Preview 2014 - Age-Group World Championships set path to further glory
The FIVB U23 World Championships return for a second year after a successful debut in 2013, while there is a new tournament at U17 level. In between those categories are long-time favourites, the World Championships at U19 and U21 level.
All three defending champions are eligible to defend their titles, while the inaugural champions will be decided at U17 level.
The FIVB's emphasis on growth and opportunity has been the spur behind the introduction of the U23 World Championships last year and the U17 World Championships in 2014. FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° has stressed the need to give athletes around the world a chance to participate on the global stage. The introduction of these two new age-group tournaments comes on the back of the success of the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup and is at the same time that the FIVB Volleyball World League and FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix expand to involve a record number of participating countries.
The future make up of the FIVB age-group tournaments will see beach volleyball and volleyball alternate in years, with beach volleyball adapting to being held every two years starting from 2014 having being held annually previously.
The winners of each of the age-group tournaments will still win, not only the prize of becoming world champions but also a wildcard to participate in an FIVB World Tour tournament as per previous years.
With a ground breaking record number of tournaments and prize money already on offer for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2014, age-group eyes will be on Myslowice in Poland, which will once again host the FIVB U23 World Championships, from June 10-15. It will be the fourth time that Myslowice has hosted an FIVB age group World Championships after the venue successfully hosted the U19 and U21 World Championships in 2006 and 2007 and last year’s inaugural U23 World Championships.
A further age-group World Championship has been added to the 2014 beach volleyball calendar - the FIVB U17 World Championships. This tournament has been introduced to provide a pathway for the younger stars of the world to get even more international experience on the road to senior level competition.
Larnaka in Cyrus will play host to the 13th edition of the 2014 FIVB U21 World Championships from July 22-27, two years on from having hosted the U19 edition.
Portugal’s second largest city, Porto meanwhile will host the U19 World Championships for the third time and for the second consecutive year when it welcomes the world’s best U19 players from July 30-August 3.