Third-Annual Sunshine State Collegiate Coaches Challenge Scheduled for April 10, 2010


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ORLANDO, Fla. - The Sunshine State Collegiate Coaches Challenge returns for its third year on the courts of the Orlando Sports Center. Tournament play will be held on Saturday, April 10th.

Nine coaches from Sunshine State Conference schools (NCAA Division II) have committed to compete in the event, presented by Ultimate Beach Volleyball Promotions. The success of previous events was recognized as contributing to the decision at the 2010 NCAA Convention to add Sand Volleyball as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women beginning with the 2010-11 school year.

 "The  third Sunshine State Coaches event is clear evidence of the growth and popularity of Sand Volleyball," American Volleyball Coaches Association Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said. "It provides good, competitive opportunities for student-athletes .  Florida seems to be leading the country in offering  opportunities for college players to explore Sand Volleyball and The Sunshine State Conference has certainly taken a leadership role in getting the sport added to the emerging sports list."

David Carstenson, Event Director commented, "Sand Volleyball as a possible varsity sport for women has created lots of excitement amongst current collegiate athletes as well as the younger players working towards their collegiate volleyball careers. We are thrilled to be a part of offering more opportunity for student-athletes to play such a great lifetime sport."

Sand volleyball was originally introduced to the collegiate scene by CBS College Sports with the Collegiate Nationals, an event founded by the Network in the spring of 2006. That event is now in its fifth season. The coaches of the Southeastern and Sunshine State Conferences followed with their sand tournaments in the spring of 2008. The popularity of those events, along with others that sprang up around the country, helped lead the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics to recommend in the summer of 2008 that sand volleyball be added to the NCAA's list of Emerging Sports for Women.

At the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta, Division II passed rules for governing the sport that will become effective with the 2010-11 school year.  To sponsor a varsity program institutions must field five teams of two in at least eight separate competitions; the maximum number of playing dates is sixteen. Division II schools may also begin adding scholarships for women to play sand volleyball. 

The Orlando Sports Center (OCS) has 11 lighted sand volleyball courts as well as 18 indoor courts.The facility hosts a variety of sporting events plus is equipped with a weight facility, pro shop, and cafe. OCS is located at 6700 Kingspointe Parkway in Orlando, Florida

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