devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

FIVB World Beach Tour 2009 – where’s Adelaide?

Posted by edbinnie on November 6, 2008

The Provisional calendar for the 2009 World Tour has been set and released on the FIVB site.

To my surprise, there was no mention of Adelaide! There is hope in the article – “The calendar is subject to change by the FIVB, with decisions pending on a few double-gender events that need to confirm date and/or location.”

Maybe Adelaide is one of these?

For those that were involved – playing, refereeing, working, or just watching – the 2008 event was fantastic. I know a huge amount of work went in behind the scenes, and it would be a shame if this all fell apart after 1 year.

So does anyone have an inkling as to what is going on?

Rumours abound last year’s event of heavy fines, poor ticket sales, needless to say the level of work required. Having run it once, I’d have thought that Year 2 should be significantly easier, and achieve better spectator volumes.

At the time, I thought it an “interesting” time to take on the new project, with a new WAVL, no MAVL, a new VTAW programme, large staff changes, and a new National Beach Tour Promoter and Sponsor. 2009 also offers its share of challenges, especially with still no definite details for the National Beach Tour –

The Provisional National Tour Dates have a final event listed in Adelaide, hopefully gearing up to the World Tour, so let’s hope that the only reason for not mentioning it in the FIVB release is a date confirmation being required!!!

17 Responses to “FIVB World Beach Tour 2009 – where’s Adelaide?”

  1. Josh said

    I wouldn’t hold your breath Ed. Having spent some time last night trawling through the AVF Annual Report I doubt they’ll be having a tilt at this event anytime soon. The statements about the poor financial performance over the past 12 months all seemed to point the blame at the world tour event – or more particularly the FIVB demand to have 1600 tonnes of sand dumped on Glenelg.

    When we (Spike) asked the AVF earlier in the year about whether they had made money or lost money on the event and whether that would impact on whether the event would go ahead in future years, all we got was political hogwash. I heard rumours they thought they could make a profit in the first year.

    It was such a great event but it looks, just like the Olympics in 2000, it will be our only taste of international competition for a while (well there was the Goodwill Games in 01 but…. ). Such a shame.

  2. Observer said

    The AVF board confirmed at their AGM last month, that Adelaide would not be hosting the World Tour this year unless a very significant corporate sponsor was found very quickly.

  3. mark said

    I heard that the reason the event wasn’t on was because they hadnt found any sponsors yet. Also heard there is slight possibility it may be later in the year such as October/Nov. Lets hope so! Was such a great event and seemed like all the players enjoyed coming to Aus so it would really be a shame if they didn’t hold another event in Australia.

  4. whosin said

    i’m just trying to remember even if the AVF announced the release of the Annual Report. I’m sure most organisations do some sort of media release. Just going to check through the ‘Latest News’ to see if they posted anything.

    I agree it sure would be a shame. Again brings back memories of World League. Real Shame.

  5. Dinosaur Jr said

    I agree that it brings back memories of World League, but at the same time it is VERY different. World League was horribly mismanaged, made a huge loss, and brought the AVF (which is all of us) to financial ‘knees’. Lets not forget though that it was a huge part of the Australian Men’s team’s preparation for the Sydney Olympics, which remains by far their best international result.

    On the other hand the World Tour made a relatively small loss (but still substantial) based almost completely on a requirement to dump a heap of sand onto a beach that had been used for beach volleyball for decades (nothing to do with ticket sales at all). Still, a loss is a loss and unless we all volunteer to pay a higher AVF Membership, and help recruit our friends to join our AVF, then we can’t afford to cover it financially.

  6. Josh said

    Perhaps a single gender event should be considered? Would slash costs but possibly still allow the event to be run. I guess they still need major sponsors for that though.

    As for an increased AVF Membership, are you kidding? I certainly hope so.

  7. Jason Pallant said

    Could they make more money by charging slightly higher ticket prices?

    I know everyones first reaction to higher prices is NO WAY!! but I know personally I got SOOOO much more out of that event than I paid for the ticket. As a student Im pretty sure it was only like $50 for the whole week, you pay almost that much for one AFL game these days. The Australian Open Tennis is more than that for just one day if you want stadium seats.

    I reckon if people were given the option of paying slightly more and having an event in Adelaide, or not having the event at all, paying more would win. That’s just my opinion though, maybe others disagree.


  8. Dinosaur Jr said

    Was I kidding about increasing AVF Membership? Yes and no. There are basically three income sources for the AVF – Membership, sponsorship (minimal at best), and government charity. With the global financial crisis sucking the money out of everything, there is little chance of sponsorship nor increase in government charity. That means the only way to increase AVF income is Membership. You want services to be provided? You have to pay – its the way of the world. To expect a higher level of service but complaining about paying anything is kinda like the old line about insanity – that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome (mindless reps at training anyone?!).

    I don’t want to increase Membership fees. But – you didn’t comment on the other point that I made. What about INCREASING MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS? If everyone who went to the World Tour and loved it, talked 2 of their friends into becoming members of the AVF, then maybe there would be enough money to do it again?

  9. Whosin said

    i think the other major factor involved was the terrible weather. There was so much publicity around over the week, that surely if the weather was kinder, than i would of hoped that the crowds would show up as well. Surely the AVF can’t make such a decision based on the events of 1 bad year and give in.
    Additionally – i thought the SA govt had promised to assist for 3 or 5 years towards the event?
    Josh – i don’t know if making it a single gender event would make the cost of running the event any smaller. As you would still be expected to bring in the sand, build the stands, etc, etc….. Worth the thought though – esp as so many other countries do this and the FIVB prefer it that way.

  10. devo said

    Expect a joint South Australian Tourism Commission / Volleyball Australia statement late next week about the tour.

  11. mickmurphy said

    From what I can gather of the event.

    It was run at a monumental loss due to
    – imported sand
    – grandstand adjustments
    Which led to the government withdrawing their support, as they did not appreciate that the event would have to lose money for 3-4 years before it would become profitable.

    Suffices to say that they event will not be in Adelaide until the government realises that it will lose money for a couple of years but by all accounts that wont be happening.

  12. Choices said

    I don’t want to go AVF bashing, because I want to promote our sport, but some of the volleyball community wonders about their choices some times.

    – state government funding was secured for several years for the event thanks to Schacht
    – because the AVF could not secure a major sponsor, the funding from government over the funding period was re-shuffled and the majority of the money was pumped into the first event. It is okay to do that, however, it does not create a sustainable model.
    – strategically for the AVF it seemed to be a very strange choice. They have just (almost) go out of debt for the first time since about 99. The WT event put them back into debt

    – what were they going to get out of the event? They were not going to get other teams to qualify for the Olympics, which must have been close to their highest priority. Holding it in the future to help the developing national team players get tour points, in order to help them qualify for the main draw, would have been strategically smarter. I guess that they were hoping on securing a good result at the event and securing sponsorship from that.

    – this strategic issue is deepened by the AVF taking on a new sponsor for the national tour, who directly conflicts with the FIVB. At least one of these parties (if not both) had to give.
    – I heard rumours that the AVF got fined due to this
    – the AVF did not do a good job in promoting sponsors for the event. Some corporate people arrived, but were not catered for adeqautely

  13. Tristo said

    I am surprised that no one is getting stuck into the FIVB about this. We have all played at Glenelg, and the sand is great. I wasn’t at the event, but can any one tell me if the new sand was actually better? And where did it come from… a quarry?

    Why would they make spend so much money on replacing the sand? It sounds political to me.

  14. edbinnie said

    I believe (though I am no beach expert) that the sand has to be neither too fine, nor too coarse, and can’t have too much particle material (ie coral or shells). Nothing to do with politics.
    If the sand is too fine, then it’s too light, and makes it hard to breath and causes a problem for eyes etc especially in the wind. Also, if it gets wet, it actually hardens too much, and effectively becomes concrete like – causing knee problems for the athletes.
    If its too coarse, or has too many particles in it, then it is uncomfortable or even dangerous for the players.
    I believe the Glenelg was too fine, but then I am surprised that it was ok to use the outer courts then – the qualifying and majority of the main draw matches were played on the Glenelg sand.
    I also know that the plans were changed to accommodate the stadium – original proposals had the main stadium on stand, and other courts further back, and i believe that there were going to be tide issues (does anyone else remember showing up to the far courts and having to clean off the debris and flatten them out?)

  15. Josh said

    Hey Devo, it’s now November 25th… any word on that official statement from the AVF and the South Australian Events? Ed, I reckon you’re pretty spot on about the sand being too fine. They have an independent testing company that actually tests the sand to ensure it meets the grade. Obviously the tests came back in the negative and hence 1600 tonnes of sand needed to be shipped in.

    I’m astonished that in this day and age of professionalism that the AVF and/or Events SA went into this event thinking they could make money in the first year.

    Someone posed the question of what did they hope to gain out of the event. Perhaps putting Australia back on the beach volleyball map??? But having it for only one year, going into debt (or close to it) and basically pulling the pin does nothing more than destroy any hope of building momentum. Since 2000 we, as a country, have failed to capitalise on the potential of beach volleyball time and time again. There’s still no word on whether the AVP are still involved for this summer … I don’t know what goes on at AVF headquarters but geez…

    Let’s hope the AVF actually put out the promised media release and we can make some sense of this dissappointment.


  16. devo said

    Hi Josh,

    I’ll send off an email.

  17. devo said

    Apparently the release is at Tourism SA awaiting their final clearance.

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