The Hague, Netherlands, April 28, 2015 - Joep van Iersel is the Competition Director of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015. In the build-up to the ten-day event, we talk to the Dutchman about the years of preparation that have gone into organising the tournament.
Joep van Iersel: "I am in Portugal this week for a short holiday. I am charging up the batteries before the season gets underway. Next month, I’ll be at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Lucerne Open 2015, and after that I’ll be attending the World Tour in Porec - but most of my time is already consumed by the World Championships in the Netherlands.
"As a Competition Director and Technical Area Director, I am responsible for everything that happens on the court. That includes selecting technical managers and court personnel, setting up courts and managing draws and and match schedules.
"Since 2006, I have been the Competition Director for all FIVB tournaments in the Netherlands, but the World Championships are of a different kind with 96 teams and venues in four different cities. It will be a huge challenge, but we will be delivering something unique. It will be the biggest international beach tournament which has ever been organised. The great thing about this set-up with four stadiums is that all the teams will play their matches on a centre court and be in the spotlight.
"The preparation for the World Championships has taken place over several years. Over the last few seasons we have put together a good group of people to work with during the event. During the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slams in 2013 and 2014, we ran tests with the competition managers who will be in charge during the World Championships. Our team has now been together for a little while and has picked up some experience. For each position we have the best people in place.
"It does not mean, however, that we can lean back comfortably until the start of the World Championships. In the coming weeks, we will be training our court crew for example. Boys and girls have been recruited in all four host cities, from volleyball clubs and schools specialised in sports education. They will be thoroughly prepared for their important tasks during the matches.
"We will also use the period until the World Championships for testing new software. During the World Championships, we’ll be working with an electronic score sheet. Next month, we will test this system for the first time in Lucerne. If all goes well, we will be able to implement a wonderful innovation and enable fans worldwide to follow all matches with point-by-point live scoring."