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Beach volleyball for the disabled

THE Asia Oceania Committee Volleyball for Disabled (AOCVD) got the ball rolling in introducing beach volleyball for the disabled in the region.

Recently, the volleyball administrators from eight countries, including hosts Malaysia, gathered to discuss their plans in implementing the game on the sandy surface.

Participants from the United States, Germany, Greece, Australia, Slovakia, Britain and Egypt were part of the programme.

Among the three key personalities were World Organisation Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD) competition committee chairman Barry Courner of Australia, International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) senior instructor Athanasios Papageorgious from Greece and coach Helena Hankova of Slovakia.

New experience: A file photo of a six-a-side sitting volleyball for the disabled.

AOCVD technical chairman Billy Lee said they had a fruitful meeting in drawing up the guidelines in beach volleyball for the disabled.

“The Europeans got a head start in experimenting the two-a-side format similar to the game for the able-bodied. But, we have suggested to modify it and make it a three-on-three affair because it will be less strenuous on the players with various lower limb disabilities. Basically, the other rules and regulations of the game will remain the same,” he added.

Judging from the poor response to the six-a-side sitting volleyball for the disabled, the beach volleyball is expected to add excitement at the Paralympics.

“A majority of the countries are keen on the standing game. We need at least 18 countries from three continents to be in the fray for it to be included in the Paralympic Games.

“We are hopeful that beach volleyball will take off because it is easier to assemble a team with three players and each country can field up to two teams at top level international meets,” said Billy, adding that Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and America were the potential continents in developing beach volleyball.

Following the recent three-day conference, they have appointed a team of five members — Courner, Papageorgiou, Hankova, William Olen Hamiter of the United States and Dr Mosaad R Moustafa Elauity of Egypt — to present their findings to the FIVB before promoting the game globally.

“We are hopeful that the game will make its debut in Malaysia mid next year. We are considering to organise a tournament with between eight and 16 teams in the contest,” Billy said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2011 11:10 )  

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