olympic Games . . “
When asked about her participation with college scholarships in women’s beach volleyball, she said, “the growth of the game is impacted greatly by the addition of NCAA sand. So to make sure that NCAA sand survives and reaches the championship level and beyond, USAV is serving the collegiate coaches in several different areas.
We host collegiate events so that teams have a low cost means to reach their minimum number of competitions. We offer a Beach Coaching Accreditation Program, a Beach Officials Training Program and more.
Our various youth Development and Beach High Performance programs are where kids across the country get the highest level of training available, and these kids make up the pool of the top sand volleyball recruits.”
Importantly, USAV is not directly involved in recruiting of athletes for colleges and retains position of neutrality.
However, athlete rosters and evaluations are available to the NCAA recruiting sand coaches who are attentive to two marquee competitions hosted by the USAV; 1) The USA Beach High Performance Championship and 2) USA Junior Beach Tour Championships.
The USAV is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with various revenue sources that include corporate sponsorships, regional membership fees, event sanctioning and funding from the United States Olympic Committee.
Lamberson remarked with a note of encouragement by saying, “Beach/sand is a great way for girls to get involved in the sport and potentially earn a college scholarship and is a great avenue for boys to play volleyball. . .
Focusing on the outdoor game also provides an easy avenue to get more boys playing volleyball and getting active.
In terms of beach, The Gulf Shores Region of USAV hosts several junior beach events as does the Florida Region of USAV.
The collegiate sand programs at Florida State and Tulane are certainly on the rise.”
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To find out more about the USA Volleyball organization, check out their website at www.teamusa.org or just give the USA Volleyball Beach Headquarters administration office a call at (310) 975-3930.
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