The Grow the Game Challenge is an annual non-conference tournament that brings regular season matches to an area of the nation that does not have a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team. The tournament will return to the Nashville area in 2019, but this time make its debut in Wilson County.
The weekend event on Jan. 18-20 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, features some of the top college players in the nation. Matches played at this tournament are regular season matches with possible NCAA Tournament implications.
Lindenwood in 2018 narrowly edged out Hawai’i to win the inaugural Grow the Game Challenge at Lipscomb University. Last year marked the first time Nashville played host to a NCAA men’s volleyball event.
The Grow the Game Challenge opted to move the event to Cumberland for the 2019 season in part because of the Phoenix starting a men’s volleyball program.
The Grow the Game Challenge operates as a non-profit organization based in Nashville. The organization’s goal is to bring college men’s volleyball to parts of the nation that have not experienced the sport. It raises money through sponsorships to fund its annual tournament.
All 13 tournament matches at the 2019 Grow the Game Challenge will be played at the historic Dallas Floyd Recreation Center on the Cumberland campus.
The Dallas Floyd Recreation Center is a 2,000-seat facility that will undergo a massive renovation a month before the Grow the Game Challenge. The arena for the tournament will feature chairback seating after the university successfully completed a $500,000 fundraising campaign earlier this year to its improve athletic facilities.