The 2012 NORCECA beach volleyball circuit concluded in Aruba
on December 2 with the record-breaking 11th double-gender
event of the year. Previously, the highest number of stages in
a single season was 10, in 2010, providing another sign of the
growing strength of a competition which will become even
bigger in 2013.
This year’s circuit will feature 17 tournaments, as Arnaldo Sanchez,
director of the competition, explained when reflecting on beach
volleyball’s rising popularity in the region. “Beach volleyball continues
to grow within NORCECA and the popularity of the game keeps
expanding,” Sanchez said. “Also, the level of the competition is getting
higher and higher, contributing to the development of our players. We
have scheduled 17 double-gender tournaments in 2013, with $16,000
total prize money. Mexico will host seven events, and for the first time
Costa Rica will host one of the stops.”
Beach volley circuit goes from
strength to strength
The 2012 competition featured players from 31 different national
federations facing each other in 10 different venues – Aruba, Cayman
Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico (two), Puerto
Rico, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.
Puerto Rico’s Roberto ‘Rafu’ Rodriguez emerged as the outstanding
player of the men’s competition by winning four gold medals. Blessed
with a hard, accurate serve and good blocking ability, the 26-year-old
won the first three events with three different partners: after prevailing in
the Cayman Islands in March with Erick Haddock, he won in Guatemala
and the Dominican Republic, alongside Pablo Guzman and Orlando
Irizarry respectively. Rodriguez then paired up again with Haddock to
triumph on home sand in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico at the end of August.
Puerto Rico’s Yarleen Santiago
Martha Revuelta of Mexico
Wil Montgomery of USA