Founded in 1962 by a group of passionate beach volleyballers, the CBVA was created to bring together the local beach volleyball communities and maximize the opportunities to play through a unified schedule. As the sport grew, the official rulebook, skill divisions, and our rating system developed into the CBVA as it is today. This year, the schedule will have nearly 1000 tournaments, 10+ skill or age divisions, 21+ locations, and nearly 8000 active members.
As a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, the CBVA’s mission is to nurture, sponsor and promote beach volleyball. The CBVA promotes volleyball by conducting outdoor volleyball events while striving for the highest possible standards for players, tournament directors, members and sponsors.
The California Beach Volleyball Association is dedicated to fulfilling this mission and supporting the beach volleyball community via a unified schedule, rating system, and recordbase. The schedule is made up of organized, accessible tournaments for every skill level at many locations along the California coast.
Our rating system creates a clear path for measurable skill development and gives players the opportunity to play against appropriate competition. The recordbase promises preservation of the integrity of the game and rating system, as well as the history of our favorite sport.
The CBVA values beach volleyball as a sport and community as well as the fun, competitive, healthy lifestyle that comes with it. We welcome all players regardless of age, skill level, or background - do expect that all our members, players, directors, staff, and spectators be respectful towards one another and the community as a whole.
Beach volleyball has been played along the California beaches from Santa Cruz down to San Diego since the early 1930s or before. While some cities began with 2’s tournaments (2 players per team) and others with 4’s or 6’s, as time went on, beach doubles (or “2’s”) became the predominant choice for competition.
Many of the early tournaments found their participants by word of mouth and were usually made up all local players. By the early ‘50s, some of the top players started travelling to other cities to challenge the locals.
As traveling to play became more common, there developed a need to coordinate the tournament schedules of the neighboring beach cities to prevent the talent from being split amongst multiple nearby tournaments on the same day. The Santa Monica Recreation & Parks department called together a meeting of all the Tournament Directors in the area to hammer out a single coordinated schedule that included all the Directors’ tournaments - to be distributed on 3” x 8” one-page tablets to the players.
From this meeting of Tournament Directors, the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed in 1962, establishing a President, Board of Directors, Bylaws, Rule Book, and Rating System. Each year the CBVA holds an annual meeting to amend and add tournaments to the schedule. As the sport, the organization, and the schedule grew, the CBVA began instituting distance regulations to prevent too many tournaments of the same level too close together.
Initially, most tournaments were two-day Double Elimination tournaments with side out scoring to 15 points. The game has since evolved to today’s new “normal” of one-day tournaments, pool play to single elimination playoff, rally scoring.
For over 60 years, the CBVA has been held up as the premier organization for amateur beach volleyball. Many Division I college athletes, professional beach players, and Olympians have come through the CBVA.