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AVP volleyball picks perfect time to return

avp womens beach volleyball martinez photosport
AVP beach volleyball hopes to ride an Olympic wave of popularity as it returns in 2012

Paul Martinez / PHOTOSPORT

By Paul Martinez
Staff Writer

San Diego Calif. (Aug 08, 2012) – The Association of Volleyball Professionals will restart operations with two beach volleyball tournaments in 2012, and add a full schedule for 2013, said AVP CEO Donald Sun.

    The reconstituted league will uphold both the men's and women's ends, as it had done since the demise of the women's BVA in 2001. AVP has had an on-and-off relationship with the women's end during its 30-year history as various women's specific tours pop in and out of existence.

    Beach volleyball itself has had an on-and-off relationship with money, not able to offer decent purses because of certain problems peculiar to the sport - such as being unable to make people pay admission to watch matches on California beaches. Revenue models must focus on sponsorships and broadcast deals to support the league.

    According to Sun, the new AVP will offer larger purses than before, in order to attract the best teams. He'll also need it to be competitive against a number of upstart beach volleyball circuits which have popped up since the sudden 2010 demise of the old AVP.

    The two matches this year will be held on back to back weekends in late August and early September, in Cincinatti and Santa Barbara. The Cincinatti event will be open to all comers and offer a $175,000 purse, while the Santa Barbara stop is being positioned as a championship invitational open to the top 12 mens and womens teams only.

    Sun seems to be fast tracking the new league to take advantage of a major resurgence of popularity in the sport during the Olympics. Though in a July press release he said sponsors had not even been identified yet, it shouldn't be a problem following Olympic sellout crowds and record beach volleyball TV ratings.

    The 2013 season should offer a full slate of tour stops across the country. Four of the stops will be called Majors mirroring golf and tennis, offering larger fields and increased prize money.

    Since the collapse of the old AVP, regional volleyball tours in the midwest, east coast, and the Florida coast have stepped in. Sun is open to including these organizations in the new system, which is probably a smart idea since their expertise will be valuable in areas which have not had a history of high level beach volleyball.

 Photo Gallery
kerry walsh beach volleyball martinez photosportKerry Walsh in BVA action

beach volleyball martinez photosportBeach Volleyball

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