Democracy the Focus as Volleyball Congress Heads to Disneyland

(ATR) Outgoing president Jizhong Wei sees no shame in touting Friday’s vote to replace him as the first democratic election in the FIVB’s 65-year history.

(ATR) Outgoing president Jizhong Wei sees no shame in touting Friday’s vote to replace him as the first democratic election in the FIVB’s 65-year history.

"During my four-year term, I thank you all for the confidence you put in me," he told his Board of Administration late Monday.

"With pleasure, I will step down to give the baton to the new Board because you can do better to lead the FIVB and to open a new era for the FIVB."

That "new era" begins Friday in Anaheim, California, where three candidates will run for election at the 33rd FIVB World Congress with the winner to assume office as just the fourth volleyball president to date.

USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal will get home-court advantage as he stands against Australian Volleyball Federation president Chris Schacht and South American Volleyball chief Ary Graca, who many consider the favorite given the confederation presidents for Asia, Africa and the Americas already back the Brazilian.

Friday’s ballot, expected around 3 p.m. Anaheim time, tops the agenda for the week, which kicked off Monday with the Board of Administration approving the electoral process during a pre-Congress meeting at the Disneyland Hotel.

Each candidate will be allotted 15 minutes to present to their colleagues, after which whoever tallies more than 50 percent of the votes cast wins election. If no such majority is reached, the third-place finisher falls out with a simple head-to-head contest then determining the next president.

A similar procedure will also elect the two minority gender positions on the FIVB Board, for which Marta Centeno O. De Sajche of Guatemala,Vilja Savisaar-Toomast of Estonia and IOC member Rita Subowo of Indonesia are standing.

The new-look Board will then meet post-election to consider the new president’s proposals for his 1st executive vice president, 2nd executive vice president and treasurer.

In the meantime, a development workshop for emerging national federations will take up the bulk of Tuesday with the nitty-gritty of the Congress to follow Wednesday and Thursday, including presentations from organizers of beach volleyball’s 2013 world championships in Poland and 2015 world champs in Netherlands as well as indoor volleyball’s 2014 world champs for men in Poland and for women in Italy.

Lunches, dinners and trips to Disneyland will also fill the time of delegates during the FIVB’s best-attended Congress to date.

Live streaming throughout the week will be available on the FIVB’s website.

And stay tuned to Around the Rings for an in-depth look at the three presidential candidates coming early Wednesday.

Written by Matthew Grayson

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