USA Volleyball To Take Part In Snow Tournament Later This Month
USA Volleyball for the first time will enter a team in an internationally sanctioned snow volleyball tournament on Dec. 20 in Moscow, a first step in the NGB's goal of popularizing the discipline stateside. The European Volleyball Confederation gave the U.S. a wild card in the 16-team draw, part of the fourth annual European tour in snow volleyball. The sport is similar to the beach version but is played with three players per side instead of two. Lloy Ball, a member of the '08 Gold Medal-winning U.S. volleyball team, will captain the team. USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis said sport leaders worldwide see snow as a conceptual successor to the beach game -- a minor adaptation of the original sport that could open up entirely new markets and audiences. "The real goal of the (Int'l Volleyball Federation) is to become the only federation or sport that competes in both the Summer and Winter Olympics,” Davis said. “And as you know, the Olympic charter requires the Winter Games to be competed on snow or ice. This discipline, snow volleyball, would therefore qualify for that." The U.S. wants to compete in two or three snow events annually for now, Davis said, with the goal of hosting an internationally sanctioned snow event in America. Commercially, he predicts snow volleyball will catch on first at winter resorts as an option to mountain sports.