USA volleyball event coming to Tulsa in 2014
BY John D. Ferguson World Correspondent
Monday, October 08, 2012
Tulsa has been selected to play host to kills, spikes, setters, serves and blocks as the 2014 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships will showcase the top junior players July 22-26.
Fifteen courts at the Tulsa Convention Center will be active for the event. It is expected to attract more than 100 teams and 1,200 athletes from regional USA teams plus some international squads from Canada, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Peru, New Zealand and Dominican Republic.
The boys and girls volleyball teams will feature players age 13-19. Oklahoma will have a team in the field, too.
“This is an important tournament,” said Tom Pingel, who is Senior Director of USA Volleyball. “Seventy-five to 80 percent of the players you saw in the (London) Olympics came through the HP program.”
The 2014 event will be the 15th anniversary of the HP championships.
“This is the only event in USA Volleyball where boys and girls compete under the same roof,” Pingel said.
The event was held this summer in Des Moines, Iowa, and the 2013 host is Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It’s just a special event,” said tournament director A.J. Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo. “The international teams add a great flavor.”
The competition, which will also include an elaborate opening ceremony, is estimated to have a $3.5 million economic impact on the city.
“Tulsa is a perfect sized community for this event,” Pingel said. “Another competition may be added later in addition to the HP championship. Like, the Pan-Am Cup for the girls (teams).”
The competition is best of five sets format with most teams playing eight matches.
Prior to the HPC, approximately 400 athletes from the USA Volleyball HP pipeline will vie for spots on the top teams in their age groups in a five-day training camp.
“This is going to be a cool event,” said Ray Hoyt, who is the senior vice president of the Tulsa Sports Commission.