International Volleyball Association

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The International Volleyball Association was a short lived co-ed professional volleyball league in the United States from 1975 to 1980. Like other major sports leagues in the United States, it had two geographic divisions. However, its teams were entirely in the west. It is one of the few examples of a professional sports league where men and women competed on the same teams.

In keeping with the "International" name, the league included one team, El Paso-Juarez Sol, which acknowledged both sides of the international twin town in its name.

Divisions[edit]

The league started with 5 teams in 1975, but split into two divisions with the addition of the Tucson Turquoise in 1976. The two divisions were Western, which consisted of teams on the Pacific Coast, and a second, called Eastern in 1975 and Continental after 1977, for teams from the Rocky Mountain states.

The only team from the Eastern or Continental Division to win a championship was the Tucson Sky in 1979.

Teams[edit]

The teams and the years of existence were:

Team Years
Santa Barbara Spikers 1975–1979
El Paso-Juarez Sol 1975–1977
Los Angeles Stars 1975–1977
Orange County Stars

(Moved from Los Angeles)

1977–1978
San Diego Breakers 1975–1978
Southern California Bangers 1975
Tucson Turquoise

(Moved from Southern California)

1976
Tucson Sky

(Changed name from Turquoise)

1977–1979
Phoenix Heat 1976–1977
Denver Comets 1976–1977
Seattle Smashers 1978–1979
Albuquerque Lazers 1979
Salt Lake City Stingers 1979
San Jose Diablos 1979

Venues:

Season Records Year by Year[edit]

1975[edit]

Regular Season

Single division, top three teams made playoffs, top team given bye in first playoff round.

Team Win Loss Pct
Los Angeles Stars 18 6 .750
San Diego Breakers 17 7 .708
Santa Barbara Spikers 13 11 .542
Southern California Bangers 6 18 .250
El Paso-Juarez Sol 6 18 .250

Playoffs

Round 1

San Diego 1
Santa Barbara 0

Championship (Best 3 of 5)

Los Angeles 3
San Diego 1

1976[edit]

Regular Season

Top five teams made playoffs, top team from each division received bye in first round of playoffs

Eastern Division

Team Win Loss Pct
El Paso - Juarez Sol 17 23 .425
Phoenix Heat 14 26 .350
Tucson Turquoise 11 29 .275

Western Division

Team Win Loss Pct
San Diego Breakers 29 11 .725
Los Angeles Stars 25 15 .625
Santa Barbara Spikers 24 16 .600

Playoffs and Championship

Best 3 of 5

Round 1

Santa Barbara 3
Phoenix 0

Round 2

San Diego 3
Santa Barbara 0
Los Angeles 3
El Paso-Juarez 0

Championship

San Diego 3
Los Angeles 1

1977[edit]

Regular Season

Two divisions, two top teams from each division played a playoff game

Continental Division

Team Win Loss Pct
Denver Comets 22 14 .612
El Paso - Juarez Sol 21 15 .584
Phoenix Heat 15 21 .417
Tucson Sky 11 25 .306

Western Division

Team Win Loss Pct
Orange County Stars 20 16 .556
Santa Barbara Spikers 19 17 .528
San Diego Breakers 18 18 .500

Playoffs and Championships

Best 3 out of 5

Continental Division

El Paso - Juarez 3
Denver 2

Western Division

Orange County 3
Santa Barbara 2

Championship

Orange County 3
El Paso - Juarez 2

1978[edit]

Regular Season and Championship

Records for the 1978 are incomplete. The teams finished as follows, with Santa Barbara being the champion. Players for Santa Barbara were Reede Reynolds (USA), Luis Eymard (Brazil), Jose Luis Garcia (Mexico), Bebeto De Fritas (Brazil), Larry Milliken, Sue Herrington, Rosie Wegrith

Santa Barbara Spikers
Tucson Sky
Orange County Stars
Seattle Smashers
Denver Comets
San Jose Diablos

Albequerque Lazers

Salt Lake City Stingers

1979[edit]

Regular Season

Two divisions, two top teams from each division played a playoff game

Continental Division

Team Win Loss Pct
Denver Comets 29 11 .725
Tucson Sky 23 17 .575
Salt Lake City Stingers 17 23 .425
Albuquerque Lazers 9 31 .225

Western Division

Team Win Loss Pct
Santa Barbara Spikers 27 13 .675
Seattle Smashers 23 17 .575
San Jose Diablos 12 28 .300

Playoffs and Championship

Best 3 out of 5

Continental Division

Tucson 3
Denver 1

Western Division

Santa Barabara 3
Seattle 2

Championship

Tucson 3
Santa Barbara 2

Notable players[edit]

NBA great Wilt Chamberlain played with the Seattle Smashers in 1977.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tucson Time Capsule, Arizona Daily Star, July 2, 2007

External links[edit]