Monday, 26 February 2024

International Volleyball

Putting a wrap on 2023, the volleyball year that was

Putting a wrap on 2023, the volleyball year that was


That’s a wrap on 2023. 
We covered the heck out of it.
Quick history: My late, great partner, Ed Chan, and I bought Volleyball magazine in 2016. The first thing we did — and we had to do to make it work — was stop the print edition. 
We always hoped we would see it again …
Last year, at the AVCA Convention in Omaha, we revived it, albeit on a very small basis. But we were part of the printed AVCA program, and it was special. For that matter, it was kind of emotional to actually touch and hold a magazine. We even used the old Volleyball magazine logo. I wish Ed could have been there.
Our role was expanded this year as once again all the participants in the convention got a program that included another Volleyball magazine insert. Included in that was the following column, written before we all headed to Tampa. 
This has been a record year for VolleyballMag in so many ways, not the least of which is that we have obliterated our previous best page views record by more than 300,000. 
Our coverage is better than ever. In this case, it’s about NCAA women’s volleyball, but we were all over beach, men’s, pro, club and high school. And we will continue to grow in 2024 thanks to a tremendous staff and VBM team and — most importantly — you, our readers, and a great sport that has us all excited more than ever.
That being said, please enjoy my ode to 2023 which really did appear in print: 

This is the year that was.

Welcome to Tampa. And thanks for being a part of the year that we will all look back upon as the one when college volleyball didn’t just get over the hump:

It vaulted into the everyday sports limelight.

This is the year that 92,003 fans watched a volleyball match in Nebraska’s football stadium.

This is the year that a week later, Wisconsin played Marquette before 17,037, an American indoor regular-season volleyball record, and no one seemed to give it a second thought.

Seemingly every home team set attendance records.

Small gyms? Packed. Bigger arenas? Packed more. The AVCA noted that 31 Division I schools set single-match attendance records.

This is the year that TV ratings were better than ever. And then better than that. And then better than that.

NCAA volleyball made the ESPN highlights more than ever. The ESPN and Big Ten Network volleyball ratings were incredible. News outlets around the country not only paid homage to the stadium match, but paid attention after that.

People who wouldn’t know…

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