"Emerging sports": men's volleyball joins the NJCAA

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

It is with great joy that we announce the decision of the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) board members, which met last December, to add 4 sports, including men's volleyball, following a survey that evaluated those that have increased interest. Along with volleyball, cheer, target shooting and women's wresling were also selected "emerging sports". 

This news can only make us happy as it confirms the constant growth of men's volleyball overseas and we are sure it will also be able to take hold in the junior college league (NJCAA) which already sees women's volleyball as one of the main sports. This will be a further opportunity for young student-athletes who want to undertake this path in America and will be able to find many more universities and different levels in which compete in. 

As confirmed by NJCAA president Dr. Christopher Parker, the addition of these four sports will provide an extra opportunity for student-athletes and for the same institutions that will be able to further develop the athletic side. The Junior Colleges that intend to introduce men's volleyball to their program have not yet been formalized, but we hope that they are the number necessary to maintain this sport and officially start the championship. Following the regulations, the institutions will be able to begin forming teams starting this year, but can only participate in some end-of-season tournaments; while instead, the timing of the official NJCAA championships will vary according to the sport, depending on the participation that each of it will have earned. Meanwhile, for the 2021/22 season, the league has set up sports committees that will take care of the strategic plan of these emerging sports including sponsorships, sports procedures, recommended timelines and recruiting times. 

The addiction of men's volleyball as an NJCAA sport follows the recent introduction of beach volleyball in April 2018, confirming the continued growth of the volleyball world in the States.

Speaking of the development and growth process of men's volleyball, on January 13th Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private University in New Jersey, belonging to the NCAA DI, announced the addition of men's volleyball to their athletic program becoming the league's twenty-fourth institution to sponsor the sport. In addition, the First Point Volleyball Fundation donated $200,000 to Fairleigh Dickinson to help developing the program.

Unfortunately, the growing path of the stars and stripes men's volleyball is not entirely without difficulties: last summer Stanford University announced its intention to stop 11 sports from its program, including men's volleyball. For the ones that don't know, the Cardinals men's volleyball team has one of America's longest and most successful history (2 national titles and 3 second places) producing Olympic talents such as Erik Shoji and James Shaw who are mobilizing in this regard trying somehow to save this historical program. Many consider this decision unacceptable, first of all John Speraw, coach of the USA national team and UCLA, who wonders if the Stanford athletic director is aware of the continued growth of men's volleyball in America. So the Cardinals' last season should begin shortly, but we hope that all the parties that are working to allow the program to continue will succeed.

 

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