FIVB Beach Volelyball World Tour

Gstaad Grand Slam | 8 - 13 juillet 2014

#GstaadGS


Press release

Thousand-match man Sacco takes final bow in Gstaad


FIVB international referee Pietro Sacco is set to hang up his whistle and cards after over 1000 matches

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 12, 2014 – For FIVB international referee Pietro Sacco the Gstaad Grand Slam will prove to be an appropriate juncture to hang up his whistle, seeing as that was where he took his first steps in refereeing on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. 

The 54-year-old from Naples qualified as an international referee in 2000 having worked on the Italian National Tour from 1994. He was handed his first assignment in Gstaad in 2001 and is now enjoying his third visit to the Swiss Alps having taken control of over 1000 World Tour matches. 

“It was very emotional for me because it was the first time that I had refereed overseas and I really wanted to do well,” he said. “I learned how to control matches in different ways. I thought I knew how to control a match, but I saw a totally different way of being a referee then.

Back in 2001 the Gstaad tournament was an Open and didn’t become a Grand Slam until 2006, however it was still a highly popular venue with a raucous crowd.

It is a characteristic of the tournament that has continued over the 14 years since and something that Sacco values highly. 

“The atmosphere and weather and the crowd,” he said when asked what he remembered most about his first visit. “I was struck by how well organised and efficient the Swiss were. Over the years whenever I have come back to Gstaad nothing has changed. It is the pursuit of perfection that meant everything worked fantastically. 

“The stands were full from the start with a passionate crowd and they were very knowledgeable about the players, especially the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) who were very successful at the time and who I refereed.

“Gstaad is the sort of tournament that stays in your heart because it is such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly.”

For Sacco refereeing on the World Tour has allowed him to travel around Europe and meet fellow referees from around the world with whom he is able to share ideas.

He will continue to referee on the Italian Tour and is hoping to become a referee mentor for young officials in Italy, who he hopes to help follow in his footsteps onto the World Tour. 

“I’ve pretty much gone all over Europe and all the tournaments in Europe are fantastically well organised,” he said. 

“I have loved it. It has given me the chance to meet people from around the world and go to places in Europe that I would never have gone to.”

His high point as a referee was taking control of matches at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, which were held in Italy’s capital Rome. 

It proved to be a magnificent tournament with fans packing the 10,500 capacity of the centre court at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre. The Eternal City proved an equally popular venue when it hosted Grand Slams in 2012 and 2013, but is off the World Tour calendar in 2014 after the Italian Federation organised the CEV European Championships. 

“For an Italian the World Championships in Rome and seeing the stadium full was something exceptional,” he said. 

“It is shame it hasn’t yet become a tournament as famous as Gstaad or Klagenfurt because Rome should be a regular tournament in the World Tour calendar. If we could continue with it, it would get better and better over the years.”

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
14.07.2014 14:30:39
Social Timeline: A wet, fun week in Gstaad for a scenic Grand Slam

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 14, 2014 - After a week off, the FIVB World Tour was back in action this week. The Swiss Alps were the setting, as the alw... More...

13.07.2014 17:52:23
All eyes on Transavia Grand Slam as Tour get ready for World Champs warm-up

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 13, 2014 – With the Gstaad Grand Slam wrapped up for another successful year the attention of the beach volleyball world wil... More...

13.07.2014 17:06:32
Dalhausser and Rosenthal make it back-to-back gold with Gstaad success

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 13, 2014 – Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won a second consecutive FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal when they... More...

13.07.2014 15:06:05
First Grand Slam gold as Semmler and Holtwick win all-German affair

12.07.2014 20:48:24
Gstaad Gossip - Gentlemen’s Golden Game

12.07.2014 20:38:40
Gstaad Gossip - German Girls Guaranteed Gold

12.07.2014 20:19:25
Dalhausser aiming for home delights in Gstaad

12.07.2014 19:55:16
Alison and Bruno out to deny Dalhausser and Rosenthal Gstaad gold

12.07.2014 17:41:22
Gstaad set for all-German final

11.07.2014 20:28:53
Canadians match season’s best after three-set thriller in Gstaad

11.07.2014 19:28:33
Home favourites delight Gstaad crowd by eliminating top seeds

11.07.2014 19:09:49
Identical Italians inspiring

11.07.2014 18:04:49
Austrian pair silence Gstaad crowd for season’s best

10.07.2014 19:52:17
World champs back on form as Gstaad Grand Slam heats up

10.07.2014 18:57:14
Spanish pair out to match compatriots achievements in Gstaad

10.07.2014 17:19:15
Czechs show renewed belief to boss pool in Gstaad

10.07.2014 14:20:36
Emanuel Eminence Enhanced

09.07.2014 19:20:17
Swiss delight as women lay down early marker at Gstaad Grand Slam

09.07.2014 18:55:52
Borger and Buthe seeking continued improvement in Gstaad

09.07.2014 18:16:13
Student and master roll into Gstaad main draw

09.07.2014 15:57:19
Stefanie Schwaiger seeks steady substitute

08.07.2014 16:42:25
Polish Pair Procure Pool Play Place

08.07.2014 15:28:12
Maria Antonelli and Juliana pushed hard, but into Gstaad main draw

06.07.2014 15:31:51
FIVB World Tour resumes in Switzerland at FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam

04.07.2014 20:30:30
TALKIN’ STATS: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—July 4

30.06.2014 08:08:38
Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—June 30

30.06.2014 01:12:44
FIVB World Tour takes week off after three straight FIVB Grand Slams

30.01.2014 16:44:15
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ready for more highlights in record-breaking year