The AAU Junior National Volleyball Program (formerly AAU Junior Olympics) were initially conducted at Cantonsville, Maryland in 1974. The AAU sanctioned the first AAU California Beach Volleyball Championships in 1957 in Manhattan Beach, California as an adult open event and continued into the following decade. Local organizers looked upon the AAU and the Southern Pacific Association in order to fully recognize beach volleyball and standardize the game.
The AAU Junior Beach Volleyball Program began in 1994 through the original dedicated Southern Pacific Beach Volleyball committee of Gino Grajeda, Denny Lennon and Joe Tindall with the first national championships in San Pedro at Cabrillo Beach.
Since the 1994 National Championships, the championships have evolved into a local, regional and national tour with events held in conjunction with the AVP, WPVA, BVA and the AAU Junior Olympic Games. National Championship sites have also included: Manhattan Beach, California and Hermosa Beach, California.
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AMATEUR ATHLETIC UNION VOLLEYBALL TIMELINE
1888 - The Amateur Athletic Union of the Unied States founded in New York City at the New York Athletic Club to foster the amateur athletic movement and set standards which are still in place today
1921 - The AAU standardizes playing rules and begins operation of volleyball programs in the district associations.
1937 - The Amateur Athletic Union recognized the United States Volleyball Association as the National Governing Body of Volleyball at the AAU Annual Convention in Boston . The AAU continues to operate the AAU Senior National Championships and sanction volleyball programs and throughout the country.
1957 - The AAU sanctions the first beach volleyball competition in Manhattan Beach , California as the California Beach Volleyball Championships in cooperation with the Southern Pacific Association AAU.
1964 - Volleyball makes it's debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
1974 - The AAU Conducts the first Junior National Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) in Cantonsville , Maryland . This event eventually moves to cities in Illinois , where the championships flourish and to Missouri , Iowa and it's current home in Florida .
1994 - Beach Volleyball makes it's debut as an AAU National Championship Sport in San Pedro , California . The AAU Junior Manhattan Open is sanctioned as the Southern Pacific Association AAU Championships.
1995 - The AAU Beach Volleyball Tour is founded with several events and forms an alliance with the WPVA. The AAU Junior National Championships moves to Hermosa Beach , CA .
1995 - AAU/Disney Alliance begins with the moving of the National Headquarters from Indianapolis to Orlando and the groundbreaking of the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.
1996 - Beach Volleyball makes it's debut as an Olympic Sport in the Atlanta Olympic Games.
1998 - Beach Volleyball makes it's debut at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Virginia Beach , Virginia as a demonstration sport.
1999 - Beach Volleyball becomes a full medal sport at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Cleveland as the highlight of the AAU/ AVP Junior Beach Volleyball Tour. The first Joel Farrell Award is presented to Michael DiPerrio of Pompano Beach , Florida . (Beach Volleyball will return to the 2005 AAU Junior Olympic Games in New Orleans)
1999 - An alliance with the AVP is formed as highlights from all events are televised on Fox Sports throghout the summer on AVP broadcasts.
2000 - An alliance is formed with the BVA (Beach Volleyball America ) Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.
2002 - The 9th AAU Junior National Beach Volleyball Championships breaks a record with 180 teams competing.
2003 - The AAU/AVP alliance continues with several events at AVP tournaments.
2005 - Beach Volleyball returns to the AAU Junior Olympic Games. The Junior Olympic Games is a qualifying tournament for athletes who competed in the AAU Beach Volleyball Tour. Competition was held under the lights at the Coconut Beach Volleyball Complex.
2006 - The largest National Championships are held with over 230 teams. The AAU Junior Olympic Games had the largest field of qualified teams from different parts of the USA and Puerto Rico in a cooperative effort from the AAU and USA Volleyball.
2007 – The Tour Schedule included the addition of two events where athletes qualified for competition. The AAU Junior Olympic Games (Knoxville, TN) continued in the U16 Division, while the America’s Challenge in Puerto Rico and the AAU/VB Rags Best of the Beach in Beverly Hills, CA were new events in the Girls U18 and U14 respectively.
2008 – The AAU Junior National Championships were once again held in Hermosa Beach, CA. The AAU Junior Olympic Games (Detroit, MI) continued in the U16 Division, while the America’s Challenge in Puerto Rico was held for Boys and Girls U18 and the AAU/VB Rags Best of the Beach in Beverly Hills, CA was held for Girls U14.
2009 - The AAU National Beach Volleyball Championships in Hermosa Beach, CA event had over 200 teams in a single two-day weekend. The AAU Junior Olympic Games beach volleyball competition was held in Des Moines, Iowa. The AAU America's Challenge was held in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, while the AAU/VB Rags Best of the Beach continued in Beverly Hills, CA for the third straight year. Additional events marked one of the largest tour schedules to date. Former AAU Beach Volleyball national champion, USA National team member, Cynthia Barboza was a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award.