NORCECA Members at FIVB Board of Administration Meeting

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 31, 2024.- NORCECA President Cristobal Marte Hoffiz led the NORCECA Confederation Executive committee in the FIVB Board of Administration meeting held at the FIVB headquarters on Thursday.

Cristobal Marte along with NORCECA Executive Vice Presidents, Mireya Luis (Gender in Minority) Mark Eckert (NCVA President), Glenn Quinlan (ECVA President), Felix Sabio (AFECAVOL President) and Mushtaque Mohammed (CAZOVA President), took part in the one-day meeting where significant matters were discussed.

A comprehensive overview of the 2023 financial performance was presented and various strategies and proposals of the Finance Commission were discussed, which aim at ensuring sustainable growth and financial stability.

The proposed budget for 2025-2026 was presented and discussed in detail. Key allocations were made towards development programs, major events, and strategic initiatives to foster the growth of volleyball globally.

An ambitious long-term business plan extending to 2032 was unveiled. This plan focuses on expanding the sport’s global footprint, enhancing commercial opportunities, and leveraging new technologies to engage fans.

Reports from the FIVB Empowerment and Development Commissions were presented, as well as the several proposals form the Legal Commission, which included updates to the FIVB Constitution, General Regulations, Sport Regulations, and Event Regulations.

Reports from the continental confederations (AVC, CAVB, CEV, CSV, NORCECA) highlighted regional developments, challenges, and strategic initiatives, fostering a collaborative approach to the sport’s global growth.

Proposals from various FIVB councils and commissions, including the Technical & Coaching Commission, Athletes’ Commission, Rules & Refereeing Commission, Volleyball Council, Beach Volleyball Commission, Snow Volleyball Commission, and Medical Commission, were also discussed.

The members were updated on major upcoming events, including the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), Beach ProTour, Age Groups World Championships, 2025 M & W World Championships (Volleyball and Beach Volleyball), and preparations for the Paris Olympic Games.

An update on the 39th FIVB World Congress was also discussed, ensuring the event will be a significant milestone in the sport’s calendar.

NORCECA’s involvement in the Board of Administration meeting in Lausanne was a significant step for the region, laying the groundwork for the Confederation’s future growth and success.

CHF 559,000 Raised For FIVB Volleyball Foundation To Connect, Serve And Inspire

Volleyball Foundation ready to serve the world following incredible launch event at the FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne

  • The Volleyball Foundation’s mission to connect, serve and inspire commenced with a vibrant launch event at the FIVB Headquarters
  • The IOC President and Olympic Movement representatives joined members of the volleyball community and other esteemed guests for the celebration
  • A total of CHF 559,000 was raised through donations and an exciting auction, with funds set to support impactful projects across the world

 The FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday welcomed guests from the international sports community and beyond for the launch event of the Volleyball Foundation, raising over CHF 559,000 through donations and a special charity auction to support impactful volleyball projects worldwide.

Key figures from the international sports community, including leaders from the volleyball community, the Olympic Movement, local authorities, sponsors, partners and distinguished sports leaders gathered for this milestone event.

Successful Fundraising Efforts

The event featured a special charity auction conducted by Piguet Auction House, with unique volleyball memorabilia generously donated by the FIVB and legends of the game. Featuring both online and live bidding, the auction raised an incredible CHF 59,000 for the Volleyball Foundation.

Reunion. Photo FIVB

This amount, along with CHF 300,000 from the FIVB, GBP 100,000 from the CVC Foundation, and generous contributions from IOC Member KhunyingPatama Leeswadtrakul and FIVB Board of Administration Member and Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher, brought the total funds raised to CHF 559,000.

As announced by FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F°, the FIVB plans to allocate an annual budget of CHF 1 million for the Volleyball Foundation in 2025 and 2026, pending the approval of the FIVB World Congress later this year.  

FIVB and IOC Presidents welcome guests

The night began with a powerful speech from FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça, welcoming guests and explaining how the Foundation will better connect and expand the global volleyball community of 800 million people across 222 countries.

“The Volleyball Foundation will play a vital role in promoting positive social values, helping to create a more collaborative and harmonious world,” stated the Volleyball Foundation President. “The Foundation is dedicated to creating a world where everyone has access to sport, no matter their gender, age, background or position. Where they have the opportunity to be healthy and active. To experience the joys of volleyball. And to learn important skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”

IOC President Thomas Bach. Photo FIVB

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the initiative and thanked Dr Graça for his vision in launching the project. “Through this project, volleyball can really contribute to delivering the Olympic values and make the world a better place through sport,” he said. “The IOC already works closely with the FIVB with Olympafrica and the Olympic Refuge Foundation, and with this Foundation this excellent cooperation can be strengthened.”

Inspirational pilot projects take centre stage

During the evening, the Volleyball Foundation introduced two pilot projects: the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, a grassroots community league in Assam, India, involving over 10,000 children; and the Githurai Kimbo Volleyball Academy, which offers youth in one of Nairobi, Kenya’s most challenging slums a sanctuary through volleyball.

Diverse Volleyball Foundation Board and the Executive Director announced

The Volleyball Foundation’s independent Board was also introduced, featuring a diverse group of individuals dedicated to the Volleyball Foundation’s vision of a greater world through volleyball. 

The Board members include: 

  • Dr Ary S. Graça F°, President of the FIVB and Volleyball Foundation
  • Fabio Azevedo, General Director of the FIVB 
  • Alejandrina Mireya Luis, FIVB Executive Vice-President, and a three-time Olympic and two-time World champion 
  • Yuji Saeki, President & CEO of Mikasa, FIVB Board of Administration Member
  • Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation 
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, President of the Jordan Volleyball Federation and Jordan Olympic Committee Board Member
  • Nick Clarry, CVC Managing Partner 
  • And Charles Joye serving as the Secretary of the Board.
Elizaveta Bracht, a two-time Olympic volleyball silver medalist, has been named as the Executive Director of the Volleyball Foundation.

Supporters & Ambassadors celebrated

Key supporters of the Volleyball Foundation were also announced, including renowned organisations KITT & KISS, Mikasa, Decathlon, the Qatar Foundation, Generations for Peace and the Jordan Olympic Committee.

The Volleyball Foundation President Ary Graça with (from left to right) Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, Cecilia Tait, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan. Photo FIVB

In recognition of its support, IOC Executive Board Member, Jordan Olympic Committee President and Generations For Peace Founder and Chair, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan, took to the stage and said:

“In 2004, I went to the Olympic Games in Athens with a mantra: ‘peace is greater than gold.’ In 2007, to put this into practice, we founded Generations For Peace to use the power of sport to change divided communities for the better. What the Volleyball Foundation is doing is a continuation of this work, and that is why it is an honour and a pleasure to align ourselves with the Volleyball Foundation.

“The values of respect, friendship and cooperation are all lessons from sport. Volleyball is so well positioned because it has these values, alongside communication and coordination. These are key in transforming societies and communities that are suffering. As President Ary S. Graça said, together we can make a difference. And this Foundation will make a difference.”

Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti was also present at the event, and stated:

“As the President of ASOIF, I have had the privilege to work with the FIVB and Dr Ary S. Graça for five years. What he has done tonight through the Volleyball Foundation, is to create an organisation for the grassroots, social and community benefit, and this is very important. The Volleyball Foundation sets a model for others, and I wish it every success.”

The event also introduced ambassadors for the Volleyball Foundation, all of whom are true legends of the sport. These include Mireya Luis from Cuba, a three-time Olympic champion and two-time World Champion; Vlad Grbic from Serbia, an Olympic champion; and Giba from Brazil, an Olympic champion and three-time World Champion.

The FIVB Volleyball Foundation is also proud to announce that the official notary signing ceremony took place this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, marking the formal establishment of the organisation that will serve the world through volleyball.

For more information about the FIVB Volleyball Foundation and how to get involved, please visit https://volleyballfoundation.com/ and follow us on Instagram at @volleyball.foundation. 

FIVB Executive Committee Praises Organisation’s Success

May 30, 2024.- The FIVB Executive Committee this week praised the incredible successes of the sport’s governing body during its meeting at the FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Executive Committee congratulated FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and the professional team he has built on their outstanding contributions and for creating an exciting and lasting legacy for the sport during his mandate.

During the meeting, the FIVB President said:

“During my Presidency, all our actions have been guided by two key principles: Innovation and Opportunity! The FIVB has strived to innovate both on and off the court, while providing even more opportunities for our 222 National Federations, alongside our players, coaches, fans and valuable stakeholders.”

The members met to study the FIVB financial reports and the legal presentation, as well several other topics to make recommendations to the Board of Administration.

The FIVB Board of Administration meeting will get underway the same afternoon before continuing the next day.

NORCECA Female International Referees Share their stories to Celebrate International Women’s Day

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, March 8, 2024.- To celebrate and recognize International Women’s Day 2024, the NORCECA Volleyball Confederation Refereeing  Commission hosted a virtual session “Sharing Our Story” to Inspire and Include NORCECA Female International Referees.

Guy Bradbury, president of the NORCECA Refereeing Commission, highlighted this was the second occasion that NORCECA female international referees had the opportunity to speak about their experiences refereeing at an international level, how they’ve been inspired in doing so and promoting inclusion in volleyball.

Julie Voeck of the United States, member of the NORCECA Refereeing Commission, was the moderator of the virtual session that was divided into two panels.

The first panel was taking a moment to listen to Suzanne Lowry, FIVB International Beach Volleyball Referee and USA National Referee, who spoke about officiating as First Referee for the outdoor match in Nebraska, United States with more than 94,000 spectators, an event in August that set a new world record for the most highly attended women’s sporting event in history. 

Suzanne shared her experience sharing how she prepared before the match, the atmosphere and her vivid feelings about the great responsibility and excitement taking part in this great historic event that exposed volleyball to the world, which inspired young girls that aspire to become athletes, coaches and referees. “This was life changing for my career, it gave a sense of awe, pride and inspiration”.

The second panel was a “Q&A” session with the new International Referee Candidates who participated in the Beach Volleyball and Volleyball International Referee Course that took place in January in Puerto Rico, who shared their journeys to becoming a NORCECA International Referee. Among them  Rebecca Johannes – PUR (beach), Rochelle Artwell – JAM (beach), Chantal Kasters – SUR (indoor), Breanna Spain – USA (indoor), Ana Marlenis Rodriguez – DOM (indoor) and Diana De la Mora – MEX (beach).

Guy explained that 55 Female International Referees are part of NORCECA and continues to grow, “NORCECA is the only Confederation in the world that is developing International Referee Courses and 54% of the participants during the International Referee Course held in January were female”.

In her closing words, Julie stated “we enjoyed this gathering to celebrate women, inspiring inclusion and their amazing journey full of meaningful moments, which have led us to become a family”.

While Guy thanked each and everyone for their commitment as referees in NORCECA, which have led them to take time from their families, work and friends “as a Confederation we send you our appreciation to help grow volleyball in NORCECA. Happy whistling”.

NORCECA held its 2023 Executive Committee and Board of Administration Meeting

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, December 21, 2023. – NORCECA held its 2023 Executive Committee and Board of Administration Virtual Meeting, where the working reports for the past two years (2022-2023) were discussed.

NORCECA President, Mr. Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz,  delivered the welcoming remarks, highlighting a fruitful 2023 from all perspectives, “I am very pleased that we were able to complete the competition calendar, allowing NORCECA to rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a marketing strategy and providing support to all the National Federations”.

The Executive Committee and Board of Administration members had the opportunity to review and discuss NORCECA’s annual activity report, which included two multi-sport competitions, the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador  and the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago. Additionally, the first editions of the Under-17 Continental Championships in both genders and the NORCECA Under-23 Beach Tour.

President Marte Hoffiz presented a proposal for the NORCECA classification system for the FIVB World Championship, which will be further analyzed for its approval.

In 2023, NORCECA established a historic long-term partnership for eight years (2023-2030) with MIKASA to be the official ball for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competitions within the Confederation. The Under-19 Men’s Pan American Cup held in Guatemala in March was the first official event to use MIKASA.

The reports from all NORCECA working commissions were presented after a detailed discussion of its Financial Statements audited by the external firm Ernst & Young.

NORCECA has been a pioneer in volleyball development programs, a model adopted by the FIVB to create the Volleyball Empowerment program with a larger budget.

Regarding refereeing, NORCECA is the only Confederation simultaneously conducting refereeing courses for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball, aiming to maintain refereeing standards through an education program for the integration of new referees, along with refresher courses for the development of active referees.

Among the responsibilities of the sports organization committee, NORCECA conducted several inspections before the two multi-sport events held this year, leading to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the organizing committee and ensuring the success of both competitions.

According to the discussions during the working session, it was highlighted that time, patience, and a dedicated group of volleyball enthusiasts are required to achieve success, which will help National Federations must find ways to face various challenges to attain it.

NORCECA is in continuous growth, and there is a need to enhance its structure, leading to a subsequent session to analyze various proposals from the FIVB legal commission  for constitutional changes which arose during the meeting.

An important change took place in 2023 with the implementation of the statistical software Volley Station, prompting various training sessions and an induction plan for the members of the VIS and Statistics commission and the Refereeing commission to adapt to the changes made in the e-score sheet.

A review of the 2024 Volleyball and Beach Volleyball competition calendar highlighted the classification system for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The session concluded with the announcement of the XXVII NORCECA Congress, scheduled to be held in Punta Cana from July 6 to 7, 2024. The next NORCECA Board of Administration session is set for July 5.

VNL 2024 to take the Elite of the Sport to Four Continents

The Volleyball Nations League 2024 will take the elite of international volleyball to nine countries and four continents during six weeks from May to June, when the Preliminary Phase of the sixth edition of the tournament will take place.

The top 16 female and male national teams in the planet will compete in Asia, Europe, North America and South America before the best eight in each gender battle for titles in the VNL Finals. The women will play from June 20-23 and the men from June 27-30, just a few weeks before the start of the Paris 2024 Olympics, in cities yet to be determined.

Watch the VNL 2024 live and on demand on VBTV.

Besides the host cities (venues will be announced soon), the composition of the six men’s and women’s pools for the Preliminary Phase was also announced, setting up some exciting duels between the top national teams in every corner of the globe.

WOMEN’S VNL 2024 POOL OVERVIEW

The women will be the first to get on the court, competing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Antalya, Türkiye, from May 14-19. One week later, the men will start their campaigns at the same locations.

From Europe and South America, the VNL 2024 will head to Asia and North America. The women will play in Macau and Arlington, Texas, USA (the host city of last year’s VNL Finals), from May 28-June 2, with the men battling in Japan (with the host city to be confirmed), and Ottawa, Canada, from June 4-9.

The Preliminary Phase will come to an end for the women from June 11-16, with pools hosted in Hong Kong and Japan. In the following week, the men will complete their schedules in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Manila, the Philippines.

The top seven teams in each gender will advance to the VNL Finals, as well as the host countries.

MEN’S VNL 2024 POOL OVERVIEW

The 16 women’s national teams competing in the VNL 2024 will be Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Thailand, defending champions Türkiye and the United States.

The men’s title will be contested by Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, defending champions Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Türkiye and the United States.

Olympic Spots in Play

The VNL 2024 will also play a major role in determining the last national teams that will qualify for the Paris Olympics. The result of each match of the tournament’s Preliminary Phase will impact the FIVB Volleyball World Rankings, which will determine the teams to occupy the last five spots in next year’s Games.

As of now, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Poland and the United States are guaranteed on the men’s side while Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Serbia, Türkiye and the United States have qualified among the women – host country France will also be represented on both genders.

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