Tarleton’s growth as a national contender in intercollegiate athletics continues as the university announced the addition of the fastest-growing Olympic sport in the country, Beach Volleyball.
Tarleton will join Conference USA as an affiliate member in the sport beginning Fall 2023. The beach volleyball season competes in the spring semester.
In its early stages of competition as a varsity collegiate spring sport, Beach Volleyball was approved as an NCAA Emerging Sport for women in 2009. It played its first official season during the 2011-12 academic year and hosted its inaugural National Championship in 2016.
“This has been a topic of conversation for our university for a long time and we’re excited to finally make it happen,” said Lonn Reisman, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “Our indoor volleyball program has been a tremendous program with a rich history and now we’re thrilled to take it outside in the spring.”
Tarleton joins the ranks of Conference USA as an affiliate member to begin their beach journey. C-USA added Beach Volleyball as a sponsored sport for the 2021-22 academic year and currently has six schools competing.
“We’re so blessed to have the support of President Dr. James Hurley, the Texas A&M University System, C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod, and our community,” Reisman continued. “This is another incredible opportunity to provide competitive athletics and opportunities for our female student-athletes to earn their education while competing for the purple and white.”
Beach Volleyball will become the 17th intercollegiate sport at Tarleton State University and the third added sport since moving to NCAA Division I in July 2020, joining women’s soccer and men’s golf.
Beach Volleyball is played with five teams of two student-athletes. Flight No. 1 features the top pairing from each school and so on through Flight No. 5. Teams compete in a three-set match with the first two being first to 21 points, win by two, and the third set to 15. Like the indoor game, rally scoring is used.