Article V, Section B, Item 22 – Beach Volleyball

Bylaw: Article V, Section B, Item 22

“Varsity Intercollegiate Sport: A sport that has been accorded that status by the institution’s chief executive officer or committee responsible for intercollegiate athletics policy and satisfies all of the following conditions:

  1. It is a sport that is administered by the department of intercollegiate athletics;
  2. It is a sport for which the eligibility of the student is reviewed and certified by the institution’s faculty athletics representative or designated eligibility representative; and
  3. It is a sport in which qualified participants receive the institution’s official varsity awards”.


Beach volleyball and indoor volleyball are viewed as separate sports for purpose of competitive experience review and season of competition. Beach volleyball is not considered to be a varsity intercollegiate sport in the NAIA. Therefore, students who compete in beach volleyball are not required to be certified under NAIA rules, they will not be charged seasons of competition in the sport of volleyball, and their competitions will not count towards the frequency of play limits.

However, per NAIA bylaws, for amateurism purposes a professional in the sport of beach volleyball is considered to be a professional in indoor volleyball. If a student is a professional beach volleyball player, they must go through the amateurism reinstatement process.


NAIA students could participate in sand tournaments that would otherwise be considered “countable” elite-level competition, and that participation is not subject to the competitive experience rule, or an indoor volleyball team’s frequency of play or eligibility certification requirements.

Overlap of Beach Volleyball and Indoor Volleyball – Practice

If students identified with your varsity indoor volleyball program are practicing for beach volleyball and are using sport-specific equipment with coach instruction, this will initiate the definition of practice and thus the 24-week season for indoor volleyball. We cannot differentiate volleyball activity (using volleyballs and nets) and coach instruction between indoor and beach volleyball, as the students and coaches involved are members of an NAIA sport. It would be best to try to coordinate the 24-week season so that activity in the traditional volleyball season and beach volleyball can all fit within the 24-week season.

Club teams are not held to NAIA bylaws. However the overlap, as identified above, comes where the activity and current NAIA varsity student-athletes partake in sport-specific activity that is monitored/organized by members of the current NAIA coaching staff, which will then trigger the bylaws (definition of practice and the 24-week season) to come into play.


Interplay of the 24-week season:

If an NAIA volleyball team wishes to compete in a non-intercollegiate beach volleyball league, they may do so. However, if the team wishes to practice on their home indoor volleyball court with their NAIA volleyball coach providing instruction, this will implicate the 24-week season as a practice is taking place. Regardless of whether the competition the team is training for would be a beach volleyball event, the team would be using one of its weeks within the 24 week-season.

Related Bylaws

Article I, Section G, Item 1

Article I, Section G, Item 5

Article V, Section B, Item 18

Related Interpretations

7 on 7 Soccer Competitions

Indoor Soccer & Futsal


NEC Interp – Creation date unknown. Current as of: September 2017