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Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Karpol: Lunatics – That’s What I Need

Posted by devo on January 13, 2010

We get a lot of “spam” and requests to present info here at devo’s. Most of it is rubbish. Most of it gets caught by our “spam filter”. But occasionally something comes through that is a little more interesting.

I have only seen Karpol in action on video, but he is certainly one of the “personalities” of the sport. Has anyone had the chance to read this bio? Should I be adding this book to my post Christmas reading list?

I am free to inform you about launching a book on famous Russian coach, two times Olympic champion and three times silver medalist, World champion and three times bronze medalist, two times FIVB Coach of the Year, Hall of Fame member… Nikolai Karpol.

The book is titled “Karpol: Lunatics – That’s What I Need” and it is available at You can see the content of the book at

Tomislav Birtic, author

Posted in coaching, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Rick Mitchell on Crawford

Posted by devo on November 22, 2009

Rick Mitchell represented Australia at the 1976, ’80 and ’84 Olympic Games, and was also the inaugural executive director of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport. In The Age today he says:

… the Crawford Report suggests otherwise. Coming from a panel with a majority of members having football affiliations, it proposes we focus on sports in the Australian psyche, like football and cricket rather than “minority” sports.

What exactly is a minority sport? Volleyball is hardly part of the Australian psyche, yet it is one of the two largest participant sports in the world. Why should Australia not want to be good at it? Why support sports that have immense media deals and financial capability as it is? Because their representatives say so? Let’s get real chaps! In the global sense, rugby league and AFL, for example, are played by a minuscule gene pool? Minority sports? Indeed!

However, the Crawford report raises one pertinent question. Do we judge Olympic success by medals won or should we focus on the percentage of athletes who produce lifetime bests in the Olympic arena? If it’s the former, then sadly, our view is short term. The latter will bring medals, provided we spend our funds on the one thing nobody seems to mention.

… The real issue is the almost complete lack of a professional career path for coaches in most Olympic sports.

Read the full article ~ The Crawford Review is  here.

Posted in Aust Institute of Sport, Australian Beach VB, Australian Volleyball, coaching, It's not volleyball but ..., Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Beach | Tagged: , | 16 Comments »

Author of Crawford Report on Radio

Posted by Hugh Nguyen on November 20, 2009

While driving this evening I was surprised to hear an interview with businessman David Crawford about the release of his report on the future of Australian sport, on Radio National’s “Australia Talks” programme.

  • The report is now available for download here.
  • You can download the interview here.

The Crawford Report seems to have been quite well received. One should always be prepared for anything when inviting Australia to “talk”.

Only one caller seemed to express pride in seeing the success of our elite programmes. When asked if promoting achievement at the elite level should be a priority for the government, “Frank” from Geelong responded by saying “I get no satisfaction out of seeing Australians in the pool crushing tiny nations with six swimmers”. People seemed quite happy with the findings of the report, with many of the callers expressing that more money should be instead spent on the grass roots and community sport instead of the elite level and Olympic movement.

The report also suggests spinning off the AIS from the ASC and merging the resources of the state-based institutions with the AIS.

Posted in Aust Institute of Sport, coaching, It's not volleyball but ..., Olympics, sport | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Best of us challenge

Posted by devo on October 29, 2009

The International Olympic Committee have created ‘The Best of Us to build youth engagement with the Olympic Movement.

Participants are encouraged to submit 30-second videos of themselves doing an activity related to sport, and to then share it with their friends and challenge them to do better. A number of famous athletes, including Aussie beach volleyballer  Natalie Cook, are participating and lending their support to the campaign.

Posted in Australian Beach VB, It's not volleyball but ..., Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball Beach | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Best of us challenge

Volleyball funding to be cut?

Posted by devo on October 27, 2009

Markleb began conversation on the Crawford review last week in his What will YOU do? post.

The Daily Telegraph suggests that  …

The Crawford review is said to have told Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis the broad funding model that exists for Olympic sports costs the government too much. It is set to recommend only a handful of sports in which Australia is highly competitive at the Olympics – like swimming, cycling and track and field – should receive full funding.

Funding for most other sports – like volleyball, tae-kwon-do and badminton – would be phased out over several years. more

I have read so many articles from overseas sources holding up our AIS as THE model to follow. Many countries have followed the model. It is ironic that our model may disappear. As Markleb asks: What will you do? Are you ready to man the barricades?

Posted in Aust Institute of Sport, Australian Volleyball, coaching, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Australia, Volleyball Beach | Tagged: | 17 Comments »

Volleyball and Beach in London

Posted by devo on October 9, 2009

The FIVB today applauded the International Olympic Committee’s decision to once again accept Volleyball and Beach Volleyball … as Olympic disciplines for another Olympic cycle. … will be part of the 26 sports represented at the 2012 Games in London. more@fivb

Posted in FIVB, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Beach | Comments Off on Volleyball and Beach in London

Digital Revolution: “Let the children play”

Posted by devo on October 7, 2009

Okay, this is preaching to the converted, but it is good to have digital content discussed at the top level.

From The Age:

The Olympic movement needs to learn from the likes of YouTube or risk losing young viewers for life, IOC members were told Monday.

Communications guru Martin Sorrell advised global sports leaders to release their grip on exclusive broadcast rights and hand them over to a new generation of technology-savvy fans. “If they are going online, you go online,” Sorrell said in a keynote speech on digital media at the International Olympic Committee’s Congress. “You have to let them play — with your content, your assets — in their own way.”

Sorrell … said sports federations had to learn from how the entertainment industry engaged with viewers. He urged sports to let passionate fans buy access to archive footage …

And from the fivb:

“The FIVB invites all of its national federations to read and study the very important document titled ‘The Olympic Movement in Society’ and the FIVB Executive Committee will discuss the related recommendations during its up and coming meeting in November so that the FIVB is in unison with the IOC in making sure youth and athletes are a key priority.” … taking full advantage of new digital technology …

Digital Revolution: “Let the children play” ~

Posted in FIVB, It's not volleyball but ..., Olympics, sport, Sports | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Volleyball a highly subsidised niche elite sport

Posted by devo on September 7, 2009

I’ve been away from home for a few days. I’m scanning through 100 odd emails, RSS feeds  and alerts. This one kind of sprung out at me.

These multicultural sports surely hold more appeal than the millions of dollars we spend on highly subsidised, niche elite sports such as volleyball. Most people care about volleyball for only 10 minutes every four years – and even then only if the sport rises above the din of other Olympic events. (Can anybody name an Australian volleyball player?)

Popular sports can afford to support themselves, and sports that are unpopular do not necessarily deserve to be propped up by taxpayers’ money. Australian athletes will continue to dominate many international competitions. As consumers of sport, we will be drawn to their success. Let’s leave it there. Why subsidise Cold War-style nationalism? more @ Bisbane Times

Posted in Aust Institute of Sport, Australian Volleyball, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Australia | 54 Comments »

revisiting Olympics

Posted by markleb on August 23, 2009

I’ve just been studying the Olympic semi final between Russia and USA and was struck by two things.  Firstly, it is by far the best match of the tournament in terms of quality and competitiveness.  Maybe the USA-Serbia quarter final is also good, but this match is a much higher level than the final.

The second thing is that the Russian Sergey Tetyukin is a really wonderful player.  He rarely gets mentioned among the best players in the world, but he is still playing at the very highest level now into his fifth Olympiad.  He can spike fast and high and from the backrow.  He is an excellent best receiver and a very good blocker and server.  But there are no youtube clips of him doing outrageous things (I just looked) because all he does is everything excellently.  At his peak he was in a car accident and suffered serious injuries yet came back just as good as before.  He is almost certainly the most complete player of his generation and has a string of medals from major tournaments, including three Olympic medals from four semi finals appearances.  Unfortunately none of them have been gold and perhaps for that reason he hasn’t got the recognition he deserves

So here is my little bit of recognition.  In case it helps.

Posted in FIVB, Olympics, Volleyball | 4 Comments »

McCutcheon coach of the year

Posted by devo on June 4, 2009

USA Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), who led the U.S. Men’s National Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games before taking over the U.S. Women’s Team in December 2008, has been named the 2008 National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

McCutcheon, 39, is the first volleyball coach to receive the award since the program was initiated in 1996. McCutcheon and the other honorees will be presented with their awards on June 13. more@USA Volleyball

Posted in Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball | Tagged: , | Comments Off on McCutcheon coach of the year

Bea helps out

Posted by devo on May 14, 2009

She’s played in the Sydney Olympics and for four years as a professional in Europe. Now she’s enjoying a stint in Warrnambool. Bea Daly, a 28-year-old South Australian, has added her wealth of elite level experience to the Warrnambool women’s volleyball team.

Daly (is on) a six-week placement as a physiotherapist with South West Healthcare’s Warrnambool hospital. Her struggle to find accommodation was solved by the local volleyball club and in return Daly pulled on the Warrnambool colours. “There’s a great bunch of girls in the club. It’s nice to fit into a team like that,” she said. “I’m helping out where I can. more@standard

As a country coach, I know how valuable getting someone like Bea is to a program. It doesn’t happen that much out here in the sticks. Good on her for putting in the effort.

Posted in Aussies Overseas, Australian Volleyball, Olympics, sport, Sports, State Volleyball, Volleyball | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Most watched tv sport in 08

Posted by devo on May 10, 2009

The opening ceremony at last year’s Olympic Games in China was the most watched live event in human history, outstripping the moon landings, the funeral of Princess Diana and Barack Obama’s inauguration. The Sunday Times can reveal that the Beijing extravaganza, staged at the Bird’s Nest stadium on August 8, attracted the world’s first “genuine 1 billion” television audience, according to an authoritative report to be released tomorrow.

The Olympic closing ceremony came second (252m average global audience/778m reach), followed by a China v Cuba volleyball game. The sport is massive in China and that match was the most-watched event by the Chinese population outside the ceremonies. In fourth place was the men’s 100m final. Football got its first mention in fifth place more@BBC

Posted in It's not volleyball but ..., Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Most watched tv sport in 08

VTAM pre tournament strategy

Posted by devo on May 8, 2009

An interesting point of view from our correspondent VBfan:

I checked out the Volleyball Australia website by following the link from Devo’s. It is not normal for me to travel there as the information is quite often out of date or just plain uninteresting.

What caught my eye on this occasion were the two tours for the VTAM prior to the Qualification matches for the World Championships in China. What I don’t understand is that this team management do not learn from their mistakes. Last year at the Olympic qualification matches the team was subjected to a grueling tour prior to the very important qualification tournament in Tokyo. The team arrived exhausted and after two matches were totaly worn down. The Japanese our main foes were fit and healthy and played well taking the place for the Olympics. The difference between these teams was that the Japanese stayed at home, slept in their own beds, maintained their gym work, trained with a second string USA team (who I believe replicated many Australian players), ate their normal food and were fit and ready for the tournament. Great preparation by anyones standards.

On the other hand, our guys travelled through South America, Europe and China for around a month. They spent time on lengthy bus trips, plane trips, different beds every few nights, strange food, no gym work, all for a few matches of volleyball. We have (we are told) the best training faciillity in the world, but we didn’t use it. Another argument was that we could not have imported a first rate team to train with due to the expense. But if we didn’t travel the world building up frequent flyer points, we could have afforded to have done something similar to what the Japanese did. After that debacle two of our senior and most experienced players left the program, I don’t know the reason, but can only assume that they were tired.

Let’s hope that our guys are more successful this time around. If not, perhaps we should be looking at a different strategy or coach.

Posted in Australian Volleyball, FIVB World Champs, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Australia | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Olympic technical videos available

Posted by devo on April 18, 2009

The FIVB has  technical videos of the men’s and women’s Olympic Volleyball tournaments in Beijing. The videos showcase the best players in the world performing to a high technical and tactical level.

A comprehensive list of clips focusing on serving, setting, blocking, receiving and spiking are available for each of the 24 men’s and women’s teams that competed at the 2008 Summer Games.

Posted in FIVB, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball, Volleyball Video | Tagged: | Comments Off on Olympic technical videos available

Karch to coach

Posted by devo on April 17, 2009

Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), the most decorated player in the history of volleyball and an international legend – both indoor and on the beach – has been named an assistant coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team.

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) hired Kiraly as an assistant coach for the program which won the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in Beijing. Along with McCutcheon, he joins a staff that also includes assistant coach/technical coordinator Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) and athletic trainer Jill Wosmek.

“We all know how great Karch was as a player, and I strongly believe that he will have similar success in this game as a coach,” McCutcheon said. “His addition to our staff is a huge boon for this program. His knowledge, experience and drive will be invaluable.”

Kiraly, 48, has been recognized by many as the greatest volleyball player ever. more

Posted in Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

fivb rule changes

Posted by devo on April 15, 2009

While I was away on hols :-))))) several decisions were made by the FIVB. In case you did not catch up with them they are:

The FIVB will not try to enforce the local player rule for national leagues.  “This is a good proposal (to place limitations) but difficult to implement. If we limit foreign players the quality may go down and we will lose the market.’ For this reason we return and we will not compulsorily limit foreign players. We should be realistic. It is good for the future but not now. EU law is one of the key points. We didn’t want to enter in a fight with the European Union.” more

The Olympic beach competition will have at least one team from each continent. “With the new system, we maintain the World Tour ranking system, allowing the best players, and we also give a qualifying quota to each Confederation, so every continent has at least one place. It is elite but also universal, because universality is an IOC principle.” more ~ more

The libero rule has become clearer. Two liberos will be allowed only in … “specific competitions and not in general and the rule would be included only in the specific regulations of each of these events”. Though this has been sent to the rules commission for further discussion. In “the specific competitions” teams will have a choice of no libero (team of 12), 1 libero (team of 12), or two liberos (team must be of 14 players). When the second libero enters the court, the first libero cannot re-enter for the match. more

It was decided to continue with tests on ball pressure and ball size for Volleyball.

Some rules have been clarified or re-written. You can check out the latest rules here, with changes in red. The more important and devo “I told you so” rules are:

  • The ball that is heading towards the opponent’s court through the lower space is in play until the moment it has completely crossed the vertical plane of the net
  • to touch the opponent’s court with any part of the body above the feet is permitted provided that it does not interfere with the opponent’s play
  • Contact with the net by a player is not a fault, unless it interferes with the play
  • A player interferes with the opponent’s play by (amongst others):
    – touching the top band of the net or the top 80 cm of the antenna during his/her action of playing the ball, or
    – taking support from the net simultaneously with playing the ball, or
    – creating an advantage over the opponent, or
    – making actions which hinder an opponent’s legitimate attempt to play the ball
  • Players may touch the post, ropes, or any other object outside the antennae, including the net itself, provided that it does not interfere with play
  • A back-row player may also complete an attack hit from the front zone, if at the moment of the contact part of the ball is lower than the top of the net.

Posted in Australian Beach VB, Australian Volleyball, FIVB, Olympics, sport, Sports, Volleyball | 17 Comments »

book review

Posted by markleb on February 24, 2009

I was on Amazon the other day browsing for basketball books (long story) when I somehow ran across a biography/autobiography of American setter Lloy Ball.  As a supporter of volleyball, I felt obligated to buy it in the hope that if people buy books on volleyball it might encourage more people to write them.  I didn’t necessarily have high hopes for the book itself but I figured at least I would read it, as opposed to the Samuele Papi biography in Italian that I bought for the same reason.

The one good thing about not being able to read the Papi biography is that is wasn’t able to disappoint me.  Lloy on the other hand…  It’s not the stories themselves but the fact that the ghost writer didn’t so much ‘write’, as ‘transcribe’.  So while it may have been entertaining to listen to Lloy over a beer or two, when the same expressions are rendered in black and white over and over and over again… less so.

But I’ve read worse books and those books weren’t about volleyball.  If for some reason it’s not at Angus & Robertson’s you could try here.

On the negative side, the photos in the Papi book are MUCH better.

Posted in FIVB World Champs, FIVB World Cup, FIVB World League, Olympics, Volleyball | 8 Comments »

Can we get the AFL involved? England shows the way.

Posted by devo on February 4, 2009

English Premier League football clubs are to offer thousands of young people the chance to get involved in Olympic sports in a groundbreaking £3.8 million partnership with the Government. Volleyball is one of the four sports to be offered to thousands of young people in partnership with football’s top tier along with badminton, judo and table tennis.

All 20 clubs in football’s top flight will link up with community sport clubs to help attract young people in their local area and offer them opportunities in badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball. The initiative will help the Government’s ambition to offer young people five hours of sport a week, as part of its 2012 legacy plans. It will also address the drop-off in sports participation when young people leave secondary school.

“Premier League clubs are at the heart of their communities, delivering quality projects that tackle a range of important issues. In fact, under the banner of our Creating Chances community initiative, over 1.4 million people took part in the many different activities run by our clubs last season. “Premier League 4 Sport will build on this existing work, encouraging young people who love football to think about taking up another sport. With the pedigree that our clubs have in delivering projects I am confident it will be a huge success.”

Each Premier League club will be linked to four community sport clubs in their local area which will work in partnership with the football club. The 80 community sport clubs will be linked to four secondary schools in the area creating a total of 320 satellite clubs. Each Premier League club will appoint a project co-ordinator who will manage the scheme locally and work with clubs and school sports departments to maximise opportunities for young people.

Volleyball England Chief Executive Officer Lisa Wainwright said: “Volleyball England is excited about the new opportunity this partnership with the Premier League provides us as an Olympic and Paralympic sport. We see this project helping to recruit and support young players at a local level to come into volleyball. Twinned with our Lets Play Volleyball junior development programme and the Volley 123 club accreditation scheme this is another great intervention to help us achieve our aim of getting more young people to enjoy volleyball. Having successfully achieved our targets around club development over the last four years this project will be among the first to help us to deliver our new strategic aim and direction for clubs moving towards 2012 and beyond.” full article @ FIVB

Posted in FIVB, Olympics, School Volleyball, Sports, Volleyball | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

AYOF medals

Posted by devo on January 18, 2009

It’s medals day at the ayof-logo

  • Women’s bronze: Linn Lehre and Mari Aase Hole (NOR) defeated Eliza Karley Hines and Taliqua Clancy (AUS) 21-17, 21-17. AYOF press
  • Men’s bronze: Patrick Mead and Robert Reeves (AUS) defeated Yngve Antonsen and Svein Solhaug (NOR) 21-16, 21-14. AYOF press
  • Women’s gold / silver: Summer Ross and Tara Roenicke (USA) defeated Mariafe Artacho and Zina Stone (AUS) 21-17, 21-9.
  • Men’s gold / silver: NZL Wallace-Boyd/S O-Dea defeated NZL B. B O’Dea/Thomas  21-14, 21-13

Posted in Australian Beach VB, Olympics, Sports, Volleyball Australia | Tagged: , | Comments Off on AYOF medals

finals time at AOYF

Posted by devo on January 17, 2009

Americans Summer Ross and Tara Roenicke will play Australian duo Zina Stone and Mariafe Artacho in the gold medal match at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival tomorrow after winning the second semi-final on Maroubra Beach.

The women’s gold medal match will be held at 11:20am on Sunday. Norway will play Australians Taliqua Clancy and Eliza Karley Hynes in the bronze medal match at 9am. more

The men’s final will be an all New Zealand affair. Results The men’s gold medal match gets underway at 12:30pm with Aussies Reeves and Mead to battle it out with Yngve Antonsen and Svein Solhaug of Norway for the bronze at 10:10am. more

Maroubra Beach, Maroubra
09:00 – 13:45 ~   M & W Bronze Medal ~ M & W Gold Medal Match

Posted in Australian Beach VB, Olympics, Sports, Volleyball Australia | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on finals time at AOYF