Bangkok, Thailand, February 14, 2017 – The 2017 AVC Beach Volleyball Committee Meeting aimed at seeking cooperation possibilities among AVC zonal federations and preparing for the task ahead came to a successful conclusion on Tuesday at Dusit Princess Hotel Srinakarin in Bangkok.
Mr Somporn Chaibangyang, president of the Thailand Volleyball Association, presided over the opening to welcome everyone to the meeting, chaired by Mr Craig Carracher. Also in attendance as observers were AVC Secretary General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert, AVC General Manager Mr Rueangsak Siriphol, AVC Sports Director Mr Amilton Barreto de Barros Jr, AVC Referee Coordinator Mr Thomas Chang, AVC Referees Committee Chairman Mr Songsak Charoenpong, Mr Tomoki Kimishima from Japan and Mr Mohammed Salem Al-Kuwari from Qatar.
With the promotion, growth and expansion of beach volleyball around the world being one of the key goals of the FIVB, the AVC Beach Volleyball Committee have focused their efforts on boosting popularity of the sport in the continent, learning that they see challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome.
“We need much stronger teams from Asia in the main draw of the World Tour events as well as the World Championships. I think our Asian sides still need more opportunities to catch up with those from Europe and Norceca. To perform well in the FIVB competitions and World Tours in particular, the Asian beach volleyball event will be a stepping stone to future successes in the World Tours. We have to realise that to host an event is as important as to participate. So, we need to see more teams to participate in the near future,” said Carracher.
Beach volleyball activity in 2016 and the 2017 AVC beach volleyball calendar were reported by committee member Mr Kritsada Panaseri, who was nominated by FIVB to officiate the beach volleyball competition at the 2016 Rio Games, while other key topics discussed in the meeting included the FIVB 2017 World Championships qualification system, the FIVB 2017 Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Nanjing, China and the 2017 AVC Beach Volleyball Tour in Indonesia.
In terms of the 2017 AVC Beach Volleyball competition calendar, a total of nine AVC tournaments will be held this year. Thailand will host three competitions this year consisting of the Asian U21 Championships in Roi-Et from March 2 to 4, the Satun Pak Bara Open in Satun from April 8 to 11 and he Asian Senior Championships in Songkhla between April 14 and 17.
Additionally, two AVC Women’s Beach Tour events will take place in Vietnam which comprise Can Tho City between April 28 and May 1 and Tuan Chau City from May 4 to 7, while the AVC Beach Tour or Master Qatar Open will be organised in Doha, Qatar during May 3 and 5.
However, the AVC Beach Tour in Palembang, Indonesia due to take place from May 11 to 14 and another tournament in Bali, Indonesia scheduled for May 17-20 have yet been confirmed by the promoters and the organisers. According to the meeting’s unanimous decision, it’s likely that the AVC Beach Volleyball Committee would cancel both tournaments.
Fortunately, despite the fact that AVC might cancel the two tournaments in Indonesia, the first AVC Beach Tour “Grand Front Osaka Open” is ready to get off the ground in Osaka, Japan from October 6 to 9. The double-gender competition is expected to attract a total of 24 teams apiece in both men’s and women’s events to vie for the top honour. Hosts Japan are willing to field six teams in each category if less than 24 teams submit their entries, but the host teams can be reduced to three in each category with a certain confirmation of 24 teams in the Osaka Open.
Meanwhile, Mr Shanrit informed the meeting about the nomination of the Best Beach Volleyball Players for AVC Gala, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia on November 11 in coincidence with the AVC General Assembly there. Zonal federations can nominate their players, while the AVC Board of Administration will first select the top three in the Best Male and Best Female Beach Volleyball Players of 2016. The winner will then be decided by fan voting.
Finally, AVC Sports Director Mr Amilton Barreto de Barros Jr reported on progress made in his efforts of increasing opportunities of the Asian players in the next Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.