Venue & Facilities

Beach in Thailand
A Beautiful Beach in Thailand

The Venue

One of the key factors in implementing a successful event lies in the venue location and venue set-up. It is fundamental to evaluate all available options and to make the best possible solution in order to satisfy the multiple needs of all stakeholders. In this section, you will find advices / recommendations to be considered well in advance. A well-known location and a well-functioning venue require some time in planning an event but it is worthy! We have also featured some sustainable ways to implement a venue and to reduce the impact of the costs in the event’s budget. A promoter can use an event as an opportunity to stress environmental sensitivity.
Horse Guard Parade, London
Whether implementing a recycling plan, or/ and using an existing facility or/ and selecting products that do not harm the ecosystem, a promoter has implied responsibility through sustainable event planning.


A venue may be set-up on the beach or inland, in the city centre or in proximity of a hill, possibly in a touristic location or either an area frequented by locals/tourists. A venue located in an iconic area of a city or in a famous beach will catch the attention of the audiences and media and in return the sponsors (investing in the event) will have a high visibility and satisfactory return on their investment. In the case of the 2012 Olympic Games, Horse Guard Parade will host the Beach Volleyball tournament which combine together elements such as easy accessibility (i.e. reachable by bus, metro, taxi, etc. being located in downtown), iconic (which is a large parade ground off Whitehall and it is the site of annual ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch’s official birthday), comfort and entertainment which ultimately will create a memorable experience for the people attending the event.

Choice of the Venue

Esplanada dos Ministérios, Brasilia, Brazil
Bondi Beach, Sydney
Stare Jablonki, Poland

There are several recommendations that might be considered when choosing a location for your event:

  • Exploit a natural landscape and use the hill as a substitude for the tribunes. An example may be made of the FIVB SWATCH World Tour event in Stare Jablonki, Poland, where people are ensured excellent visibility by being seated on the hill next to a court.
  • Safety of athletes, spectators, media, representative, VIPs, etc.
  • Easy access from the main road/parking
  • Famous location in the city centre downtown.
Paris, France

The correct planning and set-up of the venue implies that organizers take the important elements mentioned hereunder into consideration. An efficient collaboration of experts for the venue planning is absolutely necessary to ensure the respect of the followings:

  • Safety of athletes, spectators, media representatives, VIPs, etc.;
  • Strategic location in terms of concentration of peoples and amenities. In addition such an area should be famous and popular to attract as many spectators as possible;
  • vip-400-266
  • Sufficient number of comfortable seats for general spectators and VIPs (if any). Due to budgetary issue, other solutions could be found, as in the 70’s when people were seating on the sand and other areas around it. People where the aligned naturally in a waythat over 10’000 people were attending endless matches in the California beaches.
1978 SantaCruz, AVP Men's Open
1977 Men’s AVP Santa Monica, USA

The 1st Olympic Games had been held in an artificial lake called Atlanta Beach. This resort was at only 20 minutes from downtown instead of the 1 hour travelling to go to Samaranch initially chosen by the local organizing

1987 Hermosa Beach, USA- AVP event


Nowadays, still in the USA people are enjoying spectacular matches even if sitting on the ground or in a comfortable chair
  • Area on the bleachers to give access to the athletes’ guests and athletes taking part in the tournament / event;
  • Sufficient area to set up the facilities, the required number of competition courts, warm-up courts as well as a trade village, a parking, etc.;
  • Good visibility from all VIP areas, general stands, etc. and sufficient distance from the bleachers to the court;
  • Correct orientation of the stadium to fulfill the TV requirements (if any). The Organizers and Host TV Broadcaster must decide on the stadium’s position to ensure that the main court is properly placed with regards to the position of the sun in order to avoid TV productions problems and reduce shadows as much as possible. The TV platforms should be foreseen in the planning phase in accordance with the TV camera position requirements;Manhattan_Beach_Open_1-200-12
  • Foreseen necessary space to set up artificial lighting system (if any) and the sound system;
  • Easy access from the main roads/parking areas, etc. to the venue and proper flow of spectators / personnel.
  • Distance from the event`s official hotel.

The Promoters may use the hotels / structures in proximity for the event`s facilities exploiting permanent facilities which may offer all amenities in place.The facilities should be convenient to access at all times. Specially, if player lounges, press center, coaches mixed zone, etc. are foreseen at a permanent facility (i.e. host hotel), the facility should maintain operating hours accommodating the tournament`s schedule and should guarantee adequate communication and volunteer support to maintain updated information at all times.

Gstaad, Switzerlandswitcherland-400-263

In the market, there are other possibilities to be exploited when organizing Beach Volleyball event at any level. In fact, organizers tend to utilize


Almost all FIVB events in the first editions offer free entrance to the spectators. This allows creating a crowded and interactive ambience with players, entertainment, etc.

existing tennis facilities to be cost effective. In fact, as all the main facilities are already available inside the existing structure, there is no need to build up the bleachers for the centre court and tents for the main areas. The organizers in charge merely cover the courts with sand and dress the venue whenever applicable. Although using a tennis facility may allow optimizing cost, it is also true that big tennis complexes may be located outside of the city, thus putting spectators’ attendance in jeopardy. Having said that, there are several organizations that have a history of staging successful Beach Volleyball events (Czech Republic, Los Angeles, Rome, etc.) by investing in the promotion of the event heavily.

Rome, Italy

Apart from using existing tennis facilities or existing facilities nearby the venue, Beach Volleyball can be also staged indoors. In 2009 the FIVB granted its homologation for organizing Beach Volleyball events indoors, thus creating new opportunities worldwide. For the FIVB, International Beach Volleyball Festival should be ideal to end the World Tour season with a competition, possibly staged indoors, and titled International Beach Volleyball Festival to extend the season which is cut short usually due to the weather constraints. In addition, countries can create further opportunities by staging Beach Volleyball events of any level indoors, outside the summer period. The indoor facilities may facilitate not only Beach Volleyball courts, but also a gym, a refreshment / catering area, lodging, shops (depending on the size), etc. and it may be used all year around for Beach Volleyball activities (amateur, corporate or professional).

It has been noticed that in the North of Europe this practice is quite developed and amongst Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Finland and also Canada, several indoor Beach Volleyball facilities have been set up. Although the FIVB does not have specific requirements and no recognition is given in terms of homologation, the FIVB is open for consulting, upon request.


No more than 20% of the total FIVB events can be staged in indoor facilities.

In the City of the Hague (Netherlands), an existing building has been transformed into a Beach Volleyball indoor centre and this infrastructure is heavily used during the winter by the National Teams (Team Holland) for several hours during the day. In addition, the owner has a possibility to set up Beach Volleyball tournaments for kids and business people, while lindobeach-250-132enjoying a snack and a drink. Several studies have been made prior its construction in order to bring the beach atmosphere indoors, and this is why this centre “Lindo Beach” has been painted with graffiti representing beaches and the flora/fauna around it. The floor has been dismantled to make sure that the heating was installed before the isolation and the sand although not having any windows created some issue with the air circulation which had been solved. After this successful experience, the City of the Hague has decided to invest in a second indoor facility, which this time will be built from scratch.

Palm, beaches, flora and local fauna painted onto the wall to create a comfortable and beach atmosphere in an indoor facility.



Venue layout templates

Venue layout – 2011 FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships in Halifax, Canada
Venue layout – 2011 FIVB Seoul Women’s Challenger, South Korea
Brasilia, Brazil
The venue should foresee a main stadium (with some seating capacity for spectators, but most important for media and local authorities/VIP), warm-up (1 or 2 courts adjacent to the field of play for athlete warm-up before each match, which are equipped with the same conditions as in the main court) and training court(s).
Halifax, Canada

The number of secondary courts depends on the number of participating teams. When only one or two courts are to be set up, these should provide the same quality standards and the same technical and safety levels as the centre court.


The location should be chosen in proximity of restaurants, bars, shops, etc.

The secondary courts should have the same orientation as the centre court, to provide to all participating athletes similar playing conditions. In relation to the placement of the outside courts, a volunteer or a member of the staff should be always supervising the logistic around each court (i.e. the provision of the right equipment i.e. net, table, scorer sheet, etc.; the supply of water; the preparation/cleaning of the court; etc.) assuring a smooth communication between the staff concerned from the main site and the outside courts.

Autographs session which time can be arranged in accordance with the competition schedule of an event
Furthermore, in the venue or in a location adjacent to it, there should be also all the facilities as well as sponsors village. This latter should have a dedicated area at the venue that allows the organizers to run side events (with the participation of celebrities, special guests, players, officials, media, sponsors, etc.) and to conduct Public Relations (PR) activities to stimulate the public and media interest. The installation of a Village (booths) is also recommended.
A well frequented area is an excellent location to set-up the trade village

Trade Village

Plastic tent can easily embellish the venue and be used by sponsors for its activities
A sponsor`s Point of Sales (POS) installed on-site



Other ideas to attract the attention and further decorate the venue

In setting up a venue, it is necessary to consider that being Beach Volleyball an outside sport, climatic/weather conditions may affect not only the playing conditions but also the technology/equipment available on-site. In fact, whenever the budget allows it, a generator is recommended to be on-site in case of any eventual breakdown. In case of severe weather conditions, a sheltered tent/protection for all electric equipment might be also recommended. All cables and wires should be properly covered with isolating material and whenever possible, these should be hidden or not visible to the public, mainly for security reasons.


The decision of where to hold an event is one of the most important decisions to be made. The following issues must be taken into consideration:

- Research the marketplace that you target for your event to be sure that it will support your project

- If you don’t have local knowledge of the area, try to hire someone who does. A lot can be gained from knowing the history of the area and similarly situated events

- Survey the area to be sure that the site at which you would like to hold your event suits your needs from the number of seats to the parking to the schedule availability

- Pick a venue which size is compatible with that of your event. It is preferable of going for something smaller than larger.

- Once you enter into discussions with the site`s management, try to create a relationship that is mutually beneficial and encourages the site’s management to play an active role in the advertising and promotion of your project.

- Negotiate a contract that provides for shared liability and protects each party equally.


Once the design has been developed and the plan finalized, the two must be merged to begin the implementation process. One technique to ensure that the integrity of the event is preserved is to appoint one person to monitor the coordination (i.e. tournament director or venue manager) making sure that there is a relationship between the design, the plan and the final outcome. The person in charge must ensure that use of the resources (which is not unlimited) can be creatively used. He/she is recommended to identify the available resources and its timing (i.e. by making a list of the material needed, by determining the budget, by selecting and by negotiating with the suppliers, by develop contracts with the suppliers, by executing and monitoring contract performance) in order to avoid possible contingency.

The set-up of the venue should be split in two phases: the planning and the management. The first one guarantees the forecast of all the equipment, human resources, suppliers, timing and delivery procedure, as well as the interaction amongst all of them. The management phase is the actual implementation of the designed plan (to be strictly monitored by someone in the organization), which in a way is the direct consequence of the planning phase.

Sampla planning
A sample of venue planning
A venue can also foresee several courts for an amateur tournament
In planning a venue it is fundamental to have a clear understanding of the available space and impact on the environment




When organizing tournaments, it is important to provide spectators with seating possibilities encouraging them to come and to stay watching the competition. The capacity of the stadium will depend on the event`s category, the real requirements and the costs associated to a rental of a structure. The FIVB strongly recommends the organizers to issue insurance in order to cover any risk of damages.

In fact, the most important aspect to take into consideration when planning to have bleachers is security. Strict precautions must be taken by the organizers and the quality of the materials concerned, the solidity of the structure and the carrying-out of the resistance tests should be guaranteed. During construction work it is very important for the personnel setting up the bleachers not to leave any part of the used material lying around. In fact, any piece forgotten on the court may later prove very dangerous for the participating athletes, audience, etc.


Once the whole structure has been set-up, a last inspection under the bleachers is recommended as some dangerous materials may be left behind. It is strongly recommended to close the access to the surface under the Yantarniy_VIPTribune-350-232stadium, in order to prevent any persons, especially children, to get injured.

Consultancy agencies in this area of expertise are fundamental in the design and construction phase. The organizing committee can benefit from the consultancy reviewing the development, implementation, safety policy and procedures.




Monitoring safety and security help the staging of a successful event!

For further information about first class tribunes, please note that the FIVB asks that the requirements of European Buildings Standards (or equivalent) are respected in order to guarantee the compliance with the following obligations:

  • The tubular and/or temporary tribunes must be mounted by an authorized local construction company. These tubular and/or temporary tribunes must be constructed meticulously and an official security certificate must be delivered;
  • The construction company must guarantee that solid and quality material only is being used for the structure and that resistance tests are carried-out;
  • Competent local authorities must recognize the legacy of the security certificate and carry-out the necessary inspection visits for all tubular structures and supporting foundations in order to assert that the facilities’ conformity is in accordance with the building codes (a written approval should be provided to the sanctioning body);
  • The foundations must be solidly fixed and be firmly supported on the body`s structure;
  • An Insurance Policy against accidents must be taken out, specifying the tribunes construction conditions issued to cover any risk of damages and accidents, (i.e. stands collapsing, faulty or incorrectly installed/torn down equipment/installations/facilities, damages arising out of the conditions of the event itself, etc.).



Using existing or adjacent facilities help optimize the budget of an event


Facilities can be set up either temporarily or using existing structure at walking distance (ideally facing the venue). In case facilities are set up in the existing structure it must be foreseen to make them available during operating hours in line with the tournament schedule.

The quantity, quality, dimensions and positions of the stadium facilities will depend on the event`s category and the local necessities and resources. However, the following facilities are recommended to be set up:

The FacilitiesVIP Area

A special VIP zone should be reserved at the main tribunes, including seats for VIPs, guests of the concerned National Federation, FIVB Continental Confederation members, FIVB members, journalists, Radio and TV commentators (if any), guests of the sponsors, referees, disabled people area and others.

If possible a VIPs’ lounge serving drinks and appetizers may be set-up, where guests can have a rest and discuss between matches.


Players’ lounge

An area in the shade where athlete can relax, talk to each other, stretch and even sleep, should be foreseen. This area should be restricted avoiding spectators disturbing athletes during their physical or mental preparation. As a recommendation, it may consist of a tent with enough space and seats for about 1/3 of the participating players. Water and a results/timetable board should be also provided.


Referee lounge

A similar facility as for the players should be eventually foreseen for referees.


Lockers-350-232Locker for players and referee

This area should allow players (men and women together or separately) as well as referees to change clothes and leave their belongings in safety. Restricted access should be guaranteed.

Catering area

This area equipped with simple tables and chairs should provide simple food and refreshment to players, referees, as well as court personnel and other persons involved in the event at organizer`s cost. As this area may be open to the general public, it can provide organizers with good income.

Sufficient food and beverage quantities should be provided to players, referees, as well as court personnel and other persons involved in the event.

Breakfast and dinner should be available in the main event`s hotel and exact conditions (i.e. breakfast included the morning after the elimination of a team) should be established by the organizers beforehand.

Press centre

Press centre consist of a room in a near public or private building but it is more advisable to have it in a tent at the competition venue as it should be within easy reach of all journalists present.

It should serve as a working room where media can pick up information and write press releases, but also as the contact with their newspaper, radio, etc. For this reason, electricity, phone, fax and internet connection should be made available. Basic equipment such as tables and chairs should be available, as well as computer, printer and copy machine may be also helpful.

A results/timetable board should be available and constantly updated at the press centre.

Interview room

A separate room for interviews should be allocated with tables and chairs available not only for players, but also for the media attending. The interview backdrop should be placed behind the interviewed persons to maintain the image of your event and provide exposure to the stakeholders.

Working rooms for organizers

This is meant to be a working zone for the organizers to deal with any matters concerning the event and for this reason, computer, printer, phones and internet connections should be made available.

Only authorized personnel should be allowed to enter this area.

Medical services

See the Medical Area & Requirements


A sufficient number of showers should be set-up for the participating players.

Storage room

This area should be secured and locked, with direct and easy access to the court for all equipment (such as balls, posts, net, lines, scoreboards, panels, billboards, water pipes, wind sleeves, towels, rakes, boxes, etc.).

other_facility-400-398Other Facilities

  • Showers for players;
  • Toilets for athletes, audience, officials, media, etc.;
  • Accreditation Area;
  • Mixed zone area;
  • Area for disabled and handicapped people. A surface to allow the passage of people in wheel chairs must be foreseen from the parking area to the stadium;
  • Sound system and area for players/mixer equipment;
  • Platform(s) for TV Cameras (if any);
  • English Guide Commentary positions (if any);
  • Disposal bins for papers, food, empty bottles, etc. (as many as necessary to keep the area neat and clean during the entire duration of the event).


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