AVP is primarily known for their professional volleyball tour but they also offer youth programming called AVPFirst, which allows youth athletes to compete just like the pros and gain national exposure. The main goals of AVPFirst are to provide a national pipeline for youth volleyball development as well as increase participation for the sport of beach volleyball nationally. This year the AVP has changed with the way their juniors tour operates. AVPFirst has three different types of tournaments, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 tournaments. This program offers a nationwide tour similar to the professional tour, as well as regional and local events, where youth athletes compete against each other in hopes to earn a bid to the AVPFirst National Championships in late July at Hermosa Beach, California.
Tier 1 events: These events are the most prestigious and include the AVPFirst National Championship and AVPFirst National Club Championship. In order to qualify for a Tier 1 event, participants will need to earn a direct bid from a Zonal Championship Event, or through a Zonal Qualification, which is based on a points system. Participants earn points based on how they finished in lower tiered events.
Tier 2 events: These events are direct bid earning events. At these events bids to the AVP National Championship will be awarded to the top three teams from each age group. There are a total of 17 Tier two events, 12 AVPFirst Zonal Championship events and 5 AVPFirst Gold Events. The Zonal Championship events are held in 12 different zones throughout the nation. The Gold Events are held in conjunction with AVP events in Austin, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago. The Gold Events are different in the fact that a majority of teams have to qualify for the event based on points earned through other tournaments, while in zonal championships any team can register and participate.
Tier 3 events: This year AVP merged with Volley America and formed a new platform called AVP America. All AVP America events are Tier 3 events. AVP America events are hosted and ran by a third party (club team) throughout the nation under the AVPFirst Umbrella. These Tier 3 events are a way to get more juniors involved with the sport of beach volleyball on a local level, as well as allow teams to earn more points towards their overall rank.
Colorado Connection: Players in Colorado are able to play in multiple AVPFirst/AVPAmerica events including the opportunity to qualify for the AVPFirst National Championships in Hermosa Beach. To learn more about these tournaments head over to Colo Scene Tab.