Category Archives: Beach Volleyball

CEV confirm dates of 2020 under-age European Beach Volleyball Championships

While players enjoy some well-deserved rest before they start their preparations for the eagerly anticipated Olympic season, the Beach Volleyball calendar for 2020 is slowly but surely taking shape. With the relevant organisers announced a while ago, the CEV can now confirm the dates of next year’s under-age European Beach Volleyball Championships.

These events will provide the ideal stage for Europe’s stars in the making to continue with their growth and development, before they complete their transition to the ‘senior’ level of competition.

The Dutch city of Vlissingen will be hosting the 2020 edition of #EuroBeachVolleyU22 from June 3 to 6 – the event will set the tone for a few weeks of highly anticipated Beach Volleyball action in the Netherlands, since later that month Eindhoven will be playing host to the Olympic qualifying CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals.

The next ones to take centre stage will be the youngest players, with the U18 competition due to run in Antalya from July 8 to 12 – almost exactly a year after the Turkish seaside city played host to the U22 event in 2019.

Finally, the most promising U20 teams in Europe will travel to Brno (CZE) to contest ‘their’ European Championship from August 12 to 16 at a venue (see picture above) that has already hosted a truly impressive number of age-group competitions.

Scotland poised to host SCA Beach Volleyball Finals

Beach Volleyball is a fast-paced sport that is easy to learn but hard to take your eyes off. Whether it is the 120kph serves that the top players can pull out or a sneaky tip from an up-and-coming junior, Beach Volleyball forces players to be at their physical peak whilst reading an incredibly tactical game.

As such, the Scottish Volleyball Association are proud to be bringing the Small Countries Association (SCA) Beach Volleyball Finals 2019 to Perth thanks to a partnership with Perth and Kinross Council. Not only does this mean four days of international level Beach Volleyball for the people of Perth, but it also allows for the creation of a permanent inland Beach Volleyball Centre in Perth. The former bowling green at Darnhall Tennis Club is being replaced by 400 tonnes of sand in order to provide a fantastic facility for local and national athletes and members of the public alike.

The SCA brings together fifteen of the smallest Volleyball playing nations in Europe to create a more level playing field. The fifteen are made up of nations such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Andorra, Luxembourg and even the Faroe Islands and Cyprus. As this event is in Scotland, there are three guaranteed places for Scottish pairs in both the men’s and women’s competition.

Events such as the SCA Beach Finals are becoming increasingly important following the amazing announcement that Beach Volleyball will be a part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It has also been agreed to have a wild card pair in both the men’s and women’s competition from leading European Federations, these pairs will be bringing all of their experience and skills.

Qualifying for the Main Draw will take place on the Thursday afternoon, from 3pm onwards. This is a prime chance to spot some of the best up-and-coming Scottish Junior Beach Volleyball athletes before the Main Draw begins on the Friday morning. The top athletes from the pool phases will then move onto the quarterfinals and eventually semi-finals on the Saturday afternoon.

These are certainly not to be missed with teams doing their everything to make Sunday’s final. Finally, the organisers will be hoping for one more day of sun for the Finals over lunchtime on the Sunday, as sadly they can guarantee the sand but not the sun.

The event will take place from September 19 to 22. The Finals will take place on Sunday, September 22, from 1pm to 3pm.

Cyprus sports family united to grow Volleyball at all levels

While paying a visit to Cyprus, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić had a high profile meeting with Mr Phivos Zachariades, Adviser to the President of the Republic of Cyprus on Sports (see picture).

President Boričić emphasised the importance CEV is placing in the development of youth sports in Europe and the need for everyone to work together to develop a strategy for that. The CEV President shared his vision to help grow the sport of Volleyball in Cyprus beginning from the grassroots level with the help of the CEV School Project, which includes assistance in terms of provision of balls and equipment, the organisation of coaching seminars and other projects in close collaboration with CEV.

The CEV President portrayed together with the Minister of Education and Sports of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Kostas Champiaouris.

The response from everyone the CEV President has spoken to – including the President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, Dinos Michaelides, and Minister of Education and Sports, Kostas Champiaouris, has been very positive. They all ensured President Boričić that there is already a very good relationship and collaboration between their respective organisations and Cyprus Volleyball and this is certainly going to continue and expand in the future. Volleyball is the second largest sport in Cyprus (behind football) and it is in everyone’s priorities and goals.

President Boričić will remain in Cyprus for a few more days and will have yet another important meeting with the President of the Cyprus Sports Organisation, Mr Andreas Michaelides.

2 weeks to go: Ireland hosts historic Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifier

There is only two weeks to go until some of the best Beach Volleyballers in Europe descend on Bettystown for an international Beach Volleyball competition. The Continental Cup is part of the Tokyo 2020 qualifying series and it will see eight teams battle it out to progress to the second stage. The tournament is taking place in Ireland for the first time, and will become one of the first Olympic team qualifying tournaments held on the island.

The event will see Denmark, Estonia and Slovakia join the hosts in the women’s section, whilst Scotland, Ukraine and Lithuania take on Ireland in the men’s draw.  Excitement is building in the Volleyball community as final preparations take shape. President of Volleyball Ireland Grainne Culliton said, “The Continental Cup is a chance in a lifetime opportunity to see an Olympic qualifier taking place in Ireland. It will be a great weekend of sport and we urge everyone to pop to Bettystown and take a look; it is an incredibly exciting sport with some phenomenal athletes on show.”

The Ireland team will be announced next week, but there is an expectation that Izzy Carey will take the no.1 jersey for Ireland in the women’s team. Carey, who represents UCLA in the American College competition, has recently been awarded the prestigious PAC-10 Student Athlete of the Year Award as she led her Californian College to an unprecedented unbeaten season.  Carey added, “I am thrilled to be pulling on the green jersey again and representing Ireland. It gives me enormous pride and I am excited to meet up with the rest of the squad next week.”

The event will include two competition courts as well come try it activities for children and adults. Volleyball Ireland are also running fun blitzes in local schools ahead of the event as well as a Beginners session for adults on the Thursday evening.  Entry is free of charge all weekend with games all day Saturday and Sunday (June 1 and 2). Click here for further information on the Continental Cup.

Volleyball Ireland announce main sponsor for women’s national team

Volleyball Ireland are delighted to announce W.E.D Consulting Ltd as their main women’s team sponsor for 2019.

The Dublin-based consultancy firm specialises in cost management, quantity surveying, project management and specialist project-control services on development and construction projects in Ireland and abroad. The partnership will see W.E.D Consulting becoming Team Ireland’s main sponsor for the Small Countries Association Championship, which begin in Luxembourg today, May 10.

Kevin Murphy, Managing Director of W.E.D Consulting said, “We are thrilled to be involved with the Irish national team in one of the most exciting and innovative team sports there is. We see great potential for the sport and we look forward to supporting the development of Irish Volleyball at an international level. As a company, we work in a fast-paced environment where innovation, vision and growth is key – it’s great to work with an organisation that shares those values.”

Ireland kick off their campaign against the Faroe Islands at 1 pm CET before taking on auld rivals Scotland at 6 pm. The competition also sees Greenland, Northern Ireland and hot favourites Luxembourg competing. Live streaming of the matches is available through the official Facebook page of the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation.

General Manager of Volleyball Ireland Gary Stewart added, “I am delighted to have WED in place as our senior team sponsor. We are putting in place development structures that will create a pathway from participation to performance but to do that needs support and having an Irish company providing that help is a key part of the jigsaw.”

Galway Volleyball Club’s Olivia Molloy is captaining the team and commented, “I would like to personally thank Kevin and WED for their support. The girls will represent Ireland and WED with great pride over the coming days. We have prepared well all year and cannot wait to get going.”

It is a big few weeks for Volleyball Ireland with the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup coming to Bettystown over the June Bank Holiday. Eight teams from across Europe will be competing with a main headline sponsor due to be announced next week.

Seven of the Women’s Volleyball Team with Kevin Murphy of WED Consulting depart Dublin Airport to Luxembourg.

SCA General Assembly at FIVB Congress

002101_014.CEV-XXXIXAssembly SCD GA Group 2018 delegates

President Margaret Ann Fleming chaired the 2018 General Assembly of the CEV Small Countries Division in Cancun Mexico. This coincided with the historic FIVB World Congress and a first time when all the continental confederations and zones held meetings at the same time and venue as the World Body.

Despite the distance away from home 13 of our 15 Federations were represented (in person or by proxy) many with 2 delegates. The meeting was shorter than usual due to the tight timetable of the Cancun World event but nevertheless valuable discussion was had and notable changes were recognised.

The status of the SCD as a Zonal Association was confirmed by CEV and its change of title to Small Countries Association was noted and further information is to be circulated. Technical and Development Director Helgi Thorsteinsson will circulate new rules and regulations and organisers’ information in the New Year having asked for more information from delegates to be sent to him. The President stressed this was a critical aspect for the Small Countries within CEV.

220917_010.CEV-XXXIXAssembly SCD MAF ChairsTreasurer Niclas Joensen was congratulated on his work and maintaining good control over a healthy budget. Ms Fleming advised the meeting on further CEV developments, the Projects from SCA under consideration for financial support by CEV and the position of Beach Volleyball in the Small Countries scheme.

Noting that Paris is the provisional venue for the 2019 CEV Assembly, the President noted that Vaduz in Liechtenstein could be a possible venue for a longer Small Countries Association development seminar prior to that, and Ms Fleming urged delegates to think ahead and prepare nominations for elections.

SCD Beach Volleyball Finals

The CEV Small Countries Division Beach Volleyball Finals took place in Vaduz, 38446366_1893814263974871_5908966042482245632_oLiechtenstein for the second year in a row last weekend.

With a total of 28 teams competing for the Men’s and Women’s coveted prizes, Vaduz provided the fantastic setting for this competition

The teams arrived on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for a gruelling weekend of tough and fierce competition. A lot of these teams were competing in their First SCD Beach Volleyball Finals.

The competition started off on Thursday evening with 2 exciting 3 set matches between Cyprus & Ireland and Northern Ireland & Ireland. This set the tone for what was going to be a great evening of competition. A total of 6 matches were played which completed Round 1 of the Women’s Competition and made in roads into the Men’s Competition.

38506573_1897891336900497_4171576046681849856_oDay 2 started in blistering heat with the competition utilising both courts available to them. The Men’s Competition took centre stage with some tough matches between Northern Ireland & Wales and the host Liechtenstein & Northern Ireland. The hosts won a battle against their NIR counterparts to progress to Round 2. The Women’s top seeds started their tournament in the afternoon with all top 4 seeds, CYP1, CYP2 SCO and LIE, safely ensuring their passage to Round 3. Second chance matches in the Double Elimination were between SCO/NIR, IRL/LIE, IRL/CYP and IRL/MON. Scotland, Liechtenstein, Cyprus and Monaco all progressed into the next phase where they would play against the losers of Round 3.

The Men completed a very busy day of competition with their Round 2 and Losers Bracket 1 matches. Monaco caused a huge upset by defeating the CYP 2nd seeds while the top seeds from CYP and San Marino progressed to Round 3. SCO2 were defeated by LUX2 and SCO1 defeated NIR3 to move into the next bracket from the Losers side.

Day 3 again brought +30 degrees heat which started to affect the players later in the day but did not deter from the competitive mindsets of the players.

The Women’s Round 3 pit up some big ties with 2nd seeds CYP2 overcoming SCO1 and LIE1 defeating top seeds CYP1 to progress to the Semi Finals. The losers of Round 3 faced tough matches in the losers bracket. LIE2 took on SCO2 to progress to the next round while first time entrants MON took on CYP3. Great displays by the first-time entrants SCO2 and MON but they couldn’t contain their strong opposition from taking the wins.

CYP3 had a very tough match against MON but overcame them in 2 sets in Men’s Round38612590_1897894626900168_2821780628570112000_o 3, before CYP1 overcame SMR in an epic 3 set battle. CYP2 and NIR1 overcame their tough tests to make it to Losers Bracket Round 3 to take on the losers of Round 3.

The Women’s Losers bracket had SCO1 take on CYP3 and CYP1 take on LIE2. The higher seeded teams showed their dominance in these matches to set up a Semi Final showdown between the Top 4 Seeds.

In the Men’s bracket CYP2 went down to SMR while NIR1 couldn’t maintain their fantastic play against a strong MON side.

The Women’s Semi Finals were a fantastic display of Beach Volleyball with CYP2 overcoming CYP1 and SCO1 upsetting the hosts LIE1 to cement their Final spot.

In the Men’s Semi Finals, Two 3 set matches took place in extremely hot conditions and both matches went over the 1 hour mark which is a remarkable feat from both teams. CYP1 and CYP3 took the honours against SMR and MON respectively with all 4 teams putting every ounce of energy they had left into this match.

38521687_1897896896899941_6958385415145390080_nThe Women’s 3rd Place match was between the Number 1 seeds and the hosts. Cyprus bounced back from their earlier disappointment in the Semi Finals to put a lot of pressure on Liechtenstein to win the bronze medal. A great achievement for the pairing as Daria Gusarova, who is 14, has had a fantastic season on the World Tour with her partner Mariota Angelopoulou.

Another mammoth match took place in the Men’s Bronze Medal match between SMR and MON. Both teams won a set apiece before the heat had an effect on the SMR team and couldn’t compete with the MON team point for point. The Monegasque team picked up their first Beach Volleyball medal in the SCD.

The Women’s final between CYP2 and SCO1 was a rerun of their 3rd round match. This time the Scottish team came out of the blocks on fire and put the Cypriots under pressure winning the first set 21-15. After the disappointment of losing the first set, the Cypriots stepped up their level and took a very commanding lead at the start of the 2nd set and never looked back winning 21-11. The Final set was edgy, tense and dramatic. The teams went point for point until 10-10 when the Cypriots made a good Side Out and then defender Konstantopoulou went back to the service line and out the Scottish team under a lot of pressure which they could not find a way out of handing the SCD Beach Volleyball Finals win to the Cypriot team.

A fantastic victory of the strong pairing of Manolina Konstantinou and Zoi Konstantopoulou over Scotland’s Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts brought the Women’s competition to a close.

In the Men’s Final, it was an all Cypriot encounter which 3rd seeds Apostolou/Siapinis38531452_1897897350233229_4058590949071126528_n started this match on fire and made some fantastic transition plays to heap the pressure on their opposition and take the set 21-14. The top seeded Cypriot team of Liotatis/Chrysostomou were not willing to let this title go without a fight and came back with outstanding tactical serving and grinding down the opposition reception unit. Their perseverance allowed them to win the 2nd set 21-17. The Final set was tight but the youthful exuberance of Sotiris Siapanis was controlled very well by his partner Dimitris Apostolou and this channelling of energy allowed the team to find another level before closing out the 3rd set 15-12 and winning the Men’s SCD Final match.

The SCD Beach Volleyball Finals was outstanding and even better due to the hard work and determination of the Liechtenstein Federation to push the SCD agenda in Beach Volleyball.  A huge thanks must go to Philippe Schürmann and Christian Schemeth for making this competition possible. Also a very big thank you to all the teams who attended. The level of the competition was excellent and the spirit in which all the matches were played is very commendable.

Next Year’s edition planning has already begun. We urge more SCD Federations to get involved in Beach Volleyball due to the number of international competitions and opportunities that are available to each Federation.

Anyonee wishing to find out any information about the SCD Beach Volleyball Commission and Competitions should contact the Beach Volleyball President in the first instance.

Full Competition Results

You can view all photos from the Competition here. (c)

EBVC work on further growth of Beach Volleyball at their annual plenary meeting

EBVC work on further growth of Beach Volleyball at their annual plenary meetingThe European Beach Volleyball Commission (EBVC) had their annual plenary meeting on Tuesday at the home of European Volleyball in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, thus setting the tone for the Beach Volleyball ‘outdoor’ season that will be reaching its climax with the 2018 edition of the European Championship taking place across as many as four cities in the Netherlands.

The meeting was an opportunity to review the highly successful 2018 Snow Volleyball season as well, whose highlight came in late March when the ‘birthplace’ of this sport, Wagrain-Kleinarl, hosted the first ever European Championship. The inaugural #EuroSnowVolley was a truly memorable event, which reached a global audience through TV partnerships and social media and – at the same time – received positive and enthusiastic reviews from players, fans and media alike.

The EBVC members expressed their satisfaction with the close cooperation that the FIVB and CEV have established while joining efforts to grow Beach and Snow Volleyball in many ways. This applies to the historic Snow Volleyball exhibition match held at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Korea back in February, to the European Snow Volleyball Championship held in Austria as well as to the integration of CEV Beach Volleyball events in the structure of the FIVB World Tour.

The EBVC members worked in smaller groups to assess how this strategic decision will have an impact on the organisation and delivery of Beach Volleyball events in Europe – while they also designed a first concept of the competition scheme for the third edition of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. This will provide all National Federations with an additional opportunity – next to the World Tour – to qualify teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The previous editions of the CEV Continental Cup witnessed a record-breaking participation in the Olympic qualification process and the EBVC members expect the 2019-2020 edition of the event to be the continuation of that same positive trend.

Moreover, the EBVC discussed a number of development projects likely to grow the game at the grassroots level – such as the organisation of Summer Festivals and the third edition of a coaching workshop due to take place later this summer.

Starting from a review and analysis of the goals initially set with the 2017-2020 EBVC ‘Road Map’, the Commission worked on a series of proposals – with the CEV Board of Administration set to review these at their first plenary meeting of the year 2018, which is due to take place in Kazan (Russia) on May 12.

2017/2018 World Tour calendar to download

Following the release of the 2017/2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball Calendar at the World Tour Council meeting on Tuesday, a graphic calendar is available for download.
Download the calendar here.

Related article:
New tournaments to take beach volleyball further than ever before

Highlights of the 2017/2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball Calendar include 5-star Major events in Fort Lauderdale (USA), Gstaad (Switzerland) and Vienna (Austria), culminating in the fourth edition of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals from August 14 to 19 – venue to be announced at the end of November. A fourth Major event, still to be confirmed, is currently scheduled from May 29 to June 3 in Croatia.

The calendar also features eleven 4-star events, five 3-star events, five 2-star events and seventeen 1-star events. In addition, Nanjing, China will host the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships from June 26- July 1.

The new 5-star Vienna Major (July 31-August 5) will welcome teams back to the Austrian capital exactly one year after the hugely successful 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Players can also look forward to a 4-star event in Tokyo from July 25-29 – the World Tour’s first visit to the Japanese capital – just two years before the Olympic Games take place in the city in 2020.

Four countries will host a World Tour event for the first time, with stops scheduled in Muscat, Oman (March 14-17), Manila, Philippines (May 3-6), Tuan Chau Island, Vietnam (May 9-12) and Singapore (June 21-24). And eight venues will join Vienna and Tokyo in welcoming an event for the first time, including Satun, Thailand (April 8-11), Mersin (May 2-6), Aydin (May 17-20) and Samsun (July 26-29) in Turkey, Huntington Beach, United States (May 2-6), Ostrava, Czech Republic (June 20-24), Jinjiang in China (May 31-June 3) and Kochi in India (August 2-5).

The first four venues on the 2018 calendar – The Hague (Netherlands), Shepparton (Australia), Kish Island (Iran) and Fort Lauderdale (USA) – also hosted events in 2017. They will be joined by other events returning in 2018 in the Netherlands (Aalsmeer – an indoor event), China (Xiamen, Nanjing and Nantong), Malaysia (Langkawi), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Monaco, Morocco (Agadir), Portugal (Espinho), Korea (Daegu and Ulsan) and Russia (Moscow).

Other venues returning to the World Tour in 2018 include Doha in Qatar (March 6-10), Lucerne in Switzerland (May 9-13) and Bangkok in Thailand (May 10-13).

Two more tournaments are scheduled to take place in Yangzhou, China (May 23-27) and Poland (June 27-July 1). More information on these events will be made available in due course. In all, China and Turkey will host the highest number of events in 2018.

Beach Volleyball Ireland Season Update

Team Ireland has been steadily improving their national beach squad; 2017 was the Irish national squadhighlight of several years training to make our mark internationally. Carey and Gormally, coached by Alex Graves, started off well in Ireland’s first international competition of 2017 in Portobello, Edinburgh. They caused an initial upset in the pools taking an early set off favourites, Beattie and Coutts from Scotland.  They later went on to finish third in an epic playoff against Luxemburg. One of the other Irish team Halpin and Roantree also had a great performance, winning the plate.

The season improved from there – with Portrush being the venue for the first International beach competition to take place in Ireland. Hosted by Northern Ireland Volleyball Association, it attracted teams from across Europe. Veteran player Mel Coutts commented that it was one of the nicest beaches she had played on.

The men’s Irish squad got their first taste of the 2017 International tour in Portrush, with three teams entering from the Republic coached by Andrew Goti and five from Northern Ireland. Stolarek and Gibbons were Ireland’s top ranked team, narrowly beating Oshoke and O’Regan to make it into the quarter final playoffs where they were beaten by Cyprus, to finish fifth. The top Northern Irish men’s team, Scott and Stewart, fresh off the indoor international tour, also finished fifth, losing to San Marino.

O’Flanagan also put in a good performance playing his first competition with long standing international player Whitty.  They finished ninth, losing to Hunter and Workman from Northern Ireland.

squad in training 2On the women’s side, there were four teams from the Republic coached by Alex Graves and seven from Northern Ireland. Gormally and Sabogal finished top of the Irish teams. They fought off another rising Irish team, Allen and Molloy to take third place on the podium. Fitzgerald and Lynch, who were representing Ireland for the first time in an international beach competition, put in a good performance, also finishing a respectable ninth. Scott and Rygielska were Northern Ireland’s top women’s team, finishing fifth.

After Portrush, the men’s and women’s squads travelled to Vaduz, Liechtenstein with coach Jorge Rodríguez Pérez to play in the Small Nations European final. This time the Irish women took two places on the podium. Gormally and Sabogal defeated Hailpin and Roantree in an all Ireland final, to win the competition. Hosts Liechtenstein came third.

The Irish men also put up a great performance with Gibbons and MacArdle beating fellow countrymen Stewart and Parks. Gibbons and Mac Ardle went on to be the highest ranking Irish pairing, finishing fifth, after an unfortunate loss to Cyprus.

Beach Volleyball Ireland also had great success running their national tour, seeing tougher and more competition at every event. They hosted some of the largest competitions, with national tours regularly having over a hundred players taking part. BVI also travelled to Ballybunion and Bettystown, two new venues to bring beach volleyball to the wider country. Cross border collaboration was at an all time high, with the tour seeing a record number of teams entering from Northern Ireland. Stories were picked up in newspapers and radio stations around the country, as beach mania told hold of the country. There was also talk of hosting more International competitions! Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and with a fast growing interest in the sport, Ireland promises to be a venue to watch out for.Men's national team