A quick update on how the Volleyball events have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted negatively on the sporting world. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread around the world and distracted the numerous anticipated and breathtaking sporting events in the 2020 calendar. Volleyball has not been an exception as the sporting world struggles to handle the situation. A lot of volleyball events were in the pipeline to spark excitement in 2020, but most of them have been canceled or postponed. Nevertheless, most volleyball fans are eager for updates and are still optimistic that the game will rise again. Let us do a quick update on canceled and postponed volleyball events so far. 

Volleyball Nations League 2020

The 2020 Volleyball Nations League won’t take place. This is after FIVB canceled the event following the stringent regulations imposed to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19. The volleyball tournament was supposed to kick off on May 19 for men and May 22 for women. Earlier in March, the FIVB had announced it was postponing the tournament for a later date this year to safeguard the health of players and stakeholders from the risk of Covid-19 infection. 

However, the body has ramped up its decision by again pushing the tournament to the year 2021. The body noted that the host nations Italy and China might not be in a position to offer safe, accessible, and top competition amidst the heat of Coronavirus. FIVB confirmed it is working closely with relevant parties to prepare a schedule for the VNL 2021 tournament. FIVB however, confirmed that China and Italy will remain as the host nations. 

The National Club Season 2019-2020 and 2020-2021

The FIVB has so far given the green light for all national leagues to restart as early as June 1, 2020. These leagues can either choose to finish the remainder of the 2019-2020 season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic or commence the 2020-2021 league campaign. However, all schedules must adhere to the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines stipulated by relevant authorities. The leagues must implement thorough safety and protection measures to avoid risking the health of players, coaches, fans, and other stakeholders. FIVB has said it will be keeping an eye on all events, and no event will go on before approval by the FIVB. Meanwhile, all the leagues are expected to finish their 2020-2021 season before or in April 2021. 

International Transfer Certificates

FIVB has also given a go-ahead to all leagues to extend the ITCs to finish the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. Each national league is mandated to propose and table the date to conclude the remaining part of the 2019-2020 season. They are also tasked with the responsibility of regulating the registration period for new players if necessary. The ITCs for the 2020-2021 season kicks off on June 1, 2020, and ends on May 2, 2021. 

European Volleyball Cups

The European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) announced it had canceled the remaining 2020 European Cups because of the Covid-19 crisis. Even the CEV Champions League Volley Super that was initially set for May 16, 2020, in Berlin was subsequently canceled. The body agreed to give 80% of the expected prize money to the teams still active across the three European Cups.

Beach volleyball

There were a series of Beach volleyball events scheduled for 2020. However, the strict travel restrictions imposed over the Covid-19 pandemic is making it much harder to run these events as scheduled. After carefully analyzing the current state, FIVB decided to ring the changes to some of the Beach Volleyball World Tour events. 

Events scheduled for June in Russia, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, and Greece have been postponed. The 5-star event in Rome for instance, will happen in 2021 after Italian bodies pledged to follow all guidelines and host the beach event in 2021. FIVB is liaising with IOC to make relevant changes regarding the beach volleyball qualification system due to the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.   

2020 volleyball challenger cup

The Men’s and Women’s Challenger Cup 2020 has been postponed. The tournament was originally planned to run between 24-28 June in two cities, namely Gondomar, Portugal, and Zadar, Croatia. The FIVB confirmed the cancellation of the event citing the current Covid-19 pandemic being the cause. The body did not, however, provide the exact date when the tournament will return, and the fans would have to wait until further notice.  

Snow Volleyball

The Snow Volleyball World Tour event that was scheduled for August 20-23, 2020, has been canceled. This decision was arrived at after the Argentinian Volleyball Federation requested that they reschedule the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The event was supposed to take place in Barichole, the Rio Negro, in Argentina, but it is clear now that it won’t take place this year. 

Wrap up

As volleyball fans, we can only hope that the Covid-19 infection curve flattens soon so that we can get back to action. The sport might be back soon, albeit while adhering to health guidelines will be paramount. This means that we might not enjoy the game as usual, as we have seen in some of the sporting events that have returned.