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USA Volleyball to Host NORCECA Olympic Qualifier

Feb. 24, 2012, 10:32 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 24, 2012) – USA Volleyball is pleased to announce that it will host the eight-team NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament on May 7-12 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

The winner of this tournament with teams from the NORCECA (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) confederation will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It is the first time that the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament is being held in the United States.

“USA Volleyball is extremely proud and excited to be hosting the 2012 NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament and we intend to put on a first-rate event, both for the competing teams and the fans who attend the matches,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “We will be looking for support from the U.S. volleyball community not only for fan attendance, but also for volunteers and fund raising. This is one of the most significant events ever played in the United States, and it is a great opportunity to support our men’s team in its quest to qualify for London and defend its Olympic title from Beijing.”

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, ranked sixth in the world by FIVB and second in NORCECA, is the defending Olympic champion and will be looking to qualify for its seventh straight Summer Games and the ninth overall since the sport's debut in 1964 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The other teams competing will be Cuba (ranked first in NORCECA; fifth in the world), Mexico (third in NORCECA; 23rd in the world), Canada (fourth in NORCECA; 18th in the world), Puerto Rico (fifth in NORCECA; 17th in the world;), Trinidad & Tobago (sixth in NORCECA; 33rd in the world), Costa Rica (eighth in NORCECA; 43rd in the world) and Dominican Republic (10th in NORCECA; 46th in the world).

“We are pleased to be hosting the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualifier and look forward to competing against the other teams from our zone in front of our friends, family and fans,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe said. “We are looking forward to a great competition.”

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team is based at the nearby American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif.

“I know the Southern California community, our local region – the Southern California Volleyball Association – the many local clubs and our large fan base will all contribute to making this a special event,” Beal said. “We don’t get many opportunities to see our teams play in the United States. Not only are they here in front of our U.S. fans, but with an event that will give them a chance to earn a spot in the London Olympics. It just doesn’t get any better.”

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team received great fan support in 2011 when it hosted two FIVB World League matches against Puerto Rico at the Pyramid.

Details on ticket sales for the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament will be coming soon.

About Qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games

Twelve teams will compete in men’s volleyball at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Great Britain, as the host country, has already received one of those spots. Russia, Poland and Brazil have also qualified by virtue of their first, second and third-place finishes (respectively) at the 2011 FIVB World Cup in Japan. Tunisia has also qualified as the winner of the African zone qualifying tournament.

Of the remaining seven spots, the winners of the NORCECA, European, South American and Asian zone tournaments will each get one spot in the Olympics.

The final three Olympic Games entrants will be the winners of three FIVB World Olympic Qualification Tournaments. These four-team tournaments will be held in Tokyo, Japan (June 1-10 in conjunction with the Asian zone qualifying tournament), Rome, Italy (June 8-10) and Berlin, Germany (June 8-10).

Teams are invited to these FIVB tournaments based on their world ranking. The host countries, provided they have not yet qualified for the Olympic Games, are invited automatically.

The City of Anaheim

Since 2006 the City of Anaheim, Calif. has been proud to serve as the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, followed by the Women’s Team in 2009.  The Teams train at the American Sports Centers.  Anaheim is the 10th largest city in California, and home to world class sports and entertainment such as Angels Baseball, the Anaheim Ducks, the LEED-certified Anaheim Convention Center, the largest convention center on the west coast, and the Disneyland Resort.  For more information about the City’s commitment to USAV please visit www.anaheim.net/usav.

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