PRESS RELEASE 24.06.2005


FIVB & Beach Volleyball Players Close Ranks

BERLIN, GERMANY, June 24, 2005 - After a series of meetings at the site of this week's US$1-million SWATCH-FIVB World Championships powered by Smart, FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta Hernandez and Beach Volleyball players have reached an agreement that favours the continued success of SWATCH-FIVB World Tour and SWATCH-FIVB World Championships, powered by Smart, to further the growth of the sport.

Attending the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships as the President of the 218 national volleyball federations that represents over 35-million volleyball players world-wide, Dr. Acosta praised the German Volleyball Federation for "its great organization of the biggest event in Beach Volleyball outside of the Olympics." For the first three days of the competition, the event has attracted over 40,000 fans and has been viewed on television in more than 140 countries.

Dr. Acosta, Werner von Moltke, the German Volleyball Federation President, and Beach Volleyball players participating in an afternoon press conference above the 8,000-seat Schloßplatz centre court reported to the press on the outcome of the two days of open exchange of opinions. "Our meetings helped to improve the lines of communication between the players and the international volleyball federation. We met with player representatives from each gender in which we maintained the FIVB's principle of free and open conversation about issues associated with the growth of Beach Volleyball world-wide," said Dr. Acosta.

Three "major" items were agreed with the players, including the creation of Beach Volleyball Player's Commission for each gender. The commissions will be made up of seven players each and will meet at least once a year in Lausanne, Switzerland in a date to be determined.

Dr. Acosta stated that the International Volleyball Federation "will continue to be open to receive and to study all player proposals for improving player's sporting conditions on the World Tour. We have created a Player's Beach Volleyball Commission for each gender that will give the players direct access to the FIVB decision-making process in which the FIVB's Board of Administration still has the rights to make the final decision on any proposal."

Natalie Cook, the Australian gold medallist from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, said "the Player's Commission will give all the players an opportunity to better express their ideas while they can focus on the game." Cook spoke at the afternoon press conference along with Olympians Julien Prosser of Australia and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands. Each player expressed their strong will to support the agreement, lauded the organizers of 2005 World Championships event and praised the open attitude of FIVB President Dr. Acosta, his wife and Angelo Squeo, the FIVB Beach Volleyball Director.

The Player's Commission will select a representative from the Commision members itself or either a member of a national volleyball association or a former Volleyball or Beach Volleyball player to become a member of the FIVB's Beach Volleyball Permanent Committee, who also will become members of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council.

The FIVB made clear that all players will participate in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour under the same conditions and that no one will be given special privileges

Dr. Acosta also noted "it is the FIVB's vision to multiply national tours and to also ensure that they are able to co-exist with the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. Along with the Player's Commission, which shall meet directly with me without any intermediary, I will take an active part in developing a plan for world-wide participation for all players at all levels."

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