London, Great Britain, August 11, 2012 – FIVB President Jizhong Wei has stated his desire that the FIVB continues to lead the way in using technology to help improve volleyball.
The FIVB is trialling new technology to record whether services that reach speeds of over 100-kilometres an hour, land in or out and to rule on whether or not players touched the net.
President Wei used his end of London 2012 Olympic Games press conference to announce that he hoped such measures would be put in place by the time of the next FIVB World Championships in 2014 in Poland for men and Italy, for women.
“We will improve and use new technology on the line and above the net to solve the problem of in or out, or if there is a touch,” Mr Wei said. “As an international sports federation we have a responsibility to guarantee fair play to the players.
“We have to serve the players, not to control them all the time, because the athletes undertook four years of scientific and hard training and we cannot allow one mistake from the judge or referee to make the difference. At the FIVB we recognise our responsibility.”
Judging from the response of fans in London to both volleyball and beach volleyball, both disciplines of the sport are in rude health. They both regularly filled their 15,000 capacity venues with fans whose support helped place the two disciplines among the most popular sports of London 2012.
Even though both disciplines are relatively new sports to the British public, the hope is that British children will be inspired by events they have seen at Horse Guard’s Parade and Earl’s Court and continue to drive the development of the two disciplines in schools and clubs around Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“The British public, now they know volleyball and beach volleyball,” Mr Wei said. “They are very good spectators because volleyball and beach volley were not very well developed, but with the best players of volleyball and beach volleyball in London they presented a world class show.
“Nearly every day volleyball and beach volleyball were full. This means the British people have high sports knowledge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the spectators who have come and encouraged our players. This is the most important legacy of the London Olympic Games.”
For the first time in modern Olympics Britain was given berths for their men’s and women’s volleyball teams as well as a male and female pairing in beach volleyball.
The women’s volleyball team secured their first ever Olympic victory, over Algeria, but the men’s team were defeated in their five matches.
It was a similar story in the beach volleyball. Women’s team Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney won their opening match, but could not progress beyond the lucky loser’s round. The men’s team of Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson exited following pool play after recording three losses from three.
Even so, Mr Wei is confident that with the right investment and support from their national federation Britain can continue to make strides in the sport.
“They have achieved great progress in four years, in a place where a high volleyball competition doesn’t exist,” Mr Wei said. “I met the captain of the women’s team and the best players from the men’s team and the women’s beach volleyball team and I have already discussed with the England federation president and the Scotland federation president (about investment).
“The FIVB is ready to continue our support. I asked them to present as soon as possible a program and if our steering committee approves it, this money will be delivered.”
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