SportsEvents Magazine

NOV 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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in the sport. "We have seen a steady jump of participants from young girls as young as 6 years old to 18 years old," he said. In 2016, USA Volleyball saw a 21 percent participation increase in the Junior National Championship, which is the largest youth beach volleyball event in the country. Overall, the number of beach-only athletes is quickly growing, Paaluhi said, with even more athletes playing both indoor and beach. He noted one important physical reason for the sport's upward trend: "Indoor has become very demanding and hard on the body as these athletes end up playing year- round," he said. "The beach offers a better way to improve your all around skills with less demand on the body in regards to the hard pounding of the hard floors." THE ULTIMATE SURFACE Unlike beach volleyball, the beach version of USA Ultimate is really just starting to get organized, said Andy Lee, the director of marketing and communications. After the first and second USA Ultimate Beach National Championships in 2015 and 2016 — both in Virginia Beach — Lee said a major West Coast event is on the horizon. "We're really just getting started on the development of beach ultimate and exploring the appropriate ways to both plug into and support the existing scene, but also create new opportunities for new, unique athletes," he said. Despite success at a high level of ► t SPORT Report November 2016 35 Beach volleyball is no longer the only sport luring athletes to dig into the sand and have fun in the sun. USA Volleyball

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