CEV Board meeting sets the tone for XXXIV General Assembly
CEV President André Meyer was particularly happy to recall that 54 out of 55 national federations affiliated to CEV will be attending the Congress being represented by their respective delegates or by proxy. The XXXIV CEV General Assembly will be attended also by FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graca F° and by some other illustrious guests, including the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Mr. Frank Jensen.
After approving the agenda for the Congress, the Board of Administration reviewed the outcome of the many competitions held these past months, with a focus on the women’s European Championship whose final round was completed just a couple of weeks ago in Berlin. That Championship broke all previous records with a total of 137,000 spectators in attendance and the matches televised in more than 130 countries all over the world. As for the men’ competition, the 2013 CEV VELUX EuroVolley got started this past September 20 in four cities (Odense, Herning, Gdansk, and Gdynia) and the Playoffs and 1/4 finals played on Tuesday and Wednesday did set the tone for the memorable weekend in Copenhagen where Parken stadium will be transformed – in only 24 hours and involving more than 200 workers and volunteers – into a Volleyball arena for the experience of a lifetime for fans from as many as 33 countries including Australia, Japan, and Canada.
The CEV Board discussed also pros and cons taken from the last edition of the CEV Volleyball European League. The format of the competition is most likely to be reviewed for the next edition coming up in 2014 with the introduction of home and away matches in order to make sure that the attendance corresponds to the quality of the performances displayed by the participating teams.
The members of the CEV Board were also briefed about plans and discussions ongoing for the next edition of the FIVB World League whose format is still to be determined.
The many activities carried out to support the development of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in Europe were also a theme: a detailed report on this topic will be delivered within the frame of the CEV General Assembly but five development centers distributed across Europe (Azerbaijan, England, Italy, Luxembourg, plus an additional “hub” in one of the Nordic countries) will be the pillars for the work that will be done to support and help the growth of the sport and improve on the involvement of the young generations. When it comes to development at grassroots level, the four Zonal Associations (BVA, EEVZA, MEVZA, and NEVZA) as well as the Small Countries Division (SCD) are also playing a vital role with their projects specifically addressed to the youth and junior categories. Their reports will be submitted to the CEV General Assembly but Mr. Meyer was very happy with the quality of their work as well as with the commitment they have been showing in recent times.
The Board reviewed also an analysis of the rule tests performed this past summer as the European League did see all sets played up to 21 points – with only one technical time-out called after reaching 12 points – while two Beach Volleyball tournaments did see teams play in a best-of-five format, with every set up to 11 points. Moreover, the age group Championships (U18, U20, and U22) did provide coaches with the possibility to assist their young players during time-outs, thereby following on the example set by other sports.
Among other things, the Board did also approve the format for the next edition of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup starting next year and whereby teams will be able to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In comparison with the inaugural edition that was completed shortly before the 2012 London Olympics, there will be more tournaments so as to continue with the extensive promotion of Beach Volleyball that this competition has already contributed to and in order to exploit its Olympic flavor to sparkle a real Beach Volleyball fever all over Europe.