January 10, 2024
Olympic volleyball teams will get an extra practice player and someone who can fill in next summer in Paris in the event of injury.
Volleyball World posted this on its Instagram on Wednesday:
The FIVB has confirmed, that for the first time in the history of the Olympic #volleyball competition, each team participating in the Games will be entitled to include one non-competing (AP) athlete to replace an athlete for medical reasons.
As such, team rosters will increase from 12 to 13 athletes.
AP athletes are non-competing athletes accredited by the IOC and serve as a last-minute replacement if an athlete is unable to compete due to injury or illness.
The replaced athlete shall not be allowed to compete for the remainder of the competition.
While the 13th athlete will be able to attend matches and train with the team, they will not be accommodated in the Olympic Village unless additional support is granted by the respective National Olympic Committee.
There is no story about this on either the FIVB or Volleyball World websites.
And both our USA Olympic coaches, Karch Kiraly and John Speraw, downplayed the change and noted that the rosters are not exactly expanding.
Kiraly, who coaches the women, said the FIVB was hoping for more.
“The FIVB, for at least two Olympic cycles, has been trying to accomplish of having the Olympics allow each indoor team to have a roster of 14 because that’s the roster permitted at every other FIVB competition during every Olympic cycle,” Kiraly said. “The only event that has a reduced roster is the Olympics themselves.”
Kiraly said the ultimate decision maker is the International Olympic Committee.
“The FIVB pleads with, advocates for and continues to advocate for pushing the roster to 14 like every other event.”
Kiraly said the FIVB thought it was going to get two alternates. The goal was for there still to be 12 players in uniform for a match, but “the FIVB was advocating for and thought it had accomplished adding two alternates, which makes training better before and thoughout the Olympic competition with seven on a side, because seven are involved in any given instance in a match, six plus the ‘bro.
“And then the hope was either of those could be switched in for medical reasons. But the FIVB found out from the IOC that it had approved just one alternate player. So at this point…