Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 AVP Schedule

by Jason Schock at 2:32 PM

[Wow, where does the time go? I think the 2009 AVP season was almost a non-event for me. Work can do that to a person. Luckily, I'm under-employed at the moment. And it's almost volleyball season again.]

The 2010 AVP schedule has been posted. So far, there are only 12 stops slated, with seven stops in California alone. Conspicuously absent are markets where the AVP had previously sought to expand the sport's popularity, like Louisville, KY and Muskegon, MI. Rather, it appears events are focused in markets where attendance, as well as revenue, is guaranteed.

Compared to the frenzy of 17 events in the 2008 Olympic year, and 15 events in 2009, 12 stops might feel like a slow year to some. While fans might lament the fewer opportunities to watch pro beach volleyball, there are upsides.

Lisa Rutledge

After recent financial woes and major sponsor pullouts, the AVP will be saving some much-needed cash in a slow economy and another year of company rebuilding.

In April 2009, AVP founder and CEO Leonard Armato was reportedly fired as the company's financial woes deepened. New CEO Jason Hodell, who -- despite his meager $50 in pro volleyball winnings -- has past experience in unf*cking (technical term) troubled businesses, seeks to make the company profitable.

Whether the extra money, if there is any, trickles down to players will remain to be seen. Event purses don't appear to have been posted yet.

Fewer events will also mean fewer injuries, which means better competition, and higher quality of play. For fans, it's simply more fun to watch.

Finally, with the exception of the top players on the tour, almost all beach volleyball athletes pay their own travel expenses to events. With no guarantee of winnings, and relatively small winnings when they do find success, travel expenses alone can drive even a dedicated player into the red. By focusing events in California, where most of its players are based, the AVP is helping its talent save a lot of money, too.

Billy Strickland

2010 AVP Schedule

04/16 - 04/18 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
2010 AVP TOUR FORT LAUDERDALE OPEN
South Beach

04/29 - 05/2 | Santa Barbara, CA
2010 AVP TOUR SANTA BARBARA OPEN
West Beach

06/3 - 06/6 | Huntington Beach, CA
2010 AVP TOUR HUNTINGTON BEACH OPEN
South Side of Huntington Beach Pier

06/18 - 06/20 | Virginia Beach, VA
2010 AVP TOUR VIRGINIA BEACH OPEN
South of Virginia Beach Pier

06/25 - 06/27 | Belmar, NJ
2010 AVP TOUR BELMAR OPEN

07/16 - 07/18 | Hermosa Beach, CA
2010 AVP TOUR HERMOSA BEACH OPEN
North Side of Hermosa Beach Pier0

7/24 - 07/25 | Malibu, CA 2010
AVP TOUR MALIBU OPEN
Zuma Beach

08/14 - 08/15 | San Francisco Bay Area, TBD
2010 AVP TOUR SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA TBD


08/19 - 08/22 | Manhattan Beach, CA 2010
AVP TOUR MANHATTAN BEACH OPEN
South Side of Manhattan Beach Pier
Cancelled; to be run by CBVA

08/27 - 08/29 | Chicago, IL
2010 AVP TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Oak Street Beach
Cancelled

09/3 - 09/5 | Mason, OH 2010
AVP TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Lindner Family Tennis Center
Cancelled

09/17 - 09/19 | Los Angeles, TBD 2010
AVP TOUR LOS ANGELES TBD
Cancelled