Beach Volleyball & Volleyball

2009 Summer Deaflympics - Reflections
More than a month has passed since the 2009 Summer Deaflympics in Taipei. As I look back at the amazing opening and closing ceremonies and both volleyball and beach volleyball competitions in between, I think the people of Taipei have done a superb job. The venues were in excellent shape, the technical support was great, and the beach volleyball athletes handled the challenging combination of hot and humid weather on damp sand very well.

Once again, stand up and hand-wave for Taipei!

Beach Volleyball
Congratulations to Ukraine for a gold medal sweep in both men's and women's competitions in Taipei. The gold medalists are Oleksandr POLTORATSKYI and Sergii TARASOV (men) and Olena ONOKALO and Iuliia IAROSHEVSKA (women). POLTORATSKYI improved on his bronze medal performance with a different teammate at the 2005 Summer Deaflympics in Melbourne. Both OKOKALO and IAROSHEVSKA successfully defended their Melbourne title.

With Taipei behind us, what's next in beach volleyball? We are not going to wait for another four long years until Athens because Israel will be hosting the first world deaf beach volleyball championships in less than a year from now! Information about the championship was published in the May 2009 issue of ICSD eNews. I visited Tel Aviv last August and wrote a site inspection report, which is available under the menu "Main" on If your federation has not submitted its preliminary entry form yet, please do so by completing the form under "Forms & Downloads" within the menu "Additional Information" and emailing it to

The next world deaf beach volleyball championships will be held in 2014. An application to host a deaf world championship is available at

I noticed that several teams who competed in the 2008 world deaf volleyball championships in Buenos Aires gained experience and took advantage of the 13 months that had passed since then to adjust their strategies in preparation for Taipei. In men's volleyball, Russian Federation, who was swept by Ukraine in the 2008 finals, put on an excellent performance in a five-set exciting match to turn around and defeat Ukraine for the Summer Deaflympics gold medal. On the women's side, Ukraine repeated its gold medal performance in a dominating style.

The 2009-2012 FIVB rulebook had some important changes. Based on my personal observations in Taipei, two new rules deserve more attention than other rule changes. They are the 14-player rule and the net contact rule.

Only Russian Federation and Ukraine took advantage of the 14-player rule (Rules 4.1.1 and 19.1.1) in Taipei. If a team has 13 or 14 players on its final roster, two of these players must be designated as liberos. FIVB encourages the development of specialized skills and does not recommend the idea of reassigning the libero position from one player to another during the same volleyball competition.

Touching the net is no longer an automatic violation (Rule 11.4.4). For those interested in the new FIVB rule changes from 2009 onwards in relation to net violations, the four-minute video "NET TOUCH RULE CHANGES FROM 2009" (wmv 29.3Mb) can be downloaded for viewing.

Two federations have expressed interest in hosting the 2012 world deaf volleyball championships. The bidding process is still open. The website link to the application form is the same as the aforementioned link for the world deaf beach volleyball championships.

Enjoy the rest of the year,

ICSD Technical Director - Beach Volleyball & Volleyball

By John Knetzger