Lausanne, Switzerland, December 8, 2016 – Following the re-election of FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October this year, the organisation’s Board of Administration sat for the first time in what was a ground-breaking meeting to set out the path for world volleyball.  

With an eight-year mandate that will see President Graça at the helm of the FIVB until 2024, it was an opportunity for him, and the newly composed Board, to put a stake in the ground and introduce some decisive strategic objectives. 

“Our vision for the FIVB in 2024 is clear and ambitious. It will not be possible to reach our vision if we talk for seven years and only act in the last year,” said the President. “The changes we are making will take time to show good results. So, it is important to make them as early as possible.”

A key first step in achieving this vision is for the FIVB to regain full control of its media rights and to concentrate activities around content production and distribution, in conjunction with the confederations and national federations. With the focus primarily on top level events (such as the World Championships and the group one matches of the World League and World Grand Prix), volleyball fans can expect to consume compelling content, across a diverse number of digital platforms, all year round. 

The Board of Administration also approved a series of procedural checks and balances, to ensure a higher level of transparency and financial control over the FIVB’s projects and investments.  By holding itself to even greater standards of good governance, the FIVB has taken a critical step forward on the road to financial stability and long-term growth and development of the sport. 

Recognising the need for a more fluid approach to decision making, the Board instituted some significant changes to the FIVB’s working structures and practices. Of note is the number of current and former coaches and players who are now part of the governing body’s Commissions. 

They include the legendary Karch Kiraly, the only player to have won Olympic gold medals in both volleyball and beach volleyball and China’s volleyball icon, Lang Ping who made history at Rio 2016 for winning gold as player and coach. Joining them on the technical and coaching commission is current coach of Brazil’s women’s team, José Roberto ‘Ze Roberto’ Guimaraes, who has led his country to three Olympic gold medals and Italian Giovanni Guidetti, who has taken the Dutch women’s volleyball team to a silver medal in the 2015 European Championships. 

The wealth of experience they bring to the table and the inclusion of ‘voices from the ground’ will go a long way in ensuring that choices made at the international level are relevant and make an impact on the sport. 

Likewise, volleyball stars like Brazil’s Giba and 2013 Beach Volleyball World Champion Xue Chen – who have already been informing the work of the FIVB since the Athletes’ Commission was set up in August – have played an important role in putting athletes’ voices at the heart of decisions made at the FIVB.

Following a new format, Commissions will now have no more than 10 members in total – a President, Secretary and eight members – to allow for easier dialogue within the Commission and the FIVB Secretariat. The Commissions will lean on experts in the field for ideas and solutions although only members will be allowed to vote on proposals put forward to the Executive Committee.  

With four more years to go until the next Olympics, the dynamic, new FIVB Board of Administration meeting has put the organisation on the right track to making volleyball the ‘number one family sport entertainment in the world’. 

The Board of Administration will meet next in Morocco in May 2017 and will be preceded by the Commission meetings in January.