The AVP announced it’s first tour stop of 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah! This is great news for many fans of the sport as Utah has a strong volleyball community and has produced a few of the best pros playing right now. The new team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson both individually dominated the beach volleyball scene in Utah before moving to California to go pro. But not everyone is happy about the decision of the AVP scheduling their first tournament on the same date (August 16-18) as the NVL’s Hermosa beach volleyball tournament.
Beach volleyball fans are very opinionated and passionate about their sport and everyone wants the sport to be able to succeed like the NBA or NFL but it just hasn’t ever happened. There are a thousand reasons why beach volleyball isn’t successful in the United States and like everything in life, it all comes down to money. Beach Volleyball can’t seem to get the big sponsors or any television time. Why? Who knows! The wrong people in marketing departments over the past 15 years maybe. Or could it be that beach volleyball fans, while being the most passionate, are also the cheapest because they prefer playing in the sand all day instead of ever buying anything from the companies that sponsor beach volleyball. That results in companies terminating their sponsorship and cutting all ties with the sport.
I personally believe that competition is exactly what the sport needs right now. Compete to get the best players in your tournaments by paying out the most money or by having more tournaments. Scheduling tournaments on the same weekend isn’t a bad thing, it lets more people play in professional tournaments. What other sport exists where you can just go sign up to play in a tournament and become a “pro” by beating a few teams on a weekend? I love the concept and think that we need to all put our money where our mouths are and get out and support each event. And while you are there, buy a new shirt or a new ball or whatever there is to buy from the sponsors at the event because that is what will make the sport grow.