The list of 25 nominees for the International Volleyball Hall of Fame 2021 Induction has been announced and the Fan Vote presented by Mizuno is now officially open through February 28. Fans can vote daily for as many nominees as they feel are deserving of Induction. The top 5 nominees selected by the public will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the official selection committee ballots to pick the Class of 2021 inductees.
"These 25 nominees represent 11 different countries and some of the biggest names in volleyball from the past two decades and beyond." said George Mulry, Executive Director of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame. "Having to skip the 2020 class of Inductees because of COVID has created a bit of a backlog that's resulted in what is, by many accounts, the strongest list of nominees top to bottom we've ever had. I think it's going to be really hard for people to narrow down their Fan Vote selections but it will also make this year's Induction that much more special for the selected class."
The new class of Inductees will be announced in March and the 2021 Induction Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021 and will be live streamed for anyone that cannot travel to Holyoke. Induction Celebration tickets will go on sale when the new class is announced.
Please enjoy this guest article from 2010 Inductee Gabriella Kotsis of Hungary as she shares her story of Hungary's upset win over Brazil at the 1970 FIVB World Championship.
The 1970 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship was the sixth edition of the tournament organized by the world's governing body. It was held in Bulgaria from September 22 to October 2, 1970.
KOTSIS: I am here today at 93 years old. I'm very happy to have lived to see this special anniversary of 50 years. Primarily because I was able to personally assist with the first steps of volleyball in Hungary and later able to give our name to a successful era with my dear and loved players. At that time, of course, we did not think we could get into the history books with our achievements at the 1970 World Championship in Varna. We played selflessly. We were guided only by the love of volleyball. Maybe that's why my team became so successful.
It is true that we exploded into the international forefront with our World Championship result at the time almost out of obscurity and we qualified Hungarian women's volleyball for the 1972 Olympics with this as well. We caught up to the men who already had Olympic experience in the 1964 Tokyo Games. It was a huge success for us.
After that, the women continued their successful performance, both in international tournaments and in the three Olympics in which we were able to participate. This series of successes lasted for almost a decade and a half! We always finished in scoring position as we gave the best we could.
At that time, only the Soviet national team could win - several times in very close matches - against our team in Europe.
I am most proud of my team and my players, who followed my instructions with an incredible work ethic during the training sessions, almost suffering for later results.
I always said, it was the players on the court that achieved those successes. I, with the help of my excellent coaches, colleagues, only helped them to develop their talents. I'm very happy if my advice, our advice, helped them in time and the best situation. So the real merit belongs to the team, which was really, in all capital letters, a TEAM, and it was one of its great strengths.
Finally, I am also proud to have been a member of the IVHF, although I would have preferred to have given my place to my team, who would actually have been entitled to this honor.
So much time has passed since this beautiful period and unfortunately some of my former players can no longer be with us.
We also have to pay tribute to their memory on the anniversary. Rest in peace!
Dr. Gabriella KOTSIS,
2010 IVHF Inductee in the Coach Category
The International Volleyball Hall of Fame (IVHF) will host the Inaugural IVHF Nationwide Ride and Run the weekend of Oct. 24-25, 2020, to honor volleyball’s history and Our Military Kids (OMK), which supports programming for military families. The event is a collection of group or individual motorcycle rides paired with virtual bike rides and runs which directly impacts the programming and offerings of the IVHF and OMK, as 100% of dollars raised will support the missions of each organization.
“In an effort to celebrate the long history and partnership between volleyball and the U.S. Armed Forces, we are honored to partner with Our Military Kids to launch this unique event,” said Steve Bishop, President of the IVHF Board of Directors and Air Force Veteran. “There will be in-person group motorcycle rides held in Holyoke, MA, the birthplace of volleyball, as well as Jacksonville, FL and the greater Orlando, FL and Houston, TX areas. There is also a virtual component for those interested in joining in the fun in any form, whether a novice or avid enthusiast. We invite others from around the country to join us this September.”
“Our Board has worked hard to create an inclusive group of events that people can participate in anywhere in the world. This event, with its virtual options, is a great way for fans of volleyball and of the Hall of Fame, regardless of where they live, to ride, pedal or run with us and join in supporting the missions of two great organizations,” said George Mulry, IVHF Executive Director. “We’d love to see participants from every state and multiple countries around the world become part of this special celebration.”
The IVHF is partnering with Our Military Kids for this event to help raise funds to provide support to military families. OMK provides $300 grants for extracurricular activities for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members as well as children whose military parent is severely injured and in recovery. The activities reduce stress, improve school performance, raise self-esteem, and boost the well-being for the entire family.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the IVHF as supporters of both organizations ride, pedal, and run to raise dollars to impact the great sport of volleyball and military children,” said Kara Dallman, Executive Director of OMK, Veteran, and Division I volleyball athlete. “Let’s do this!”
Registration is open now for virtual participation as well as the in-person rides. The price for virtual participation is $30, while the motorcycle rides range from $20-$30. All registrations include a commemorative pin to celebrate this special event. To be entered into drawings for prizes, all participants are encouraged to share their experience on Instagram using #RidePedalRun and tag @vbhalloffame and @ourmilitarykids. And even if you don’t feel like getting off the couch, you can easily donate to support both great organizations!
For more information, or to register or donate, please visit VolleyHall.org/NationwideRide.
This will be only the second time since the first induction was held in 1985 that the annual celebration will not be held. There will not be a designated induction Class of 2020. Instead, the IVHF will recognize its next class of inductees in the fall of 2021.
“We looked at every possible option to hold the event in 2020 including hosting a virtual Induction but it was clear that the right decision was to cancel,” stated Mulry. “Most importantly, we strive to honor the inductees in the proper way they are most deserving of. Our next Induction Class should enjoy the same wonderful experience in the Birthplace of Volleyball as previous classes and they will have that opportunity next Fall.”
There is still one major event on the IVHF calendar for 2020. The Nationwide Charity Ride & Run, a collection of virtual bike and running events along with in-person Motorcycle rides will take place across the U.S. September 12-13, 2020. For more information on the Nationwide Charity Ride & Run, or to register or donate, please visit VolleyHall.org/NationwideRide.
The IVHF exists to preserve the history of volleyball in its birthplace of Holyoke, Massachusetts USA by honoring, promoting and sharing its story with the world.