The FIVB President reflects on an incredibly successful 2023 for the sport

As 2023 draws to a close, marking another significant chapter in volleyball’s journey, the global Volleyball Family can take pride in a year filled with notable achievements, electrifying events and key decisions shaping the future of our beloved sport.

Guiding the global Volleyball Family throughout this past year has, as always, been a tremendous honour. I remain as committed and focused as ever, dedicated to serving with humility, transparency and unwavering effort in our pursuit of developing volleyball globally.

In 2023, my focus was on the continued growth of our beloved sport and I can unequivocally state that progress has once again been at the heart of the FIVB’s achievements.

In beach volleyball, the Beach Pro Tour entered its second season, captivating audiences with awe-inspiring action set against the backdrop of iconic locations worldwide. Then, in October, the crème de la crème of the sport gathered in Mexico for the prestigious FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.

First time hosts Mexico delivered a remarkable competition. The action on the sand was nothing short of exceptional, rivalled only by the passion and energy of the fans. This enthusiasm was reflected in the impressive sale of over 100,000 tickets, while the tournament also saw 250 hours of TV production, bringing the excitement and thrill of the matches to viewers worldwide. Moving beyond the court, the tournament became also a celebration of culture and community, featuring 180 hours of diverse cultural activities for fans to enjoy.

The journey to Paris 2024 also witnessed several teams stamping their tickets through intense competition in the Road to Paris Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers. Congratulations to all the teams who secured a ticket, and, to those who fell short, it is still all to play for with the remaining five women’s and men’s places to be determined by the FIVB World Rankings in June 2024.

2023 also saw the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) showcase incredible growth in its fifth edition. The tournament resulted in a 43 per cent growth in OTT subscribers, and attendance also grew by 18 per cent in comparison to 2022. The sponsorship value of the VNL increased by 27 per cent, while TV viewership increased by 13 per cent to 630 million. The VNL 2023 also enjoyed a reach of 214 million on social media.

The FIVB’s commitment to Volleyball Empowerment and Development programmes remained unwavering, with new projects approved, bringing the total to 844 projects across 194 National Federations (NFs) in all five Continental Confederations since 2017. Over CHF 23 million has been invested to date, reflecting our dedication to reinvesting the money that comes from the sport back into the sport.

We also directed our efforts towards exploring innovations and initiatives to accelerate volleyball’s growth and enhance its role in shaping a greater world. Key decisions were made in this regard by the FIVB Board of Administration during its summer 2023 meeting.

Firstly, following the approval of the Volleyball Calendar 2025-2028, the Volleyball World Championships will now be played every two years, while the overall number of events will be reduced by 25 per cent when compared to the Tokyo 2020 cycle. I have long championed a “less is more” approach for the benefit of athletes and to provide fans with high-quality volleyball that carries genuine significance.

In addition, the creation of the FIVB Foundation was approved. The FIVB Foundation will use the global reach and power of volleyball, a socially inclusive and gender-equal team sport, to support community projects worldwide that have a positive impact, while connecting a global community of 800 million across 222 countries.

As you can see, 2023 was a highly successful and productive year both on and off the court, setting the stage for an incredible 2024. I extend my sincere thanks to each and every member of the global Volleyball Family for your ongoing collaboration, effort and support in propelling volleyball to new heights.

Yours in sport,

FIVB President

Dr Ary S. Graça F°


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