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Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB)

The FIVB's main activity is worldwide planning and organization of volleyball events, sometimes in conjunction with other international governing bodies such as the IOC. 

Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the international governing body for the sport of volleyball. Its headquarters are located in Lausanne, Switzerland.

This involves defining qualification procedures and competition formulae for tournaments, as well as more specific details such as player line-up and replacement restrictions, venues and hosts.

International Significance
The FIVB also participates directly in the organization of continental volleyball events which have an attached international significance, such as Olympic and World Championship continental qualification tournaments.

Attracting Media Partners and Sponsors
Another relevant area of concern is the promotion of volleyball in a worldwide scale. Part of the FIVB's activities in this area consists in attracting media partners and sponsors through negotiation of commercial rights for broadcasting and coverage of major events.

The FIVB also maintains extensive special programmes aimed at the advance of world volleyball. This includes the constitution of development centers in areas where the sport is still unpopular, as well as support (in instruction and equipment) for organizations that fail to meet the quality standards required on an international level.

Improve Public Visibility
The FIVB is responsible for the standardization of volleyball rules. In recent years, many changes were implemented in connection with its promotional and marketing vision, in an alleged attempt to improve public visibility and make the sport comply to the demands of sponsors and media organizations. These changes range from ingenuous, almost commonplace restrictions, such as the obligation of a "fashionable" uniform - meaning tight clothing, supposed to be more appealing to the audience because it makes players bodies salient -, to very drastic changes in the format of competitions (e.g., the rally-point system).

Ultimate International Authority
The FIVB is the ultimate international authority in volleyball, and judges (or is involved at least to some degree in the judgement) issues such as doping, regulation of player transfer, nationality changes and gender determination. It also publishes the FIVB World Rankings, used as basis for seeding in international competitions.



FIVB History
The FIVB was founded in Paris, France in 1947. In the late 1940s, some of the European national federations began to address the issue of creating an international governing body for the sport of volleyball. Initial discussions eventually lead to the installation of a Constitutive Congress in 1947. 

Fourteen national federations representing five different continents attended the meetings where, between April 18 and 20, the entity was officially formed, having Frenchman Mr. Paul Libaud as first president.

One of the main goals of the 1947 Congress was achieved two years later with the establishment of the first international major volleyball event, the World Championship. In 1952, a women's version of the tournament was also introduced.

In 1964, the IOC endorsed the addition of volleyball to the Olympic program. By this time, the number of national federations affiliated to the FIVB had grown to 89. Later in that year (1969), a new international event, the World Cup was introduced. It would be turned into a qualifying event for the Olympic Games in 1991.

Following the retirement of Mr. Libaud and the election of Mexican Mr. Rubén Acosta Hernandez for the position of president in 1984, the FIVB moved its headquarters from Paris, France to Lausanne, Switzerland and intensified to an unprecedented level its policy of promoting volleyball on a worldwide basis. 

Measures taken in this direction include the establishment of annual competitions for men's and women's volleyball (the World League, in 1990, and the Grand Prix, in 1993), the indication of Beach volleyball as an Olympic event (1996) and a number of changes in the rules of the game with the purpose of enhancing public visibility.

As of 2010, the FIVB counted 220 affiliated national federations.