BEACH VOLLEYBALL - Junior Tournaments 101

An information guide to help you successfully navigate through competition season


Get Registered

Participation in all tournaments requires either a USAV member number or an AVP membership to register.  This is partially due to liability coverage and also allows each organization to keep track of points. Tracking points ensures fairness in pool play rankings and brackets during competition. USAV and AVP America are different “governing” bodies of beach volleyball. Depending on the events you play, tournament hosts will require one or the other. Memberships must be renewed on an annual basis.


AVP: To register, please visit AVP Membership

Note: You will need to create one as a parent and for your child. 


USAV: To obtain a USAV member number, you must first sign in to or create a SportsEngine account. Once in your account, simply click on USAV Membership 

Note: If you participate in indoor volleyball, you may already have an account via your indoor club. To be “assigned” to OPTIMUM BEACH, please click the following link: Club Assignment


BVNE: Membership is required for all BVNE tournaments. Membership is a one year membership that starts from the day you register.  BVNE Membership




BVCA: When a player plays in BVCA events, they must obtain a membership confirming that they play and practice with the club for the entirety of the 2022 season. All athletes who want to participate must register with BVCA. Please visit  BVCA Membership

  • If an athlete is found to be playing with another club without approval, or in violation of BVCA Policy – the Club and/or athlete may be sanctioned – including the following:
  1.     Inability of Club and/or player to enter further BVCA Events in 2022
  2.     Loss of Player for 2022
  3.     Loss of Duel
  4.     Loss of BVCA Club Membership status in 2022

STEP TWO: Find a Tournament

Where can I find tournaments?

With so many tournaments being held throughout the country, deciding which ones to participate in can become overwhelming. There is a local tournament almost every weekend, let alone in other states. But how do you know which to play? Well that depends on your goal. We have included a list of tournaments which are of “high importance” and “high visibility”. There are two main tournament platforms that list all tournament events. These are Volley America &  Volleyball Life. Note: USAV or AVP memberships are required accordingly.

Note: A complete list of tournaments which are of “high importance” and “high visibility” is available on the last section of this guide! 


Under what age division should I register?

Age divisions may differ slightly based on the organization. Also, deciding on which division is more suitable to your level is a conversation you should have with your coach. For more information, please visit:

USAV: USAV Levels of Play

Where can I find more information on specific tournaments?

If you are a beginner,  just playing for fun, or simply need to build up your points, you can stick to local tours. While VolleyAmerica allows you to filter tournaments, be careful not to always specify “Juniors” in the division filter. This is because most local tours have adults on Saturdays and Juniors on Sundays. Therefore it may not show up on the schedule if you filter it out.  Please note that Some local tournament tour hosts include:

Where can I find National and Qualifier Tournament information?

If you want to compete nationally and potentially qualify for USAV Junior Beach Nationals, AVP Junior Nationals, Beach Volleyball National Events (BVNE) Nationals or P1440 Nationals, qualifier tournament details can be found on their websites:

Want to Brush up on Beach Lingo and Tournament Terminology?
  • Points: USAV & AVP governing bodies use points earned with tournament finishes. The higher you place, the more points you get. These are used to help rank players in tournaments to make pool play and brackets fair. 


    Stars: When you see a star beside an AVP tournament, it means winning top 3 will get you a bid to AVP Junior Nationals. The more Stars, the more points/strength of the tournament. 


    Bid: An invitation to each member of a qualifying team to play in affiliated national events’ championships. 


    Bracket Play: A tree diagram that represents the series of games played during a knockout tournament.


    Online Bracket Systems: BraketPal is the most commonly used online pool/bracket system. Hosts may choose other online bracket systems, but this is by far the most used. You will receive a link to the specific event upon registration via email.. Self Check-in and Self-scoring can be kept current to automatically adjust for afternoon bracket-play. BracketPal offers a tutorial for BracketPal Self Scoring


    Match: Best 2 of 3 sets. The first two sets are played to 21 pts. Third set (tie breaker) is played to 15 pts. Sets must be won by a minimum of 2 pts. 


    Set/Game: Single game to predetermined point total. Often junior pool play is one Set/game to 21 or 28. 

    Round Robin: In round robin play, everyone plays everyone within their pool which includes reffing games within their pool.

    Side Switch: It is also customary for teams to switch sides of the court whenever the combined score of the two teams is a multiple of 7. For example, if Team A has six points and Team B has seven points the teams will switch sides after the next point is scored because the total score will then equal 14 (a multiple of seven). In the third game, teams change sides when the total score is a multiple of five. (Game to 15.)


    Technical Time Out: This time-out is taken by both teams when overall scoring adds up to 21. (Ex. 10-11/9-12)


    Seeding: The order in which teams are ranked at the start of a tournament according to their USAV or AVP points.


    Performance-Based Seeding: A team’s seeding after pool play based on their win/loss record and point ratio vs all other teams that finished in the same place in their pools. 


    Pool Play: A round robin of play within a determined group. The results determine your seeding/opponent in a proceeding single elimination bracket. 

    Snake method Pool: The sequence in which the seeded teams are placed in a pool so the ranked teams are equally distributed. 

Information on National Championship and Qualifiers Terms

BNC: USA Volleyball Beach Tour National Championship 


BNQ: Beach National Qualifier; specific events licensed by USAV to be run by either USAV, Regional organizations, or promoters. 

BRQ: Beach Regional Qualifier; specific events hosted and run by Regional Volleyball Associations (RVA) (ex. The Florida Region. A regional event can qualify you for a national event.)

What does a typical tournament day look like?
  1.     Overview: Beach tournaments can last almost ALL Day. It’s a good idea to check out the parking specs the night before.  It’s best practice to arrive early to get a spot for your tent and to adequately warm up. Check in usually starts around 7:30am. The athletes themselves check-in at the tournament host tent to verify their arrival. They will likely check the BraketPal link emailed to them or whatever the tournament host uses to organize pool play. (Smaller tournaments may even use paper/pencil or a mounted board under the tent.) 


  1.     Early Game Play: Juniors will likely play round-robin. Make sure to stay hydrated and do not forget to grab a light meal to maintain energy level. You must be observant of happenings within your pool. You may lose points if you are late or miss a reffing assignment. 


  1.     Elimination Play: Typically, most tournaments begin elimination play in the early afternoon. If a team loses, they are eliminated but must ref the next game before exiting the tournament.  If a team wins, they continue on. 


  1.     Tournament Duration: The last match typically can begin as late as sun-down, depending on the size of the tournament. Teams should plan to play until at least 2:30 if they lose during elimination play. However, if  a team continues on and makes it to the finals, plan to stay as late as 8:30pm in large tournaments. Big qualifiers can occasionally even continue into Sunday if you run out of daylight for the semi-finals and final matches. 


  1.     Pool play is usually ONE set to 21. Some odd number pools may do ONE set to 28. 


  1.     Almost all tournaments require that the athletes ref each other. We encourage ethical self-calls as well foster self-awareness. This can get tricky but players must respect the call of the ref. If there is a discrepancy, players are encouraged to consult-tournament directors.  Under no circumstances are parents allowed to interfere.


  1.     Parental coaching is NOT allowed. If an issue occurs, players are to politely speak ONLY to the tournament director. Do NOT address the parent. 


  1.     Coaches are allowed at tournaments but have to abide by the specific rules outlined on the USAV and AVP guidelines. This includes switching sides with their team, and usually can only speak during dead ball (between plays), walk and talk on side switches, and time outs. Please note that USAV events do NOT allow coaching during dead ball. 


  1.     Time-outs are no more than 60 seconds total! That includes 30 seconds to talk, and no more than 30 seconds to walk back on to the court! This can be tough and sometimes a mutually delayed situation amongst both teams, especially when heat is a significant factor. Try your best to stick to the 60 second rule. Please note that each team gets one personal time out during a game, and both teams get another one, a Technical Time Out, when the score adds up to 21.


  1. Some tours like SSOVA and Dig the Beach provide water refill stations! Do not assume this is always the case. Please check out the tournament host’s website before leaving the house with limited water!


  1. Athletes are in charge of keeping score and submitting score through BracketPal (you login with your sports engine account). Parents can of course help with the submission of scoring. Parents can also keep score on a handy app or in the sand, but at the end of the day it’s the reffing athletes’ responsibility and not the parents’ to pay attention to the score. We highly suggest the players keep score in their head and announce the score every serve. 


12.  Parents play a major role in a child’s athletic life. Parents are invaluable to their growth and to the success of the program.  During tournaments, the duty of a parent is to cheer for, hydrate and feed your athlete. Together, with our parents we work to help Optimum Beach players become ethical, independent, respectful and responsible athletes. We ask that parents let their children “figure it out” on their own. Tournaments can be stressful for players.  We ask that any questions and concerns a parent may have are directed to a coach after the conclusion of the tournament. This is to ensure that the parent and coach have each other’s full undivided attention and also not to interfere with the time allotted to other Optimum Beach players participating in a tournament.

What should I pack for a tournament?
  • Athletic bathing suits or athletic clothing. Spandex, sports shorts or leggings are usually safer. . 
  • Your super cool Optimum T shirt.
  • Beach conditions differ. Some sand is shellier or rockier than others. If you are unfamiliar with the beach and its weather conditions, be sure to pack long sleeves (dry-fit or SPF recommended) and leggings which help protect against possible injury. 
  • Plastic frame polarized Sunglasses with grips  such as Oakley’s, Blenders, Goodr, ROKA
  • Sand socks are crucial when sand gets super hot AND super cold
  • Towel
  • Cooler full of food and drinks. (fruit, shakes, apple sauce, pickles, and other easily digestible foods salty foods) 
  • Basic Med-Kit: Tournaments should have this but its nice to have your own and preferred meds
  • Pedialyte or your electrolyte drink of choice. 
  • High SPF Sunscreen
  • Sand brush (counter duster)
  • Ball Pump
  • Beach Chairs and maybe a tent if not sharing
  • A good beach cart to tote everything 
  • AVP approved Ball -Wilson Game Ball – OPTX (CLEARLY LABEL YOUR BALL) 
  • Shopping for cool Optimum Athletic Gear…this link  will show you some great options!
Some other important information you should know…

Before you review the tournament schedule and begin event registrations, we ask that you familiarize yourself with important information relevant to upcoming events:


BVCA Club Challenge: www.beachvolleyballclbs.com

Beach Volleyball Clubs of America. BVCA hosts club v club events that are run much like college pairs in which the club simulates college play where 1-3 or 1-5 seeds compete against another club(s). Optimum Beach will host evaluations and select the highest level athletes to represent our club. If you are interested in participating in BVCA Club Challenges, please speak to your coach.


SHOWCASE: These events are hosted for players actively seeking recruitment into a collegiate beach volleyball program. Showcases are attended by college coaches who are recruiting for their program. These events display an athlete’s talents and typically begin with a clinic followed by tournament play and observed by college coaches.


You can find showcase events on:







COLLEGE COACHES’ CLINIC: Generally, these clinics are held prior to a showcase or separately as a training source. These too can be found on the links above. The primary goal is to show off your coachability and performance potential to college coaches. 


COLLEGE CAMPS: Often colleges will invite you to their own camps and clinics on or off campus. This is a great opportunity to get to know the program; coaching style, campus life, team dynamics etc. You don’t have to be invited to go to most camps. Check out your prospective school’s websites for camp dates and sign up! Getting in front of as many coaches as possible really increases your chance of exposure and recruitment.

Upcoming Tournaments

(All tournaments are available on Volley America and Volleyball Life

This information herein has been compiled specifically to meet your needs as you enter the upcoming competition season. We will be updating this guide on a timely basis to include tournaments as they are added, and to include USAV and AVP regulations and rules as they are revised. 

Good luck and Go Optimum Beach!