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16/10/2015 18:45
CEV General Assembly continues with progress reports, elections to follow on Saturday morning
News from the CEV

Sofia, Bulgaria, October 16, 2015. The XXXVI CEV General Assembly continued on Friday afternoon with a series of reports delivered by the presidents of the various CEV Commissions, as well as by the organisers of the many Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions scheduled for 2016 and beyond. The Assembly will resume on Saturday morning where elections will be taking place for the CEV presidency, Board of Administration and the European representatives in the Board of Administration of FIVB.

Click here for a live and comprehensive picture gallery of the XXXVI CEV General Assembly

Volleyball and Beach Volleyball continue to grow at a very impressive pace in Europe. 51 Beach Volleyball tournaments were organised since October 2014 across as many as 25 countries in Europe, thereby accounting for a mind-boggling increase by 218% in four years.

The matches of the 2015 European Cups were visited by 715,346 fans as club competitions also develop at a very fast pace in Europe, with the elite CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League cementing its status while a lot of efforts are being made in order to raise the level of the CEV Volleyball Cup and CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup.

National team competitions in 2015 have included not only the final rounds of the men’s and women’s EuroVolley, but also the inaugural European Games in Baku and a number of age-group tournaments where tomorrow’s stars of the sport got the chance to shine and claim a first set of honours in their still young careers. The inaugural edition of the U16 Women / U17 Men Volleyball European Championships will be taking place in 2017 with the first stage of the qualification process due to be organised by the Zonal Associations.

A review was done also about the technology which is being more and more extensively used to modernise the image of the sport, such as the use of tablets for coaches and referees, the challenge system, the wireless communication system, which are all designed to support the work of the already highly-qualified European referees.

Further reports focussed on the use of social and digital media as well as the development programmes that Europe’s Volleyball family has been carrying out in order to further grow the sport across all member countries, working on mass participation and the involvement of kids, something which was done especially via the CEV Youth Summer Festivals.

Talking about innovations, this coming winter the Snow Volleyball European Tour – which has been held since 2009 and last year included stops in six different countries with athletes from 20 nations – will be taking place under the authority of the CEV for the very first time. This sport which has already attracted large crowds and has reached a global TV audience is being added to the CEV portfolio as some of the most accomplished Beach Volleyball players – inter alia Olympic bronze medallist Martins Plavins and former European champion Greta Cicolari – have already tested their skills on the snow as well.  

The Zonal Associations – BVA, EEVZA, MEVZA, NEVZA, WEVZA and SCD – all reported on their respective activities which have one thing in common: a focus on youth development and age-group competitions which can help Europe’s Volleyball family grow tomorrow’s stars and laying the foundations for a bright future of the sport on the Old Continent.

The organisers of upcoming events reported on the current status of their respective preparations for the much anticipated Olympic qualification tournaments due to take place in January in Ankara (TUR) and Berlin (GER) for women and men, respectively, and the final rounds of next year’s U19 Women and U20 Men Volleyball European Championship that will be hosted by Slovakia/Hungary (the venues being Nitra and Györ) and Bulgaria (in Plovdiv and Varna).

Following the huge success of the 2015 women’s EuroVolley which came to a close only a couple of weeks ago, The Netherlands have stepped in to host the 2017 edition of the CEV U18 Volleyball European Championship in Arnhem to inspire the next generation of ‘orange Volleyball players’. In 2017 the U19 men’s competition will be taking place – as already announced last year – in Györ (HUN) and Puchov (SVK), with the Hungarian venue hosting the semis, finals and all classification matches on the same year they are also set to play host to the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

Short progress reports were provided also by the organisers of the 2017 men’s and women’s EuroVolley. Volleyball-mad Poland will be playing host to the men’s competition for what promises to be another terrific success following the unforgettable World Championship that this country hosted in 2014, combining first-class facilities with an ambiance that almost knows no equal. As for the women, Azerbaijan (Baku and Guba) and Georgia (Tbilisi) will be playing host to the competition for the first time ever, and elite Volleyball will be returning to Baku only two years after the highly successful European Games that took place earlier this year in Azerbaijan’s capital.

Finally, the audience’s attention was drawn to the organisation of the 2016 and 2017 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championships which are due to take place in venues already well-known to Europe’s Volleyball family, i.e. Biel/Bienne (Switzerland) and Jurmala (Latvia). Biel/Bienne has already hosted Masters events in 2014 and 2015 whilst Latvia’s Beach Volleyball ‘Mecca’ Jurmala started with a Satellite last year, to continue in 2015 with a men-only Masters. Jurmala will host a double-gender event after the Rio Olympics in 2016 and in 2017 it will be the time for Europe’s premier competition to visit the country that has produced some of the world’s best Beach Volleyball players lately, including reigning European champions Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.

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