SBD/September 26, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

U.S. Beach Volleyball Remains Fragmented In Wake Of AVP Folding

Many players feel beach volleyball is not big enough to support three tours
The Hermosa Beach Open this past weekend was the final event of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series and the culmination of three domestic beach volleyball tours which have “tried to fill the chasm created by last year's abrupt dissolution" of the AVP, according to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. TIMES. The consensus is the Cuervo series, the National Volleyball League and the Corona Light Wide Open tour “can't all exist peacefully.” There will now be “about eight months to figure it out, but players predict less fragmentation,” as three tours “seem like a lot to them.” U.S. volleyball player Sean Scott said, "I think it's going to be tough” as he doesn’t “know if the marketplace can" support it. Bresnahan writes “notably absent from almost every domestic tournament were the Big Four: Olympic gold medalists Misty May, [Kerri] Walsh, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.” Walsh said, "I don't think having two or three tours, dividing all the wonderful things people contribute to our sport, I don't think that serves the sport very well. I think we need to consolidate but do it in a really smart way. Start small and grow and shoot for the moon." Still, IMG Senior VP & Dir of Action Sports James Leitz, whose company runs the Cuervo series, said, "Our plan is to expand” (L.A. TIMES, 9/26).
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