devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

World Uni Games – Serbia

Posted by edbinnie on June 23, 2009

world uni logo vbWorld Uni Games are coming up soon – July 2 to July 11.

And Australia are actually sending a men’s team!

Follow the team here.

Steve Benson is the coach, but who else is on the Team List? See here.

There are also some highlights (or will be) here. They may not be volleyball specific, but there should be some – Volleyball is one of the major Serbian Sports!

12 Responses to “World Uni Games – Serbia”

  1. Graeme said

    The team is on the Uni Sport website

  2. Big Ren said

    My prediction is Canada to take out the FISU games…….. sending a very very very talented team! All players either are professional or dominant in the CIS league

  3. Baron Von Marlon said

    Yeah, but Australia definitely has the most attractive team!

  4. Tony said

    I agree with renson…Canada looking like a dominant force.

  5. Mark Robertson said

    It is excellent news to see that Australia is finally sending a team along to the World Uni Games, regardless of the result. The Uni Games experience is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed for the past 3 years. Looking at the team I see a vast range of talented athletes who have been able to successfully combine high level volleyball with their studies.
    My issue is not with the team but how the entire selection process was conducted. It is my understanding that a notification of some kind was posted on the AVF website some time ago with a deadline for expressing interest. This as the stand alone promotion is exceptionally poor and goes no where near far enough to promote the trials to generate the best pool of athletes to pick from. I myself was selected in the Green and Gold team at last year’s Australian Uni Games held in Melbourne. The Green and Gold team is selected by the officials, and forms a team of 12 players who in theory should represent the best players in the tournament. It is naive to think that this would automatically guarantee selection for the World Games Team, I’m not suggesting that at all. It is also not practical due to the fact that the team was picked regardless of position so a a team of pass hitters and setters was selected last year for example. But the point still remains, why pick this team in the first place if you are not going to even contemplate the members for team selection? From my count there are 4 out of a possible 12 players who made the Green and Gold team last year that were selected in the Aus Uni Team. This may be simply due to how the team fitted together, but still this seems to be an extremely low percentage nonetheless. I think that it is far more likely that none of the players on the selected World Team even knew about this unless contacted personally by the Coach Steve Benson. I know of a number of players who didn’t even compete in the Australian Uni Games that were contacted by Steve after the selection deadline had passed asking them to consider playing. These players I mention are of the highest quality and if available would have been selected in the final team most probably. All of which are eligible as they are undertaking some kind of studies, but i think that it is unlikely they would have been contacted if not for their personal relationship in the past with Steve. I am not questioning Steve professionalism at all, as I mentioned these are legitimate players who would have easily cut the mustard. What I believe is that it should never have come to this in the first place and that he should never have been put in this position. The fact that the coach had to personally contact players instead of being inundated with players wanting to represent their country is farcical and once again highlights the poor management, communication and promotion of volleyball in this country.
    In terms of anyone believing that this is simply sour grapes for myself not being selected, it could not be further from the truth. I openly admit that I would struggle to make the team on my best day. What angers me is the fact that myself and others who played in that tournament, who played well enough to be selected in the team of the tournament were not approached at all. There are a number of people in my position throughout Australia who are not at the elite level yet still study hard during the year while playing at the highest level they can whether that be AVL or State League. So when a team was supposed to be selected from we were not given at least the chance to throw our hat in the ring.
    To remedy this in the future. I suggest that all the Universities who participated in the Australian Uni Games should be contacted with regards to any trials that are to be held. In addition to this the State Entities should also take an active role in communicating any such trials to the clubs directly. I think it would be far better for Australian volleyball if the Coach was contacted by 100’s of potential players all over the state, rather than just themselves having to go through their address book trying to put a team together. And of course the Coach still has the discretion to select players who are competing abroad at different colleges and Universities. I just hope that next year the common player trying to get a degree while trying to play the highest level of volleyball they can, has just a glimmer of hope in playing for their country.


    Mark Robertson

    • devo said

      standalone promotion …
      We also mentioned it here on devo

      • Mark Robertson said

        I stand corrected, it was mentioned on two websites, hardly sufficient to get the word out. I only came across it because I heard the team was leaving today last night and I thought it might be interesting to see who was actually selected. My post stemmed from this and my discussions with other players about what actually happened. When googling the team I was brought here. I have not been an avid follower of this site but it is now firmly in my bookmarks now. I think it is fantastic that discussion such as this has a forum outside of the change room. I hope the AVF has thanked you for doubling their media exposure on this topic, as the vast majority of the University volleyball community do not follow the AVF website as studiously as yourself for the latest updates.
        The point still remains that there must have been insufficient responses pointing to a failure in promotion. I hoped to bring to light the issues on this topic so that more people can become aware of Uni volleyball and get involved.

        Best of luck to the boys leaving today!

    • Batesy said

      I, for the most part, agree with Robbo.
      Even though I’m not even competitive with the guys who have made up the World Uni Games team, it would’ve been good to have at least been able to trial anyway, as playing for a higher level team is always something I strive for.
      I guess I’m in a bit of a “uni games black hole” at Deakin, with their non-existent sports program, and unfortunately when it was announced here I wasn’t a daily reader of Devo’s blog (like I am now), so I can’t offer up any suggestions as to how the whole process could be effectively improved. …but it does feel good to vent a little bit of frustration about it!

  6. $$$ said

    Most country’s federations strongly support Uni Games because it provides the only experience possible that is close to the Olympics (multisport, big). Australia doesn’t. No big deal.

    Uni Games is, traditionally, a ‘user pays’ tournament. I know in the past that interested players basically organised the team themselves.

    To do anything other than this would require enormous resources.

    I submit that only people who pay their AVF Registration (the only non-government source of income the AVF has) have the right to complain about where their money is spent. If the Federation isn’t doing what you want – you are a Member – you control things. If you aren’t, you don’t.

  7. good luck to all athletes said

    Whatever the selection process, however they came to be on that plane to Belgrade, I (and I hope everyone in the Australian volleyball community) wish them all good luck in what is probably the highlight of their sporting lives.

    Good luck boys, do us all proud.

  8. Reds said

    What has happened to the all conquering, all powerful QUT sides from Uni games for the past few years? Have they all graduated and the rest of us have a legitimate chance this year? I might not no too much, but they were decent players, 2 or 3 were in the QLD Pirates AVL runners up team.

    Not sure this typ of thing would fly in any other sport, but hey, its volleyball in Australia. Logical, well planned and well executed.

  9. Dad said

    The Boys get their first match today against UAE.

    Lets go Team OZ!

    2July 15:00 M9 AUS(D) – UAE(D)

    3July 15:00 M17 CZE(D) – AUS(D)

    4July 18:00 M25 AUS(D) – GER(D)

    6July 15:00 M43 AUS(D) – POL(D)

    7July 15:00 M53 HKG(D) – AUS(D)

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