U.S. World League Fans Encouraged to Make Some Noise

April 04, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 4, 2008) - Fans of golf and tennis know that there are certain protocols that they are expected to follow at matches. Fans are not supposed to make noise during the serves in tennis or during the backswing in golf. Officials at these sports are even required to try to hush the crowd. USA Volleyball would like U.S. fans to stop being polite and start being loud at the 2008 FIVB World League matches, which will be played in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (June 13-14) , Green Bay, Wis. (June 20-21) and Bloomington, Ill. (July 11-12) . You don't even have to be quiet during the serve. Blow your horns; ring your cowbells; cheer until you lose your voice. Volleyball matches at this level are meant to be fun and loud events. Don't worry, the players can handle it.

"Playing an international volleyball match in Poland or Brazil is much different than playing one in the U.S.," said U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.). "It almost seems like American fans are a little more respectful when cheering. By respectful, I mean that it seems that they are more reluctant in being loud and rambunctious, because they would rather be considered polite and not interrupt play."

In other countries, fans are not nearly so polite and arenas are not nearly so quiet. U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), who is playing for a Russian club team in Siberia this winter, says the fans in his town inspire him to play better.

"The arena where we play holds 2,500 to 3,000 people and it's always full," Priddy said."It was about three or four months before I noticed that it really picks me up. You almost start playing to the crowd."

In Poland, Brazil and other countries, crowds dress entirely in the country's colors, wave signs and banners and play drums and horns during a match. USA Volleyball wants to create the same atmosphere at this summer's matches against Bulgaria (June 13-14), Finland (June 20-21) and Spain (July 11-12). It is encouraging fans to wear red, white and/or blue and to bring banners and noisemakers. Most of all, it is encouraging fans to take advantage of their last chance to see the U.S. Men's Team play in the United States before heading to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Fifteen-thousand-plus fans to watch a volleyball match in the U.S. is something I only dream about while playing on the National Team," Millar said. "With that many people, it would be incredibly hard to stay quiet."

Get some ideas on how you can show your support for the U.S. Men's Team at www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WLRWB.asp

For more information on World League, check out USA Volleyball's World League Web site page at www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WL.asp.

World League Tickets: Tickets for the FIVB World League are now on sale for matches in all three U.S. cities. The U.S. World League matches will be the last opportunity to see Team USA live before it leaves for Beijing. Tickets are on sale now for the U.S. Men's matches against Bulgaria at 7 p.m. (both nights) on June 20-21 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Tickets can be purchased at the Sears Centre Arena Box Office, online at www.searscentre.com or by calling the Sears Centre Arena Box Office at (888) SEARSTIX. Tickets can be purchased for the United States' matches against Spain at 7 p.m. (both nights) on July 11-12 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill. Tickets can be purchased at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum box office, by phone at (866) 891-9992 or online at www.uscellularcoliseum.com. Finally, tickets can be purchased for Team USA's matches against Finland at 7 p.m. (both nights) on June 27-28 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. Tickets are available at Oneida Casino Ticketstar-www.ticketstaronline.com-or by calling (800) 895-0071. World League Schedule Confirmed: The FIVB has approved the match schedule for the 2008 World League, volleyball's flagship annual event involving the world's best men's volleyball players. The 2008 edition will involve 16 national teams playing 96 matches over six consecutive weekends in 41 cities across the globe and competing for more than $20 million in prize money. The final round will be contested by six teams playing a total of 10 matches in Rio de Janeiro through July 23-27. The finals will include Brazil as organizing country, the winners of each pool and a wild card chosen by the FIVB from the best second-ranked teams in the intercontinental rounds. To view the schedule, go to www.fivb.org/en/Infomedia/PressReleaseDB.asp'No=16158,Language=0.