USA Volleyball has committed itself to the relatively new discipline of Beach ParaVolley (Standing) that could ultimately see additional Team USA athletes competing at the Paralympic Games. The USA Volleyball Board of Directors recently voted to confirm its designation as the official national federation for Beach ParaVolley.
Story: By USA Volleyball Photo: Eric Duda (USA 3), Chris Seilkop (USA 1) and David Newkirk (USA 3) represented the USA in a 2015 ParaVolley Beach Standing Volleyball Challenge, winning silver
World ParaVolley (WPV), the international federation for Paralympic volleyball, is working with the International Paralympic Committee to add Beach ParaVolley to the Paralympic Games by the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics. The sport has been gaining popularity where teams have been competing regularly in Asia/Oceania since 2007.
Beach ParaVolley, or standing beach volleyball played with three-member teams, works within the Paralympic classification system which promotes the inclusivity of the sport. Under current rules, Beach ParaVolley allows for a maximum of one Classification A athlete (most physically able). Otherwise, Beach ParaVolley largely follows the standard FIVB Beach Volleyball rules.
USA Volleyball Beach ParaVolley will kick off its competition year with the 2019 Pingtan Beach World Series Open event held May 9-12 in Pingtan, Fushou, China. The tournament is open to teams of either gender or mixed.
USA Volleyball will hold a Beach ParaVolley Selection Camp April 4-7 at the University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, Oklahoma) to select six potential three-member teams to participate in the Pingtan event. Selected athletes will take part in a pre-tournament training camp May 2-4 at UCO before heading off to China. For more information on how to participate in the Beach Paralympic camps, contact Michelle Goodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help build the Beach ParaVolley pipeline, USA Volleyball will host three other Beach Paralympic training camps: June 6-9 (at UCO), July 11-14 (at TBA) and Aug. 1-4 (at UCO).
Jon Aharoni and Dan Mickle will lend their expertise as coaches for the Beach ParaVolley program.
Aharoni, who will continue to participate as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team, has been head coach for the USA Beach Youth Volleyball Team for eight years. He coached Summer Ross and Jane Croson, who became the first-ever team to win a beach youth gold medal in USA history at the FIVB Youth World Championships in 2010. Aharoni, a founding member of the USA Volleyball Beach Coaches’ Accreditation (BCAP) cadre, has earned a beach coaching degree from the FIVB.
Mickle, a 2000 U.S. Open Beach National Champion, competed six years on the Toyota Pro Beach Tour and four years on the AVP/AVP Next Tour. He earned gold at the 2009 State Games of America and numerous medals at Keystone State Games as a player and coach. Mickle has coached multiple AVP teams and was a lead evaluator for the USA Volleyball Beach High Performance program. He is a CAP III and BCAP II certified coach, as well as a member of the CAP cadre.
USA Volleyball plans to hold a Beach ParaVolley clinic on June 9 at UCO in conjunction with the Endeavor Games.