The main Gulf Shores Public Beach area will be the site of the 2017 NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship May 5-7, 2017. This will be the second year the city and the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission have hosted the championship.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the NCAA host institution.

“We are thrilled to bring the very first NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship to Gulf Shores,” said Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, chair of the Beach Volleyball Committee and associate athletics director at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. “Gulf Shores will provide a great experience for our student-athletes.”

Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport with 47 sponsoring schools. The beach volleyball championship is the 45th NCAA championship administered for women.

The championship will have an eight-team bracket that will be played in a double-elimination format with teams consisting of five pairs of female student-athletes. 

After being placed on the list of emerging sports for women in 2009, beach volleyball is the fifth sport to succeed from the emerging sports program.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the City of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission, USA Volleyball Gulf Coast Region and Hangout Music Festival Productions to host the very first NCAA championship for beach volleyball,” said Mark Ingram, director of athletics at University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This is an exciting time for the sport and for our program. We look forward to the opportunity and helping to make this a great event.”

No stranger to hosting large sporting events, Gulf Shores has hosted the American Volleyball Coaches Association Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship since 2012.

“The Sports Commission will welcome a variety of events to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach from youth baseball, softball, volleyball, cheer, soccer and track events to collegiate championships and participation-based events like runs and golf tournaments,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission. “Spring is an amazing time to visit Alabama’s beaches with warm temperatures and lots to do, so we encourage families to extend their sporting trips to incorporate vacations.” 

Bring the kids and play volleyball on beaches near the tournament.

On the east side of Gulf Shores Public Beach are condos such as Island Winds East and Island Winds West, Southern Sands, Tropic Isles, Ocean Reef and Island Tower. West of the Public Beach are Regatta, Castaways, San Carlos, Seawind and Boardwalk.