The AVP or the Association of Volleyball Professionals, is the United States titan of professional Beach Volleyball tours. The organization was founded in 1983 and is currently based in Newport Beach, California. The AVP is an inclusive tour and organizes competitions for athletes of three separate categories.
AVPFirst: The AVP First was launched in 2015 and is a youth-focused tour. It was launched as a means of promoting the sport and in an “effort to further the development and participation of the sport among young athletes and families”*.
As the AVP Managing Partner Donald Sun stated, “We hope that young athletes will take the opportunity to be a part of the movement that will ensure a bright future for the AVP Tour and the game of volleyball.” The AVP First offers upcoming athletes of varying backgrounds a chance to illustrate their abilities and grow in the sport of Beach Volleyball. The objective of this development part of the AVP’s structure is to introduce the young athletes to the world of Beach Volleyball so that one day they can move further up the AVP tour ladder.
AVPNext: This is the second part of the tri-level developmental structure of the AVP. The AVP Next is separated into 4 different categories:
It is a platform for already experienced athletes to demonstrate their Beach Volleyball skills and as you move up to the AVPNext Gold tour, the level of competition grows to undeniably difficult levels. Expect to encounter elite players in the Beach Volleyball sphere once you climb this tour!
AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour: This is the professional tour itself and it is the top of the Beach Volleyball Food chain. Here athletes like Phil Dallhauser and Nick Lucena battle for the first place and the prize pools and respect gained from winning are no joke!
History from 2011
For the AVP, this period can be called the “re-emergence”. After facing many bankruptcies and failed leadership attempts in the past, the AVP was able to build itself back up and restore its reputation as the biggest professional Beach Volleyball tour in the United States.
It was acquired in 2010 by DFA PVA II Partners, LLC, and a year later a tournament was held in Huntington Beach, California. The AVP faced another re-acquisition in 2012 by Donald Sun.
It was the beginning of a new AVP era, with more and more great tournaments being hosted across the United States. In 2017, the AVP adopted a policy that requires the players that are playing in the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour to agree to a four-year exclusivity contract, permitting them only to participate in AVP and international tournaments.
The AVP is United States exclusive and international players are only allowed to play under the condition that they have a dual citizenship with the United States or have a permanent residency.
While the majority of the rules in the AVP tournaments are the same as the standard rules, since 2017, the AVP has implemented two major rule differences which some Beach Volleyball players may find controversial. The first rule discrepancy is found when looking at the match point. In contrast to regular rules, where match-point is played in a rally scoring manner, the AVP adopted side-out scoring for this particular part of the game.
This means that the only team that is able to gain a point is the team that is currently serving. This change was implemented in an attempt to promote more comebacks. In our opinion this rule difference is rather okay, it depends on the preference of the players but it is simply a slight difference that adds a little bit of variation to the sport of Beach Volleyball.
The second difference stems from the first one. During a match point, if a team happens to get lucky and get a “let” serve, meaning that the ball touches the top of the net and barely falls over. Yes, the most frustrating Beach Volleyball moment. Then the ball is replayed and the point is not counted.
Similar to the rules, the introduction of the modern AVP tournament structure was created in 2017. There are two categories of AVP tournaments.
AVP Gold Series: These events have a prize pool and award the players with AVP national ranking points which allow them to see where they stand in terms of their competition.
AVP Open: Open events allow anyone to sign up and also include a prize pool that tends to be smaller than the Gold Series events.
Types of Awards
The AVP offers different BeachVolleyball awards to outstanding players or teams of that year. The awards are given during The AVP Awards Banquet, which is organized at the end of each year. These nominations are separated by gender.
You can find the AVP Award winners of 2019 HERE
Thank you for reading this article. We hope that now you have a better understanding of how the biggest United States Beach Volleyball association functions. The AVP family is extremely thoughtful and has a high-sense of companionship. If you decide to test yourself, then the AVP tour is the right place for you!