Beach Volleyball Leagues
A beach volleyball league is an organization made up of a governing administration and composed of different beach volleyball teams. At all levels, each beach volleyball team has two members, and two teams compete against each other in a match. Keep reading for descriptions of each of the top beach volleyball leagues in the world.
List of Top Pro Beach Volleyball Leagues
- The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP)
- Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB)
- European Volleyball Confederation (CEV)
- USA Volleyball (USAV)
The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP)
- Founded in 1983
- League in the United States
- TV partners with NBC and Amazon Prime
- Highest level of competition in the United States for beach volleyball
- Three-tier system
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 focused on developing semi-professional athletes, and the highest tier for the professionals. The AVP allows two players per team in competitions consisting of men’s and women’s divisions.
The AVP has featured star Olympic athletes Misty May-Treanor and teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings, who were gold medalists in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. For the men, the 2017 MVP, Phil Dalhausset, is a star in his own right. The only level of competition higher than those the AVP offers is in the Summer Olympic Games within international play.
Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB)
- International league founded in 1947
- Headquartered in Switzerland
- Hosts the annual FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship
- Most Recent Men’s Champion: Norway (2022)
- Most Recent Women’s Champion: Brazil (2022)
The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour is an international professional beach volleyball tour for men and women. Organized by the FIVB, the worldwide governing body for volleyball and beach volleyball, the Tour consists of three tiers, Future, Challenge, and Elite 16. Each season ends with a championship known as The Finals, in which the best ten teams in the world compete.
The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season spans from March to January and features tournaments all over the world. Some of the most successful teams in the top Elite 16 tier include Norway, Poland, Brazil, the Netherlands, and the US. The FIVB also organizes several other international beach volleyball tournaments, including the World Championships, World Cup, Olympic Games, Nations League, and Challenger Cup.
European Volleyball Confederation (CEV)
- European league founded in 1963
- Headquartered in Luxembourg
- Affiliated with the FIVB and has 56 member organizations
- Hosts the European Beach Volleyball Championships, the European Beach Volleyball Tour, and the European U22 Beach Volleyball Championships
- Most Recent Men’s Champion: Sweden (2022)
- Most Recent Women’s Champion: Latvia (2022)
The European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) is the FIVB-affiliated governing body for indoor, beach, and snow volleyball across the European continent. Headquartered in Luxembourg City, the CEV was created in Romania in 1963, and since then has grown almost as large as the FIVB itself. It is the largest volleyball confederation in the world and hosts the most annual tournaments and events. It is comprised of 56 member organizations, with the most recent addition being Kosovo, who joined in 2016.
The CEV hosts a variety of beach volleyball events, the three biggest being the European Beach Volleyball Championships, the European Beach Volleyball Tour, and the European U22 Beach Volleyball Championships. The largest of these, the European Beach Volleyball Championships, are held annually in various cities across Europe. The most recent event, held in 2022, was hosted in Munich, Germany as part of the 2022 European Championships. Sweden were the victors on the men’s side, and Latvia on the women’s. The winningest countries at the European Beach Volleyball Championships are Norway for men (16 medals, six gold) and Germany for women (24 medals, eight gold).
USA Volleyball (USAV)
- Non-profit organization
- Founded by the YMCA of the USA
- Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado
- In charge of selecting teams to be chosen for the Olympic Games
The USA Volleyball Beach Tour is an American volleyball league for junior beach volleyball players. It is organized by USA Volleyball and the 40 different USAV regions that function as divisions within the league. There are four divisions each for boys and girls: 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U. Players must compete in the division corresponding to their age or a higher one, and co-ed teams are not allowed.
The USA Volleyball Beach Tour serves as a feeder system for the US National Beach Volleyball team. There are qualifying and non-qualifying tournaments throughout the season, and the qualifying events award bids for winning teams to compete in the USA Volleyball Beach National Championship. If you are a youth beach volleyball player who hopes to someday play for the US National Team, competing in the USA Volleyball Beach Tour is a great way to get experience and get noticed.
What are the biggest beach volleyball leagues in the world?
The biggest beach volleyball leagues in the world are the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. Another major beach volleyball league is the European Beach Volleyball Tour.
What is the governing body of beach volleyball?
The overall governing body of beach volleyball is the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The FIVB supervises all forms of volleyball across the world, including beach volleyball. It currently consists of 222 member associations and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The FIVB hosts and manages a variety of beach volleyball tournaments and events, including the annual FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship and the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour.