Beach Volleyball, formerly called Sand Volleyball, became the 90th NCAA Championship Sport in January of 2015. The NCAA conducted their first national championship in May of 2016. The name change from Sand to Beach was adopted to provide uniform nomenclature across the college, Olympic, and professional ranks in identifying this sport, irrespective of whether the sand is located on a beach, in a park, on a school, college, or university campus, or in a general indoor sports facility.
Beach Volleyball moved from Emerging status to Championship status in just four years and reflects the growth in interest and ability among girls and women in the sport. In 2015-2016 over 60 four-year colleges and universities, including all three NCAA divisions and several NAIA schools, and over 30 two-year colleges sponsored varsity programs. Almost 50% of collegiate beach programs have scholarship support that is separate from the dollars dedicated to their volleyball court teams.