The Arizona Wildcats are adding a new sport: sand volleyball.
Deputy athletic director Kathleen “Rocky” LaRose told the Star today the UA will debut a sand volleyball team in Spring 2014, led by head coach Steve Walker. Walker served as a UA volleyball assistant.
“We’ve been looking at this for some time,” LaRose said. “We want to continually expand the women’s program.
“We look at it from all angles: gender equity and fairness and Title IX. We knew at some point, when the right time came, that we wanted to add another sport.”
The Wildcats will offer six scholarships that can be split among more than six players. Teams are typically composed of 15 women.
LaRose said she “would bet” that the UA would become part of the Pac-12.
The conference needs at least six teams to form a league and play for automatic inclusion into the NCAA tournament. The UA is the fifth team to commit to sand volleyball.
The NCAA will offer a championship once 40 schools play the sport in two consecutive years.
The Wildcats aren’t sure yet where they will play their home games.