Lake Placid drops 2022 FISU beach volleyball event

North Elba continues building volleyball, pickleball courts

The site of North Elba’s new beach volleyball and pickleball courts at the lacrosse fields is seen on Tuesday, July 12. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — This village will no longer be hosting the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Championship Beach Volleyball event from Aug. 24 to 28. Instead, the competition will be held in Maceio, Brazil from Sept. 6 to 10.

In the meantime, the town of North Elba will continue to finish a total of four courts: two for beach volleyball and two for pickleball, according to town Supervisor Derek Doty. Site work on four beach volleyball courts was started at the town-owned lacrosse fields near the transfer station for the world championships.

When Adirondack Sports Council Executive Director Ashley Walden and FISU officials agreed to drop the world championships in May, there was no press release, according to Jon Lundin, head of communications for the 2023 Winter World University Games, which are being organized by the ASC. Instead, a statement was issued on May 13 — but only sent to media outlets that inquired about the change of venue, Lundin said Tuesday, July 12. It was not sent to media outlets en masse like all the other ACS press releases.

“This was a mutual decision on the part of both FISU and the Adirondack Sports Council,” Walden said in the statement. “This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but it’s in the best interest of the council and FISU to focus our energy, efforts and resources on the 31st FISU World University Games Winter.”

The Games will be held from Jan. 12 to 22, 2023.

The FISU World University Championship Beach Volleyball event will include 32 men’s and women’s teams from 30 countries. It’s been held every two years since 2002 and was last held in 2018, in Munich, Germany.

The Adirondack Sports Council was going to use the volleyball tournament as a test event to get ready for the 2023 Games, but it was not required by FISU, Lundin said.

The 2022 FISU World University Championship Speed Skating event in Lake Placid this past March was a test event for the 2023 Games. Test events help organizers work out systems for areas such as accreditation, medical services and transportation.

On March 31, Lundin told the Lake Placid News that the volleyball championships were to be held at yet-to-be-constructed beach volleyball courts at the old Lake Placid Club tennis courts, even though prep work on the courts had already been started at the lacrosse fields.

Doty said there are some die-hard beach volleyball fans in Lake Placid who were sad to see the world championships move to Brazil.

“Since that time, I’ve had an outcry from the locals that were excited that beach volleyball was coming,” Doty said, “so the town has agreed to put in two beach volleyball courts, instead of four, and the other two prepped courts are going to be turned into pickleball.”

The beach volleyball courts should be finished in August, and the pickleball courts are expected to be done in September, according to Doty. Work to be finished includes putting up the nets and fencing, installing sand for the volleyball courts and pouring concrete pads for the pickleball courts.

Doty said he expects to submit a grant application to the town of North Elba’s Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund to pay for the fencing.

The town will pay up to $3,500 for the sand in both volleyball courts and $12,000 for the concrete pads for both pickleball courts, according to Doty.

A volunteer group will pay for the beach volleyball nets, rakes, balls, lining, etc. The volunteers include retired Lake Placid High School volleyball coach Donna Moody and Sarah Galvin.

“The town felt really good supporting this effort for beach volleyball, mostly because they want to encourage not only the adult side of things but to encourage kids to come up there and start getting involved with that sport,” Doty said.

The previous work on the courts was funded by the Lake Placid 2023 Games organizers, according to Doty.

“This will help turn the lacrosse fields into a more regularly used area,” Doty said, “because people are asking every day about pickleball courts. Beach volleyball demand is yet to be seen, but I know there’s a pretty good contingent from Lake Placid that travels to Tupper Lake almost every weekend in the summer to play.”

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