The CEV Board of Administration chaired by President André Meyer concluded on Saturday their first meeting of the year at the end of a busy weekend where key decisions were made in order to foster the development and growth of the sport across Europe.

Mr. Meyer was particularly pleased to welcome his colleagues to the state-of-the-art CEV headquarters in Luxembourg City where the Board of Administration was hosted for the very first time since last year’s unveiling ceremony. “The CEV headquarters are becoming a real “home” for Europe’s volleyball family, the place where the decision-makers are coming together to join their forces for the good of the sport and work on innovative projects that will foster its growth for the years to come” he says.

The agenda of this year’s first meeting included, inter alia, a series of institutional items, starting with the official recognition of the Western European Volleyball Zonal Association (WEVZA) that was established last September in Copenhagen shortly before the XXIV CEV General Assembly. This brings up to six the number of Zonal Associations in Europe – WEVZA joins BVA, EEVZA, MEVZA, NEVZA, and SCD – with the eight WEVZA members – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland – having already started a series of actions in order to promote the sport especially among the young generations, primarily via a series of youth and junior competitions.

The Board of Administration also approved the general concept worked out for the network of Regional Volleyball Development Centers (RVDC’s) so far established in Europe; next to those already operating in Azerbaijan, England, Italy, and Luxembourg, another two RVDC’s will open soon in Denmark and Serbia thereby covering all major geographical areas of the Old Continent. These centers are set to become hubs for volleyball excellence as well as for the organization of seminars and educational courses. A comprehensive program of clinics and courses will be drafted and addressed to all national federations in order to share expertise and know-how with all those who are involved in the development and promotion of volleyball and beach volleyball.

The latest updates were reported to the Board of Administration on the various competitions scheduled for 2014 and 2015 with a busy beach volleyball season coming up this year while the preparations have already started for the Final Rounds of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship which are due to take place in Bulgaria/Italy and Netherlands/Belgium for men and women respectively.

As for the European Cups, the DOL for the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League will be taking place next June 27 in Vienna. The event will be combined with the annual European Volleyball Gala co-hosted by the CEV and the Austrian Volleyball Federation that this time will be held at the Hofburg Palace, the former imperial residence located at the very heart of Austria’s capital city.

To follow up on a Working Group set up last year, on a series of talks with the National Federations and their respective clubs, as well as on a proposal prepared by the European Cups Commission (ECC), the CEV Board of Administration decided to revise the format of Europe’s elite competition to provide the participating teams with the possibility to play more matches in the League Round. The calendar for the 2015 edition of the European Cups was then approved accordingly, thereby already setting the tone for another exciting season that will get underway this coming June with the respective DOL’s.

The volleyball calendar for the 2014 and 2015 seasons was also approved by the Board with members agreeing upon the dates of the Continental Qualification Tournament for the 2016 Olympics that will take place in late December 2015/early January 2016.

The major highlight of the 2014 season will be the Final Rounds of the FIVB World Championships which are both going to take place in Europe. Poland and Italy will indeed host the men’s and women’s competition respectively from late August through mid October.
The Board members expressed their pride for the outstanding organization of the DOL held in late January in Warsaw while waiting for another outstanding volleyball gala to take place in Parma this coming March 10 where the teams so far qualified for the women’s Final Round will be assigned to the preliminary pools.

The Board also confirmed dates and venues for the First Round of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup coming up in June and that will open the qualification process for the beach volleyball tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. At the very end – the Finals are scheduled for 2016, some weeks before the start of the Olympics – the country topping the charts in each gender will qualify one team for the much awaited beach volleyball competition taking place on the unique stage of Copacabana beach. More details about the dates and venues of the First Round tournaments will follow soon.

The BoA also reviewed the proposals prepared by the various CEV Commissions following on their respective meetings held earlier this year and approved the concept of a project that will lead to the implementation of social and digital media accounts in order to modernize the CEV communication and strengthen the interaction with media and fans alike, with a focus on the young generations.

“This was only the beginning of another busy year” CEV President André Meyer says, “but with this meeting we already laid the foundations for more success to come after the great achievements we could celebrate over the last few years. Our volleyball family is steadily moving forward and I am very happy with the contribution and ideas that were brought in by my colleagues. We want to build on that momentum and make sure volleyball and beach volleyball will continue to progress and get on board as many as possible.”