Although the conference is called the Pac-12, women’s volleyball is one of very few sports with twelve participating teams. It’s another rarely-mentioned but cumulatively important reason why mainstream media’s continued neglect of the sport is increasingly hard to justify.
The Pac-12 sponsors 22 sports, but only eight—women’s volleyball, men’s football, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s cross-country, women’s track & field and men’s golf—field teams from all twelve conference schools.
|source: NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report|
In fact, volleyball is one of those objects in the rear-view mirror that may be closer than you think. Volleyball’s average attendance per match has risen at Division 1 schools at a rate faster than women’s basketball. At the University of Washington, volleyball’s average attendance per contest has out-performed women’s basketball for most of the past decade.