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Dr Acosta closed “the best ever” FIVB Congress

Buenos Aires, Sept 23, 2002 – Dr Ruben Acosta who had just been reelected President of the Fédération International de Volleyball, on Monday evening closed what he called “the best Congress ever held by FIVB”.
Dr Acosta added in his closing address that the three-day meeting was “historical” because of a record attendance of 177 countries out of 217 affiliated national federations), the adoption of a Code of Conduct and the implementation of modern structures.
“I have the pleasure to say that what we have accomplished here is the signal of a new era in our sport”, he said.
He also said that “unity, media and participation” have been the key words of the Congress and that he will enforce the freedom of speech but only within the FIVB which has to remain “a crystal house”.
He then thanked “all the people that have made this Congress possible”. He cited the “diamond value staff” of the FIVB headquarters, Mrs. Malú Acosta “who headed a professional preparation of the Congress” , the Argentinean Organising Committee, the Sheraton hotel management and all the delegates.
The 29th FIVB World Congress will be held in Portugal in a city yet to be named, less that a month before the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

Dr. Ruben Acosta Re-elected FIVB President

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Sept. 23, 2002 – Dr. Ruben Acosta was on Monday re-elected President of the Federation International de Volleyball on Monday here in the Argentina capital. The election was held on the third day of the 28th FIVB World Congress.
Dr. Acosta, who has been FIVB President since 1984, was re-elected by an overwhelming majority. Of the 177 votes cast by delegates or by proxy, 162 were “yes” votes, nine were against and six invalid. The result is a huge vote of confidence for Dr. Acosta’s work with the world’s biggest sports federation and for his hopes and visions for the coming four years. Dr Acosta said that this would be his last term as FIVB President and said it was now time to encourage a new generation of leaders for the Federation.
“We have had a very successful Congress,” Dr. Acosta said at a press conference after the General Elections. We had voting representation from 177 of our 217 National Federations and that is a record for our organization”. Dr Acosta thanked Argentina and the city of Buenos Aires for their hospitality. Speaking of the economic difficulties that Argentina has been experiencing, Dr. Acosta said: “We were sure, with the strength of the people of Argentina, that they would manage everything. We bet on Argentina and we won.”
In summarizing the most important decisions made by the Congress, Dr. Acosta said that the FIVB would work closely together with the United Nations program that integrated sport as an element for peace and development with Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor to UN secretary-General Kofi Annan. He pledged to support to program with $1 million of funding in addition to funding already assigned to the established Sports Aid Program (SAP).
Regarding the Code of Conduct accepted by the Congress, President Acosta said although several countries had expressed concern that the Code may be in conflict with individual national law, he underlined that problems involving volleyball and the federation should be solved within the sport. This document has already drawn praise for the IOC.
The decision to accept an integrate a new volleyball competition based on the height restriction of players (1.85m for men and 1.75m for women) was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Congress and the Federation will immediately begin plans to establish this new format.
“This will open a new dimension form Volleyball,” said President Acosta. He underlined that none of the rules would change, nor would the court or net dimensions.
“The open competition as it presently exists would remain the Olympic discipline,” the President assured.
The new height limit format is yet to be officially named
The FIVB remained committed to the election of women within the Federation. Mrs. Rebecca Howard, USA and Mrs. Rita Subowo, Indonesia were elected to the FIVB Executive Committee (2002-2006)
The Executive Committee comprises:
FIVB President: Dr. Ruben Acosta, Mexico
Africa: Dr. Amr Elwani, Egypt
Asia: Mr. Jizhong Wei, China; Mr. Adityan Sivanthi, India; Mr. Saleh Bin Nasser, Saudi Arabia
Europe: Mr. Vincente Araujo, Portugal; Mr. Yuri Chesnokov, Russia; Mr. Theofanis Tsiokris, Greece; Mr. Andre Meyer, Luxemburg.
South America: Mr. Ari Graςa
NORCECA: Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, Dominican Republic
Women Members: Mrs. Rebecca Howard, USA; Mrs. Rita Subowo, Indonesia
Representing the World Championships 2006: Prof. Hiroshi Toyoda, Japan

Congress agrees unanimously to introduce height limit Volleyball

Buenos Aires, Argentina – The 28th FIVB World Congress on Sunday unanimously agreed to introduce a new category of competition for players of a restricted height, namely men players under 1.85m and women under 1.75m.
The competition - yet to be officially named - and the game format will now be investigated and planned for inclusion in future sporting calendars.
No date has yet been fixed to begin the competition and to integrate it into the world championship program, but delegates from a number of countries were enthusiastic in their support of the project.
“I think this will open opportunities for many countries, especially many Asian countries, and we would be honored to host the first World Championship in 2005,” said Mrs. Rita Subowo, President of the Indonesian Volleyball Federation.
Dr. Ruben Acosta, President of the FIVB thanked Mrs. Subowo and said that the FIVB would consider Indonesia’s offer of hosting the inaugural world championship in this new discipline. He appealed to National Federations and continental confederations to encourage the establishment of height limit competitions as soon as possible.
Some competitions in this format are already played in several countries and Brazil will commence an eight team league in the category from 2003.
According to statistics quoted by Dr. Annie Peytavin, FIVB Medical Commission President, some 97 percent of the world’s population is under this height limit. This competition therefore opens immense opportunities for the global spread of volleyball.
The decision came on the second day of the Congress, the bi-annual meeting of the five continental confederations and 217 affiliated National Federations that sets policy and makes decisions for this, the world’s biggest international sports federation.

FIVB announces host countries for U-21 and U-18 Championship
Buenos Aires, Argentina – The Sports Events Department of the Federation International de Volleyball have announced the host countries and tentative dates for the U-21 and U-18 Volleyball Championships for 2003
Details as follows:
• Men’s Under-21 Championship in Iran, August 23-30
• Women’s Under-21 Championship in Malaysia, Sept 6-14
• Boy’s Under-18 Championship in Thailand, July 18-27
• Girl’s Under-21 Championship in Kenya, August 3-17
Please note: dates are only tentative at this stage

Television Commission call for enhanced broadcasting techniques for Volleyball

Buenos Aires, Argentina – President of the Television and new Media Commission, Luis Fernando Lima addressed the 28th World Congress of the Federation International de Volleyball on Sunday. He called for improvements in the techniques of television coverage for volleyball, saying that the sport and television can be natural partners.
Mr. Lima presented a series of video clips to illustrate how the sport can be better enhanced for television.
“Do you want to attract thousands of people into the stadiums, or do you want to attract millions of television viewers?” Mr. Lima asked the delegates. He said it was important to design the style of the game to allow time for slow motion shots and special camera effects that would give the viewers a better understanding of the game.
“Volleyball is very quick and if viewers don’t understand the game, then they miss some components of it. We need to have ways of showing people special shots. The broadcast has to include both information and emotion,” he said.
Among the proposals put to the Congress were allowing the use of microphones to capture coach and players’ comment during time-outs, allowing a hand-held camera to move freely behind the player’s bench and to encourage the use of more action shots, shots of facial expressions to capture emotion and close-ups of players, with audio.
Mr. Lima’s presentation was made on the second day of this three day event at this, the biannual decision- and policy-making process for the FIVB, the world’s biggest sports federation.

Adolf Ogi, UN Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace congratulates FIVB

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Mr. Adolf Ogi, the Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sport for Development and Peace on Sunday addressed the FIVB 28th World Congress to present the UN program for using sport as a means to promote peace and called for the Federation to help the world body with its work.
The former president of the Swiss Federation also offered his congratulations to the FIVB for their work with sport on a global scale.
“Kofi Annan wants you to know that he is thankful for what you are doing with the greatest sports organization, and it is no wonder with such a president!” Mr. Ogi told the Congress. “Ït is incredible what he has done through sport, with volleyball, and I must say congratulations. Well done!”
Mr. Ogi also congratulated the FIVB for dedicating their Congress and the World Championship to peace. “The Secretary General and myself are most impressed,” he said.
Mr. Ogi’s address, where he outlined the plan for all United Agencies to integrate sports into their programs as a way of promoting peace, was greeted with a standing ovation by the delegates of the five continental Confederations and the 217National Federations here to make decision for the world’s biggest sports federation.
President Dr. Ruben Acosta responded, pledging the FIVB support to the program.
“In assuming our social responsibilities I suggest that we take up this challenge,” Dr. Acosta. “Let us offer our sport to bring some kind of relief and to help show a little more understanding and peace.
Dr. Acosta’s statement was greeted with a round of applause and the move was adopted unanimously.
The UN General Assembly has nominated 21st Sept as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence and has called on all nations to cease fighting for one day.
“This is not a lot of time,”said Mr. Ogi. “But it is enough time to stop thinking. You in the world of Volleyball are showing the example

Packed first day of delegates

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 21, 2002 – Delegates to the 28th World Congress of the Federation de Volleyball on Saturday dealt with a full day of business in the opening session of the three day event, dealing with the complex business of one of the biggest international sports federations in the world.
On the first day they heard reports from President Ruben Acosta on the affairs of the Federation over the past two years. The Financial Report was also tabled in the morning session.
Delegates from the five Continental Confederations and 217 affiliated National Federations were brought up to date on the status of the FIVB sporting properties, such as World league, World Grand Prix and Beach Volleyball. They also heard of activities at the Federation’s Development Centers, the Sports Aid programs to Developing Countries and the Volleyball World Vision 2008 – a long range plan to map out where the sport is heading and to encourage improved activities from grassroots level to international competition.
The delegates also debated the FIVB Code of Conduct, a document that has already drawn praise from the International Olympic Committee. The Code of Conduct, which is to be universally adopted by the national federations, has four core principles – dignity, integrity, respect and loyalty.
Other business handled on the first day involved amendments to the FIVB Constitution.
The Congress continues through to Monday, when General Elections are to be held, including for office of President.
President Acosta, who has held office since 1984, is the only candidate, but has insisted that he will not accept election by acclamation and that the delegates have the right to cast their vote by secret ballot.

Registration date extended for Olympic participation for Beach Volleyball

Buenos Aires, Argentina – The 28th World Congress of the Federation de Volleyball on Saturday agreed to extend the date for registration for participation in the 2004 Olympic tournament in beach volleyball. Closing date will now be October 30, with late registrations accepted up to November 30th, on payment of a fine of $US1,000.
In addition, the Congress also agreed to respond to a number of National Olympic committees who had expressed disagreement with the Olympic qualification process by letter in order to clarify the stand of the Federation on this matter. Countries involved are Britain, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Mexico, Austria and Australia.
The qualification system proposes a maximum of four athletes (two teams each for men and women) for the host country and foreign countries, with a total overall participation of 24 men’s and 24 women’s team in the Olympic tournament.
There is also provision for wild card entries to ensure participation by a team of each continent, if not already qualified with a team within the best 23 pairs. Such a wild card would be granted to the highest ranked eligible pair from that continent regardless of their position in the world ranking.
Continental Championships are to be recognized by the FIVB to count as one of the best eight results for the purposes of Olympic Qualification.
The delegates to the Congress heard a detailed report on the development of FIVB’s second Olympic discipline presented by Mr. Christopher St- John Smith, President of the Beach Volleyball World Council and Mr. Angelo Squeo, Beach Volleyball Coordinator. The following rule changes were approved by the delegates.
• Court dimensions to be 8m x 16m for competitions between 2002-2004, including the Olympic Games in Athens, with a minimum of 5m and a maximum of 6m free area around the court.
• The length of the net to be 9m with posts at 0.70-1.00m from the sidelines
• To adopt a rally point system, best of three sets, the first two played to 21 points, with a third tiebreaker to 15 points. All sets to be won by a margin of two points.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 20, 2002 - The Federation International de Volleyball on Saturday presented FIVB Silver Cross Awards for distinguished service to three long-time members to the International Volleyball Family.
The awards were presented at the opening session of the 28th World Congress by FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta, who personally thanked each of the recipients for their dedication to the Federation and their hard work over many years.
The three recipients are Mr. Franz Schmied of Switzerland, Dr. Endre Holvay of Hungary and Professor Qi Wei Ma of China. Professor Qi was unable to be present at the ceremony due to ill health, and his award was accepted on his behalf by Mr. Wei Jizhong, President of the Asian Volleyball Confederation.
Mr. Schmied was elected an FIVB Board Member in 1976. In 1987 he became the FIVB Treasurer up until 2001. He has served as President of the Swiss Volleyball Federation, and Member of the Swiss Olympic Committee and is internationally recognized for his contribution to volleyball as well has having been honoured by his own country, Switzerland. From 1989 until 2000, Mr. Schmied was Managing Director of the World League. He is a former player and coach. He continues to serve the FIVB in the capacity of Controller.
Dr. Endre Holvay is one of the Founding Fathers of the Hungarian Volleyball Federation, where he served as a player, coach, referee and ultimately as its President on two separate terms from 1955 until 1964 and then in 1974 until 1980. Dr. Holvay, the long-term President of the Refereeing Commission, is considered to be the Refereeing Guru”” of Volleyball. He has twice served as FIVB Vice President and has been a member of the Hungarian National Olympic Committee since 1965. Dr. Holvay has also lent his support to change as the sport of volleyball has evolved.
Professor Qi Wei Ma of China is a distinguished figure who has made a valuable contribution to the FIVB and International Volleyball. He is also credited with bringing six-a-side volleyball to China and is a most highly honoured sports personality, having been decorated by the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese Olympic Committee.
As President of the FIVB Rules of the Game Commission since 1984 and Vice President of the Chinese Federation, Professor Ma applies his incisive intellect and his scientific skills to his work, a practise that is much appreciated by Players and Administrators alike.
This is the first time that the FIVB has honoured its members with the Silver Cross Award.

Kiribati Granted Full Membership

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 21, 2002 – The nation of Kiribati was on Saturday granted full membership of the Federation International Volleyball Federation in the opening session fo the 28th FIVB World Congress.
In the same session, Montserrat, the island state that was devastated by a volcano eruption several years ago was withdrawn because of last of activity. Kiribati thus becomes the 217th member country of the Federation, one of the biggest sporting federations in the world.
FIVB General Manager Jean-Pierre Seppey welcomed Kiribati, whose delegates were present at the opening session, to the International Volleyball Family. At the same time he assured Montserrat that “the doors remain open” should the situation change in that country.
The FIVB, with its five Continental Confederations and 217 affiliated National Federations, is one of the world’s biggest international sports federations

Opening session in the Presence of distinguished guests
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept 21, 2002 – The 28th World Congress of the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) opened on Saturday in the Argentina capital to herald the beginning of three days of policy and decision-making with the delegates of its five Continental confederations and 217 National Federations.

President Dr. Ruben Acosta welcomed distinguished guests including the Argentine Secretary of State for Sports and Tourism, Mr. Daniel Scioli, Mr. Adolf Ogi, former President of the Swiss Federation and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Matters of Sport for Peace, Mr. Antonio Rodriguez, President of the Argentina Olympic Committee, Mr. Juan Jose Alvarez, Argentina’s Minister of Justice and Mr. Anibal Ibarra, Mayor of Buenos Aires.

“After 20 years it is an honor for us to host the FIVB Congress and the World Championship,” said State Secretary Scioli. “Sport for us in Argentina is the same as culture and we hope that this Congress will show the world argentine hospitality.”

The 2002 Men’s World Championship will be held in six cities in Argentina (Sept 28-Oct. 13).

President Acosta, who has held this office at the FIVB since 1984, addressed the Congress in the opening session, presenting a detailed report of the activities of the Federation and its finances.

“We are now harvesting the positive results of our long-term collective efforts of a successfully implemented financial strategy,” Dr. Acosta said, pledging to continue to reinvest the financial resources of the Federation back into the sport of volleyball in keeping with the policy to bring the sport to as many people throughout the world.

The World Congress continues in Buenos Aires until Monday, when General Elections with also be held.

FIVB and Mikasa extend their long-term partnership

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 20, 2002 - The Federation International de Volleyball on Friday signed a major agreement with their long-term partners and suppliers, the Japanese ball manufacturers, Mikasa. The partnership has now been extended up to an including the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing
Mikasa is the FIVB’s official game ball and is used at all of their major international competitions. The
company employs high-tech research in order to remain on the cutting edge of technology in this field. The Japanese company has been a staunch supporter of the FIVB since 1978.
“We are very happy to finalise this extension to our long-term partnership with Mikasa. They have been our friends and supporters for many years,” said FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta.
The President of Mikasa, Mr. Fumitoshi Teramoto, underlined that his company was also pleased to extend the partnership.
“”I am very happy with the development of volleyball and beach volleyball throughout the world, and to continue our relationship with the FIVB to 2008 and beyond,” Mr. Fumitoshi said.
The signing of the agreement took place here in Buenos Aires on the eve of the 28th FIVB World Congress, between Dr. Acosta and Mr. Teramoto, in the presence of Mrs. Teramoto, Mrs. Malu Acosta, senior officials of Mikasa and members of the FIVB Executive.

Argentina’s Secretary of State for Tourism and Sport to open FIVB World Congress

Buenos Aires, September 20, 2002 - Daniel Scioli, Secretary of State for Tourism and Sport in the Argentinean government, will officially open the 28th FIVB World Congress on Saturday in Buenos Aires.
Mr Scioli, a former world champion in offshore motorboat racing, will speak on behalf of President Eduardo Duhalde. The Argentine president was unable to attend the opening ceremony of the three-day congress because of a heavy work schedule.
More than 200 delegates from most of the 217 affiliated countries to the FIVB have registered for the Congress, which will probably set a world record for participation in an international sport institution, according to FIVB President Dr Ruben Acosta.
The FIVB was founded in 1947 and has it’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Argentina is playing host to both the 28th World Congress and the Men’s World Championship (Sept 28-Oct 13)

FIVB 28TH World Congress to be biggest ever

Buenos Aires, Argentina -  Sept 19, 2002 - Just one week before the opening of the 28th International Federation de Volleyball’s World Congress, registration figures indicate that this will be the biggest yet in the 55-years history of the Federation. Of the FIVB’’s 217 affiliated National Federations, 200 will be represented, either directly or by proxy by some 220 delegates. And with registrations still arriving, the final number could be even greater.
This Congress, where the International Volleyball Family will take stock of past activities and to introduce a long-term plan for the future, is the most important event in the 2002 calendar for this, one of the biggest sports federations in the world.
The Congress last came to Argentina in 1982 and returns on the eve of the 2002 Men s World Championship to be hosted in six Argentine cities and must take, within the framework of it s democratic structure, many important decisions. Some of the matters that will be addressed include amendments to the FIVB Code of Conduct, a document that has already drawn praise from the IOC, and introducing “”Vision 2008 - an ambitious program that maps out a future for the development of Volleyball, in all its forms, across the globe in the coming years.
During the packed, three-day program, the sport of Volleyball, and it's influence throughout the world will be aired, debated, reported on and planned for, in front of the attending international delegates. The program draws to a close on the final day with elections - for the FIVB President (2002-2006) and Members of the Board of Administration for the same period.
Dr. Rubin Acosta, who took over from the founding President Paul Libaud in 1984, has agreed to stand again for the position of President. However as the sole candidate, he has refused to be appointed by acclamation, insisting that all delegates have the right to cast their vote by secret ballot.
A Press Conference will be held at 1230 on the final day, Sept 23, at the Congress venue, (Hotel Sheraton, Buenos Aires), immediately following the General Elections.

Volleyball and Beach Volleyball among most watched sports
on TV at Sydney Olympics

Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 19, 2002 – Volleyball and beach volleyball enjoyed one of the highest TV world audiences during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, according to recently announced results of a survey by a pool of TV Olympic rights holders.
This previously unpublished data was used for the first time recently when the International Olympic Committee opened the way for a modification of the content of the Olympic program for the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The survey places volleyball and beach volleyball in fifth place out of the 28 sports on the Olympic program. This confirms the fast growing success of the two FIVB disciplines and their tremendous impact on the public.
Volleyball and beach volleyball finished with the narrowest margin (just three hours difference) behind fourth-placed basketball. The leading three individual sports were athletics, swimming and gymnastics.
World TV coverage (in number of hours) during the Sydney Games:
Athletics 794 hours, swimming 643, gymnastics 363, basketball 334, volleyball 331, cycling 255, football 242, tennis 206, equestrian 199, boxing 144, rowing 141, field hockey 108, canoe-kayak 107, handball 88, judo 87, wrestling 85, weightlifting 84, baseball 78, fencing 58, triathlon 58, sailing 45, softball 45, table tennis 44, shooting 36, taekwondo 33, badminton 30, archery 14, modern pentathlon 3.
With FIVB’s two Olympic sports currently enjoying a boom in popularity, media coverage and television audiences at other major international events, it is expected that the television figures at the Athens 2004 Olympics will be even more favourable for the FIVB.
The international “Volleybal Family” including FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta, are presently in the Argentine capital for the 28th World Congress of the federation.
Founded in 1947, the FIVB, with its five Continental Confederations and 217 affiliated National Federations is one of the biggest international sports federations in the world.