COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 10, 2005) – The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and USA Volleyball (USAV) have signed a wide-ranging agreement that calls for, among other things, the creation of a Beach Volleyball Council, it was announced Thursday.
The Beach Volleyball Council will be a five-member group comprised of two AVP representatives, two USAV representatives and one elected beach player that will focus on formulating plans and implementing programs with respect to the growth and development of beach volleyball in the United States.
“We are delighted to form this strategic partnership between the AVP and USA Volleyball,” said Leonard Armato, Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the AVP. “Working together, we will ensure that we maximize the potential of developing beach volleyball in the U.S., both at the grassroots level and at the elite level—where we will work to provide our elite U.S. beach volleyball athletes with the support required for them to dominate in world and Olympic competition.
“We look forward to exploring opportunities with USAV to further expand this partnership in the future.”
Among the Council’s chief priorities: creating a USA National Beach Volleyball Team and program similar to the current indoor model; assisting USA beach athletes in winning Olympic medals, maintaining sustained competitive success; growing participation in the sport from the grassroots to the high performance levels in the USA; and developing increased financial resources that will be re-invested back into the sport.
“The real plus, in my mind, is this partnership that allows us to cooperatively grow the game with the AVP. I am excited by this agreement and I’m optimistic,” said Doug Beal, USA Volleyball’s CEO. “I applaud the leadership of the AVP. We have had a wonderful dialogue with Leonard Armato, Bruce Binkow and a number of others within their organization. They have certainly impressed me with their genuine interest in expanding the sport far beyond the AVP Tour.
“The AVP in the last several years has stabilized, has grown and has re-established its very visible position in the sports entertainment marketplace,” Beal added. “If this partnership grows the way we certainly hope it will, it should allow us to reach the whole country and to develop programming at all levels, from the international athlete who is competing for a spot in the Olympic Games down to the grassroots player who just needs to be exposed to the sport.”
The BVC will also be tasked to develop a comprehensive promotional plan for the development of the sport at all levels in the USA from grassroots to the Olympic and professional level and to create a high performance plan to provide the training and support necessary for the USA to compete successfully in international beach volleyball competitions.
Beal also pointed out that the United States Olympic Committee is a significant participant in the relationship even though they are not a signing member of the agreement.
“Any initiative that is going to be undertaken by the BVC that has any Olympic implication or international implication or funding implication relative to USOC support is going to have significant USOC involvement and will have to be implemented within USOC guidelines and with USOC approval,” he explained.