volleyball remains in a state of flux as concerns continue to grow over the worldwide spread of coronavirus. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) says it is monitoring the outbreak ‘on an hour-by-hour basis’ as it strives to navigate a safe path through the current crisis.
Read on as we take a closer look at the impact coronavirus has already had on volleyball and the effect it could have on the sport further down the line.
FIVB postpones the Volleyball Nations League
The FIVB confirmed that it was postponing the 2020 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) until after the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. The preliminary phase was due to be held during May and June, with the final stage scheduled for early July. Two-time winners Russia were amongst the favourites at gg.bet/en/volleyball to retain the title, but their bid is now on hold until later in the year. The FIVB says the decision will help athletes focus on their health and fitness, in addition to allowing national leagues to complete their seasons when the situation improves.
Beach volleyball hit by coronavirus
Beach volleyball has also been impacted by coronavirus, with the FIVB currently evaluating the status of each event on an individual status. Travel limitations and restrictions in other parts of the world have already caused the cancellation of an event in Australia that was due to take place during March. In addition, an upcoming event in Mexico has also been postponed despite the FIVB being advised that the risk level of coronavirus in the country is currently low. Further competitions in Thailand and China have also been cancelled, with more expected to follow over the coming weeks.
USA Volleyball goes into lockdown
USA Volleyball (USAV) announced it was shutting down all activities in the sport covered by its insurance up to the end of March. Individual clubs and coaches have been encouraged to adhere to the policies, although they can continue on a non-sanctioned basis under their own insurance. Some events scheduled for April have already been cancelled and more are likely to follow as fears over coronavirus continue to grow. USAV says that the “health and welfare of our membership, volleyball families and fellow citizens is our primary concern in all decisions we are making during these uncharted times”.
Olympic test event cancelled
The volleyball test event for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The event had been scheduled to take place towards the end of March, but the Japan Volleyball Association took the decision to call it off. However, while the news is a big blow to volleyball, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it is confident the Games will proceed as scheduled this summer. The IOC ruled out making ‘any drastic decisions at this stage’, although some of their members have criticised the stance.