Jason Watson, head coach of the ASU indoor volleyball program since 2008, will also serve as head coach of the sand volleyball team. Watson guided the Sun Devils to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012 and in back-to-back seasons has brought in nationally ranked freshman classes — 21st in 2012 and 13th in 2013.
Fifteen schools competed in sand volleyball in 2012, with an additional 15 teams added the sport in 2013. When 40 institutions in Division I and II have sponsored varsity programs for one year, the NCAA will sponsor an NCAA Championship in the sport.
Other recent additions to the sand volleyball rolls include LSU and South Carolina. Fellow Pac-12 Conference schools in the mix are: Arizona, Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA.
ASU Vice President for University Athletics Steve Patterson commented, “We are pleased and excited to announce the addition of sand volleyball as the 22nd sport here at Arizona State University. As the enthusiasm for the sport of sand volleyball is growing across the country, we look forward to translating the same success of our indoor program to sand, under the direction of Jason Watson. He will serve as the head coach for both programs with the vision that sand emerges as an elite program in the coming years.”
Sand volleyball consists of five matches between two-player teams. Each match accounts for one point in team scoring, with the winning team needing to win at least three matches.
At the high school level, Arizona is the first state to add sand volleyball as an officially sanctioned sport.