COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 26, 2016) – USA Volleyball will debut its inaugural Girls Junior National Championships Spring 18s event April 29-May 1 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event is hosted locally by Visit Milwaukee and the Badger Region, one of 40 USA Volleyball regions.

The tournament for 18-and-under players will crown champions in four age groups – Open Division, National Division, USA Division and Patriot Division. A total of 181 teams will be competing on 25 courts with 36 squads in the Open Division, 49 teams in USA Division and 48 teams in the other two championship divisions. USA Volleyball is expecting nearly 2,500 players, coaches and referees to converge on Milwaukee during the weekend, along with more than 2,500 family members and friends.

“I’m very much looking forward to this first edition of the Spring GJNC for 18s being hosted by Milwaukee,” USA Volleyball Senior Director Tom Pingel said. “Milwaukee and the Badger Region has a long history of hosting great volleyball events, whether indoor or on the Beach. I’m certain that it will be a memorable event for all involved.”

The Open Division is the highest division with all 36 teams earning spots from national qualifiers. The National Division field is comprised of teams from USA Volleyball’s 40 Regions. Teams earn spots into the USA Division based on bids earned at national qualifiers. The 18s National Qualifier calendar included 16 tournaments held Jan. 16 to March 21 from coast-to-coast. The Patriot Division is open to any team through a first-come, first-serve registration process.

For this three-day tournament, teams will be grouped in daily waves in either the morning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT or the afternoon wave from 3-8 p.m. CT.

In past years, this new 18s National Championships tournament was part of the overall USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC) with divisional championships starting at the 11-and-under age group and all championship flights held in the same facility over a 10-day period. Based on feedback from the junior volleyball community and the numerous time and calendar challenges within the 18s age group involving college preparation, recruiting, high school graduation and down time for athletes, USA separated the 18s divisions from the (GJNC) and moved it earlier in the calendar.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $30, depending on type of ticket, daily or tournament pass and if purchased in advance or at the door.