Record-breaking participation figures for 2017-2018 CEV Youth Continental Cup
As many as 38 national federations registered to participate in the men’s competition, with the figure standing even higher – at 41 – for the women’s category. Numbers which testify that beach volleyball is growing at all levels in Europe and the youngsters are ready to take to the sand, compete and hope to qualify for their ‘first’ Olympic dream. Back in 2013, 32 and 34 national federations had participated in the men’s and women’s zonal phase of the inaugural CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup.
The first stage of the competition will take place in the summer of 2017 with eight tournaments in as many countries. In order to provide Europe’s stars in the making with the perfect stage on which to perform, most of the events will run in conjunction with CEV Satellite tournaments and/or zonal/national tour stops.
The competition will begin in Moscow in early June - the last of eight events is scheduled for mid-August in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The top two sides from each pool will progress to the final stage of the competition due to take place in 2018. National federations were seeded in groups of eight as per the current U18 European Country Ranking and subsequently drawn across the eight pools (A-H).
Eleven national federations are making their first appearance in the Youth Continental Cup – eight of these (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Republic of Moldova, Scotland, Slovenia and Sweden) have registered for participation in both genders. Monaco and Liechtenstein will make their maiden appearance in the men’s competition as Kosovo and the Former Y.R. of Macedonia will also participate for the first time in the women’s category.
The programme for the coming months reads as follows:
Pool A in Moscow (RUS): June 3-4
Pool B in Kharkiv (UKR): July 8-9
Pool C in Mersin (TUR): July 29-30
Pool D in Estonia: July 8-9 (venue and dates TBC)
Pool E in Ljubljana (SLO): July 21-22
Pool F in Larnaca (CYP): August 5-6
Pool G in Siofok (HUN): July 15-16
Pool H in Vaduz (LIE): August 12-13
As well as hosting one of eight CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup events, the cities of Kharkiv (Ukraine), Siofok (Hungary) and Larnaca (Cyprus) will also play hosts to CEV Satellites on the same dates – with the tournaments in Ukraine and Hungary being men’s only competitions and the one in Cyprus featuring only women. 'Senior' CEV tournaments have also been confirmed at a number of other venues – i.e. Mersin, Ljubljana and Vaduz.
Beach volleyball made its first appearance in the programme of the Youth Olympics in 2014 in Nanjing, China where Russia’s Artem Yarzutkin/Oleg Stoyanovskiy won gold in the men’s competition and Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt/Sarah Schneider settled for the bronze medal in the women’s tournament.