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Costa Mesa, Calif. (March 5, 2015) — The AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Pro Beach Volleyball Tour announced today that it will expand its AVPNext developmental competition series in 2015, and will offer the men’s and women’s winners from eight regions across the country automatic entry into the AVP’s Manhattan Beach Open, the longest-running and most prestigious professional beach volleyball tournament in the world.

AVPNext is the official developmental program for the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. The series was reignited in 2014 as a way to identify and develop the next generation of beach volleyball stars.

“With AVPNext, our goal is to create a pipeline to the AVP for the beach volleyball stars of tomorrow,” said AVP Managing Partner Donald Sun. “We recognize that there is a passion for beach volleyball that extends far beyond the beaches of Southern California, and there are great players all across the country looking for their chance to compete against the best players on the beach. AVPNext creates a clear path to that opportunity by creating structured tournaments in all regions of the U.S. and a way for athletes to play their way into not only an AVP tournament, but the one tournament that every beach volleyball player dreams of winning.”

Competition is scheduled to take place from March through August in cities and towns across the country, with the U.S. divided into eight zones. Within each zone, at least five certified AVPNext tournaments will be held. Teams will earn AVP national volleyball player ranking points based on their performance in each tournament, and the men’s and women’s teams from each zone with the highest point totals at the completion of their tournament series will win berths in the main draw of the Manhattan Beach Open in mid August.

The program was restarted in 2014 and awarded the top teams from each region a berth in the AVPNext Championship Cup, from which the winning men’s and women’s teams advanced to the main draw of the season-ending Huntington Beach Open. The change in format this season gives teams more to play for, and rewards regular participation throughout the spring and summer.

In addition, playing in AVPNext tournaments will help players build points that aid with their seeding should they want to enter an open qualifying tournament at an AVP event. The winning team at an AVPNext event will receive 190 points, the equivalent of what would be earned with a 17th-place finish at an AVP tournament.

“We were pleased with the initial returns from our involvement with AVPNext last season, but we have listened to the input of players across the country and made some adjustments,” Sun said. “The changes should encourage players in all regions to compete in more tournaments, and that can only be a positive in terms of improving the level of play and helping the absolute best players rise to the top in their quest to secure spots in the Manhattan Beach Open.”

Teams of all skill levels can join tournaments in their zones across the country. Entrants must be at least 14 years old and an AVPNext member. Each region will crown a winner based on the format dictated prior to the start of the series.

The 2015 AVPNext series schedule currently includes the following 44 tournaments, and more will be added in the coming months:

Southwest zone

Date(s) City Venue                                                                      

March 7 Glendale, Ariz. Victory Lane Sports Complex

April 4 Gilbert, Ariz. Sand Club Academy at Mesquite High School

April 18 Gilbert, Ariz. Sand Club Academy at Mesquite High School

April 25 Glendale, Ariz. Victory Lane Sports Complex

May 30-31 Glendale, Ariz. Victory Lane Sports Complex

June 27Glendale, Ariz.Victory Lane Sports Complex

July 19 Glendale, Ariz. Victory Lane Sports Complex

Northwest zone

Date(s) City Venue

May 16-17 Seattle, Wash. Bottega Fitness Park

June 13-14 Seattle, Wash. Bottega Fitness Park

June 27-28 Seattle, Wash. Bottega Fitness Park

July 11-12 Seattle, Wash. Bottega Fitness Park

July 25-26 Seattle, Wash. Bottega Fitness Park

Mountain zone

Date(s) City Venue

May 1-3 Albuquerque, N.M. Stoneface Volleyball Courts

June 12-13 Salt Lake City, Utah Wasatch Beach at The Sports Mall

June 27-28 Albuquerque, N.M. Stoneface Volleyball Courts

July 18-19 Salt Lake City, Utah Wasatch Beach at The Sports Mall

Midwest zone

Date(s) City Venue

June 13 Chicago, Ill. North Ave Beach Boat House

June 20 Racine, Wisc. North Beach

July 4 Michigan City, Mich. Washington Park

July 25 Grand Haven, Mich. State Beach

South zone

Date(s) City Venue

March 7-8 San Antonio, Tex. Sideliners Grill

March 21 Dallas, Tex. Sandbar Grill & Cantina

April 4-5 San Antonio, Tex. Sideliners Grill

May 9-10 San Antonio, Tex. Sideliners Grill

May 23-24 New Orleans, La. Coconut Beach Volleyball Complex

June 6-7 San Antonio, Tex. Sideliners Grill

June 13-14 New Orleans, La. Coconut Beach Volleyball Complex

June 20 Dallas, Tex. Sandbar Grill & Cantina

July 4-5 Houston, Tex. Third Coast Volleyball Club

July 11-12 San Antonio, Tex. Sideliners Grill

Southeast zone

Date(s) City Venue

April 11 Wilmington, N.C. Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill & Volleyball Facility

May 16 Wilmington, N.C. Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill & Volleyball Facility

May 23 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Ft. Lauderdale beach courts (1140 Seabreeze Dr.)

May 30 Pompano Beach, Fla. North side of pier

June 13 Siesta Key, Fla. Siesta Key beach courts (948 Beach Rd.)

June 20 Wilmington, N.C. Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill & Volleyball Facility

June 27 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Ft. Lauderdale beach courts (1140 Seabreeze Dr.)

July 18 Pompano Beach, Fla. North side of pier

Atlantic zone

Date(s) City Venue

May 30-31 Atlantic City, N.J. 2301 Boardwalk

June 6-7 Ocean City, M.D. Boardwalk between 3rd and 4th Streets

June 13-14 Liverpool, N.Y. The Beach at Sharkeys

June 20-21 Liverpool, N.Y. The Beach at Sharkeys

July 18-19 Liverpool, N.Y. The Beach at Sharkeys

July 25-26 Ocean City, M.D. Boardwalk between 3rd and 4th Streets

For more information on AVPNext, and scheduling and registration for the national series, visit www.avp.com/avpnext or search “AVPNext” on Facebook and Twitter.

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