USA Volleyball Features Qualifying and the N...

Qualifying and the National Beach Tour

Sept. 09, 2020, 12:58 p.m. (ET)

National Beach Tour qualification.

The National Beach Tour (NBT) is restarting this month, beginning a ten-month campaign that concludes with the National Beach Tour Junior Championships next summer. Since the NBT Junior Championships are a chance to win a national title, we thought we’d answer a popular question:

How can I (or my child) compete at the NBT Junior Championships?

There are two types of qualifying tournaments that make up the NBT: Beach National Qualifiers (BNQs) and Beach Regional Qualifiers (BRQs). A high finish in either tournament will clinch a berth to the National Beach Tour Junior Championships next summer. Let’s take a closer look at these two different qualifier types...

Beach National Qualifiers

BNQs are a direct route to an Open Division bid – the highest division of play – in next year’s NBT Junior Championships. The top four teams in each age group (U12, U14, U16, U18) in both genders at a BNQ will earn an Open Division bid. So if your team plays in a BNQ gold bracket semifinal, you’ve won the right to compete for a national title.

Other benefits of a BNQ include:

  • Interregional play
  • A high level of competition for teams at different levels within each age group
  • Showcase junior talent for college recruiters and National Team programs
  • Promote the growth and development of beach volleyball in a geographic area

Note: BNQ bids do not trickle down nor have minimum team entries for bids to be awarded.

Beach Regional Qualifiers

BRQs provide bids to the American Division and the Open Division of the NBT Junior Championships. The top three girls' teams in each age group (U12, U14, U16 and U18) qualify for the American Division while the top three boys qualify for the Open Division. The American Division is the second highest of all three NBT Junior Championships divisions.

Another difference in BRQ bids is that these may trickle down to fourth or fifth-place finishers should one of the original BRQ bid-winners either decline a bid or have already earned a bid. For a bid to trickle down, both players of a winning team must decline the bid. If even just one member of the qualifying team accepts the bid, it will not shift to a lower-placed finisher.

Like BNQs, though, BRQs:

  • Provide a high level of competition for teams at different levels within each age group
  • Showcase junior talent for college recruiters and National Team programs
  • Promote the growth and development of beach volleyball in a geographic area

Patriot Division

The Patriot Division is open to those wishing to participate in the NBT Junior Championships but did not clinch a bid in a previous qualifier. This division is capped at 16 teams per division on a first-come, first-serve basis, but there is a waitlist available as well. Spots in the Patriot Division may open as registered teams qualify through BNQs or BRQs.

These are the three ways an athlete can compete at the NBT Junior Championships next summer. Good luck in training and competition, and we’ll see you on the beach!

Visit the National Beach Tour website