Casey Patterson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casey Patterson

BatistaConners
Victor Batista, 6-6, MB (BYU) & Dan Connors, 6-6, Setter (UCLA) block together at the American Pro Volleyball League Tryouts on May 20th.


SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE NEWSLETTER

First Name:
Last Name:
E-Mail:


Receive our free Pro Volleyball News Online Newsletter. In it you'll get the latest updates on what going on in the Pro Volleyball world. Click on the April Newsletter link above to see our current issue, which serves as our sample.

THE HISTORY OF PRO VOLLEYBALL IN THE UNITED STATES, by Ray Goto

Have you ever wondered why we don't have a pro indoor volleyball league here in the US?

In Europe and Asia, professional volleyball is big, with the big matches typically attracting tens of thousands of fans. US players that have played in Europe say that top tier teams there can usually dominant our best Division 1 college teams, which makes sense since they are often made up of all stars from a number of different national teams. The truth is that volleyball here in this country is a niche sport, its definitely not main stream.

We've had at least 5 or 6 pro leagues start up, during the 25 years league officials have been following the sport. There may have been more, but most have failed so quickly that it is hard to know, even for someone that's been a fan. A four or five team televised league held at the Forum, headlined by Karch Kiraly and other stars of the 1984 Olympics team, was not sustainable.

Currently in southern California, the Mecca of volleyball, there's only a very limited opportunity to play after college Open level volleyball. This is despite the fact that High School , Club, and College Volleyball is probably at its peak, and is still growing. The USAV national team program is world class. And the AVP, although still a niche sport, has grown into a valid Pro Entity, with national television coverage and sponsorship. 

But Beach volleyball is really a different sport from indoor volleyball and anyone wanting to play pro indoor volleyball, after college, must travel to Europe or Asia to play. In fact, a few of the top college teams and promotional groups are arranging European volleyball exposure tours to showcase American talent to the European Pro teams. The reality, however, is that although some players can make significant salaries there, the average salary for American players there really amounts to covering living expenses. The main draw is the high quality of the volleyball. 

Because of the niche nature of the sport, I don’t think that raising a couple of million dollars, putting four or five teams together and putting together a few venues and implementing traditional advertising will not be sufficient to create a self sustaining pro league. And, that's what the other pro volleyball leagues have tried and failed. Pro volleyball is definitely the underdog.

So we must take a little different approach in reaching our goal. And that is to put together the best players outside the national team system in the United States and add the best international players that live in the United States, form a league and televise the matches. We will create a number of products, including a documentary film, broadcast of matches, a newsletter, and a website. 

We will pitch the television show and matches to television, cable, satellite, or other distribution medium. Or we might self distribute through the internet via podcast downloads, streaming, or other such technologies. Hopefully, we will be able to create a self-sustaining product that can grow and grow. But it can't grow unless we start it and we can't without your help. Apply or register today.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Volleyball Player's Blog, in the United States and Beyond.

All Registered Players are invited to voice their thoughts and opinions here. Register, then send your email & photos to us at: contact@goAPVL.com

Brook BillingsCzestochowa, Poland, (April, 4th, 2007). This the first, of hopefully many, blogs of Pro Volleyball Players from around the world. It's from Brook Billings, one of the best volleyball players in the world. He wrote: "No prob Ray.  I wish you and the league all the success.  I hope I can get into it one day!  if there is anything I can do to help please feel free to ask.  I would be a big supporter of starting a league in the US and helping the sport grow..." Thank you for your support, Brook--from the APVL.

BrookBillingsHey All, This year in Poland was completely different in many aspects. For one, the weather was drastically different. Last year it felt like we were waiste up to snow from Oct through mid April. Now, I can't really remember the last time it snowed. I know we had more snow than those of you living in California though! And def not as much as my friends in Russia. Not going to say it was better, just different. I do like wearing my sunglasses more though. Last season we finished the league in 2nd place only to get absolutely hosed in the playoffs. We made it into the final four last season with 3 victories all coming in a 3-2 result with the 7th place team. Then we did not win a single match after that. To say the least our club was/is a little disapointed. This season our team finished the league in 4th place after some disapointing upsets. The club went to some drastic measures letting go of one of our best players and a good friend of mine...Riley. And then they decided to fire our coach...only to rehire him 30 minutes later. We finished the league strong however and are in the midst of playoffs again. The playoffs consist of the top 8 teams. 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, etc...we are 4 plays 5 and happy to finish 4th and not 5th as we got the home court advantage for the first round. We are playing with Resovia and we won the first match 3-0 and the second 3-1! Today, Wed, april 4th we are leaving to Resovia to try and sweep them in their home gym tomorrow night. Otherwise we play again friday and if we don't win that one we take it back home and play them here in Czestochowa on tues. I have had a great season if you look at my stats. Brook Billingswww.pls.pl is the league site and you can look at the rankings and all the teams in a column on the left. I even finished ahead of 3 liberos in the defense category! that's the one i'm most proud of. haha. our team website is www.azsczestochowa.pl and there is another sight with phots from all of our matches at www.azsfoto.go.pl/ check out the galary section. if you don't recognize me i am number 11. I am thinking we are going to make it to the finals but it won't be easy. The last possible match is on May 18th and then I will try and get home asap to start training with USA Volleyball and live in my house that my sister has remodeled for me! can't wait to see it! If I don't make get back on time for the first trip with the national team then i am planning on taking a little time to stop in NY to see some friends and maybe even PR or Miami for some well needed R & R. My knees have never been so sore as they are this season. I hope everyone is well and I miss you all. Can't wait to see many of you soon and hope you are all keeping your fingers crossed for our team through out the playoffs. To those of you guys still in the playoffs in your own leagues....GOOD LUCK!!!! Talk soon, Brook

Ryan Jay OwensAlexandroupolis, Greece, (Wednesday, April 04, 2007 10:30PM) From Ryan Jay Owens… Another day in not-so-paradise! As I sit here at my computer and chat with players that I represent through my partnered ownership of www.EliteVolleyballPlayers.com… (PLUG haha) I am tired. Not tired because of weights this morning after 5 hours of sleep or a full day of communicating with teams and players all over the globe. Not tired because of the never-ending drills of our evening training, but tired because I have nothing left for me here in Europe at this point of the season. I have my music on, Skype, MSN and AIM connected. My MS Outlook is beeping with every email about a million different things. I get through everyday like usual business because in a way it really is. We get paid to eat, sleep and play volleyball. Well that is if we get paid. I apologize for the tone of this blog but this is what is going on and for many pros this is a common occurrence, whether you have an 8K contract or a 300K contract. You can get stiffed for long periods of time and instead of getting mad or Ryan Jay Owensdepressed you must still perform day in and day out. I have finally gotten to the point where it is possible. I have enough to get by without getting paid for 3 months so I just keep pressing on trying to get better and better. This is how you make it in pro volleyball. You suck it up and perform or go home empty handed. I would rather go home without $ than without an offer for the next year because I performed horribly due to my maladies. So with these things crossing my mind here and there I tune them out and press on. Good news is that after things went horribly with $$ in Brazil I came here and with the same crap decided to just play. I am doing alright and learning. Every since I changed to outside hitter passing has been a challenge but is something I will conquer. (Note: I ended up settling out of court for my due money with the Brazilian team.) I am sure there are many other players that have gone through this crap and many that are. It takes a strong desire for the game to continue on and having pretty high goals is a must and accepting lower than normal standards for a brief time might be what you have to do. It is what I have done. Haha. I don’t regret one step. We are on a two week break because a fan was bludgeoned to death in Athens at a match for women so “the man” stopped all sports for 14 days. So we will finish our last regular season match which determines whether we go to playoffs or play-outs on April 14th! Let’s hope playoffs for the sake of getting the money owed to me and finishing on a good note. It has helped a lot to have another American here on my team (Curt Toppel). Second time in the 4 seasons I have played with another native English speaker as a pro with the exception of my 1st season. So until I leave I will enjoy all of the café’s, sunny days, enthusiastic fans that have stuck by our team, the travelling by plane or bus to matches, the trainings that we get through by competing however we can and trying to still have fun. My teammates help me survive and of course those at home whom I love most. I love volleyball and I love each new adventure I go on. It is all in how you look at it and turn the bad times into ok times and just thoroughly enjoy the good times… Finding little things that remind you of home is important too. So now I will enjoy my wine and chat with friends online until bed time. Usually 1-3am. Haha. Can’t wait to get home for USAV nationals in AUSTIN! Hope to see you there! Ryan Jay Owens