A beach volleyball league is an organization made up of a governing administration and comprised of different beach volleyball teams. At the professional level each beach volleyball team has two members and two teams compete against each other in a match. At the recreational level leagues can determine how many players each team can have (more players makes it easier, less running). Leagues can vary in how many teams are competing within the league, the level of competition, and the gender of the league. Leagues can be solely for either men's teams, women's teams, or mixed both men and women. For higher levels of competition athletes compete in professional leagues, with lower levels of competition participating in recreational leagues.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) is the longest running and most popular beach volleyball league in the United States. It is based in Newport, California and has been in operation since 1983. The association uses a three tier development system with the bottom tier focused on youth development, the middle tier focuses on developing semi-professional athletes, and the highest tier is the tour for the professionals. The AVP allows two players per team in competitions consisting of mens and womens divisions. It has featured star Olympic athletes Misty May-Treanor and teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings who were gold medalists in 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. For the men the 2017 MVP Phil Dalhausset is a star in his own name. The only level of competition higher than the AVP offers is the in the Summer Olympic Games within international play.
The length of the beach volleyball season can change depending on the type of the league and structure behind it. At the professional level athletes are competing in matches throughout the majority of the year. At the collegiate level teams play around 30 matches per season and the season begins in the spring. Collegiate teams are mostly limited to schools located in Florida or California due to the hot climate and white sand beaches. For recreational or youth leagues the average season is around 10 games is set by the league officials prior to the start of beach volleyball season. The season is typically played in the summer and spring months due to the need for warm weather on the beach courts.
The cost of the league is predetermined by the type of league. Recreational leagues are usually low in cost under $100 per person and couple of hundred of dollars for a team. Costs for beach volleyball tend to be on the lower side as compared to other sports because there isn't as much equipment needed, but the availability of a beach court can be costly. Recreational leagues can easily be outfitted with simple custom t-shirts as jerseys, while professional leagues require specialized uniforms to increase performance. Professional leagues also require stadiums to be built around the beach courts for spectators and fans to watch which add additional costs to a league.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP)
Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB)
USA Volleyball (USAV)
Summer Olympic Games