European Beach Volleyball Commission reviews memorable season and lays foundations for another busy year
News from the CEV
Luxembourg, December 5, 2013. The European Beach Volleyball Commission (EBVC) chaired by CEV Vice President Renato Arena met Wednesday and Thursday in Luxembourg City to review the 2013 season and start planning another busy year for Beach Volleyball in Europe.
The EBVC members were particularly pleased with the review of the 2013 season where a total of 30 tournaments were held across Europe, thereby contributing to a terrific increase by 87% year over year. The major highlight was certainly represented by the Beach Volleyball European Championship that took place in Klagenfurt where in early August about 150,000 fans flocked to Austria’s largest sandbox for a tournament that broke all records in terms of attendance, TV ratings and much more.
Apart from elite sport, the year that is about to draw to a close also marked a great improvement of the activities and actions undertaken to promote Beach Volleyball at the grassroots level. The CEV could successfully follow up on the launch of its Youth Development Project whose real core is represented by the inaugural CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. Eight tournaments were held from late May through the end of August with the participation of more than 30 countries as young players performed for the first time internationally while vying for the right to compete at next year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. The final stage is coming up in May 2014 and will determine the six teams per gender composing the European contingent for the YOG where Beach Volleyball will debut on the program after missing on the inaugural edition held in Singapore in 2010.
In order to stimulate the development of Europe’s next generation of Beach Volleyball stars and the participation of more countries, in 2013 the various age group Championships (U18-U20-U22) were joined by 32 teams per gender with an increase by eight duos per gender in comparison with the past editions.
The 2013 season did also see CEV support the organization of a couple of mass festivals that took place in England and the Netherlands as well as the introduction of the so-called Zonal events. Teams were eligible to compete there due to their respective Federations’ affiliation to one of the five Zonal Associations established in Europe and could battle for valuable FIVB Ranking Points so as to improve their international status.
This busy but memorable year will draw to a close next week as a special seminar addressed to the Beach Volleyball Coordinators of the various National Federations affiliated to CEV will take place in Milan and namely at the premises of the Centro Pavesi, one of Europe’s four Regional Volleyball Development Centers officially recognized as such by FIVB/CEV.
During their meeting the EBVC members could also lay the foundations for the 2014 season: they agreed on a first draft of the calendar and of the regulations for next year’s competitions that will be submitted to the CEV Board of Administration for approval in February 2014. The EBVC could also pencil the schedule of the CEV Continental Cup whose second edition is set to start next year as well and will come to a close in 2016 thereby qualifying one team per gender to the Rio Olympics.
The EBVC reviewed the outcome of some tests performed in 2013 where a couple of tournaments were played with an innovative scoring system – “best of five” with each set up to 11 points – and coaches were allowed to share instructions with their players during time-outs of the various age group Championships. The CEV Board of Administration will then decide on the eventual follow up of these trials.
Finally, the EBVC could also discuss the format and qualification criteria for the inaugural European Games which are due to be held in June 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan and where Beach Volleyball – together with Volleyball – will represent one of the main highlights on the program.