By Paul Martinez
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
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
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
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.