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The 31st FIVB World Congress in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates was a historical event in that it was the fi-
nal Congress chaired by long-time FIVB President Dr.
Rubén Acosta, who stepped down later in 2008 after
24 years in charge.
Dr. Acosta told the Congress he trusted his succes-
sor, Mr. Jizhong Wei, would breathe new life into the
Federation and wished him all the best. The decision
to make Mr. Wei President was approved by the Con-
gress and his term was set to last the Olympic cycle
with new elections being held in 2012.
In other developments, the General Assembly una-
nimously approved an important change in Volley-
ball rules of having up to 14 players on each team,
with two compulsory liberos on the list. Dr. Acosta
said the rule change, which is an increase from 12
players and does not allow both liberos on court at
the same time, will be mandatory for all competitions
starting from January 1, 2009. Confederations and
National Federations were free to implement the
rule after the Olympic Games.
The Congress also agreed to empower the FIVB Bo-
ard to decide the immediate use of a lower-pressure
ball in order to increase the length of rallies and for
the MVA200 to be the official game ball during the
Beijing Olympic Games.
The General Assembly passed the proposal that an
Olympic qualification event similar to that in Volley-
ball be added to the FIVB Beach Volleyball Olympic
qualification process from 2012 for all teams who
have completed participation in eight SWATCH FIVB
World Tour tournaments without qualifying for the
Olympic Games. The event will qualify three teams
per gender and remain under exclusive FIVB televi-
sion and marketing control.
Congress approved the Board of Administration de-
cision regarding International Transfer Certificates
(ITCs) to help the development of local players, pro-
tect the identity of National Leagues and stop mono-
polies of financially strong clubs. The decision was
later retracted on the advice of legal and humanita-
rian experts, but the FIVB continues to encourage
clubs to keep the number of imports to a minimum.
It was reaffirmed to the General Assembly that Na-
tional Leagues are allowed to have a playing season
of seven months between October 15 and May 15 of
the following year.
The Congress agreed with and confirmed the conti-
nental allocation of places for the 2010 FIVB World
Championships after the end of the application win-
dow for the tournament on June 30, 2008.
The election of Russia’s Stanislav Shevchenko as
Board of Administration Member from Europe was
endorsed by the Congress.
The General Assembly also heard progress reports
from the organizers of upcoming tournaments.
The future
of the FIVB is planned
The 31st FIVB World Congress
FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta talks during the 31st FIVB World Congress in Dubai
Mr. Wei Jizhong (China) will take charge
during the interim period until 2012
Delegates attending the 31st FIVB World Congress in Dubai