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World ParaVolley and Ed Toole to receive prestigious IVHF awards on November 9, 2019

By IVHF, 09/12/19, 11:15AM EDT


IVHF Announces 2019 Court of Honor, Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award Winners

HOLYOKE, Mass., Sep. 12, 2019 -- The International Volleyball Hall of Fame (IVHF) is proud to announce the recipients of two of its highest honors. World ParaVolley (WPV) has been recognized as the 2019 Court of Honor Award winner and Edward Toole will be honored with the 2019 Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award. These two prestigious awards will be presented at the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies on Nov. 9, 2019 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, Mass.

“We are proud to honor both Ed Toole and WPV with these two prestigious awards this year”, commented IVHF President, Steve Bishop.  “The work that Ed did for the International Volleyball Hall of Fame during his Presidency is noteworthy and has had a lasting impact on the organization.  His leadership laid the groundwork for where we are today, and I am proud to be continuing his legacy in Holyoke and across the world.  The work done by WPV across the globe continues to positively impact Paralympic athletes, coaches, and administrators at an increasing level.  Their efforts deserve to be highlighted and added to our list of honorees.  I invite volleyball enthusiasts from every continent to join us in Holyoke this November to celebrate these two award winners and our impressive IVHF Class of 2019.” 

Established in 1988, the Court of Honor Award is the highest honor an organization can receive from the International Volleyball Hall of Fame, and awardees have made significant contributions and commitment to the sport of volleyball.

Volleyball is the most popular sport in the world for persons with a disability, and this year’s recipient of the Court of Honor, World ParaVolley, encompasses all aspects of adaptive volleyball, including Sitting Volleyball, Beach ParaVolley, Standing Volleyball and Sitting Beach Volleyball. World ParaVolley promotes and develops the sport of volleyball by providing comprehensive programs in competition, promotion and education, and is gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has recently made a commitment to adaptive athletics by including the Paralympic effort in its name and moniker, now known as the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and the IVHF is proud to help recognize these talented individuals. Past Court of Honor Award honorees have included the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), Special Olympics International, the United States Armed Forces, and the YMCA.

“This award is a great honor for World ParaVolley,” said Barry Couzner, President of World ParaVolley. “The recognition of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame is invaluable and it means a lot to us. On behalf of all of the athletes and officials who have contributed to the organization over many decades, I thank the IVHF.”

The IVHF Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award was created in 1996 to recognize an individual for their significant achievements in the sport of volleyball including their service to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.  The award name recalls the original name volleyball’s inventor, William G. Morgan, assigned to the sport when he created it in 1895.

Edward Toole is a past IVHF board member, committee chair and President. While Toole will admit he’s not a “volleyball guy,” the impact he left throughout his time with the IVHF is hard to argue with. He was brought to the Hall of Fame through his work at the Holyoke YMCA and later continued on with YMCA National, based at nearby Springfield College.

Toole helped create and oversee strategic implementation of the Hall’s Board Development plan, which helped lay the groundwork for the current Board structure, as well as assisted in improving financial reporting systems, the corporate name change, the new logo design and organizational re-branding.

Toole served as the co-chair of the IVHF Financial Development Committee, the Chair of Board Development, was a longtime Executive Committee member and served as the President of the Board of Directors from 2012-2014. Past winners of the Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award include Joel Dearing, Doug Beal, Jacques Joachim, Dr. Horst Baacke, and last year’s winner, Bertha Lucas.

“When I became Executive Director of the Greater Holyoke YMCA, I wanted to do anything I could to honor the memory of my predecessor William Morgan,” said Ed Toole. “Now I am honored that my colleagues feel my service worthy of the Mintonette Award.  Thank you IVHF.” 

Along with the honors given to World ParaVolley and Toole, the International Volleyball Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be enshrined on Nov. 9, 2019 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, Mass. Inductees include Mirka Francia (Cuba, Female Indoor Player), Boris Gyuderov (Bulgaria, Indoor Male Player), Ze Marco de Melo (Brazil, Male Beach Player), Valentina Ogienko (Russia, Female Indoor Player), Vasil Simov (Bulgaria, Coach) and Josef Tesar (Czech Republic, Male Indoor Player).

About International Volleyball Hall of Fame:
The International Volleyball Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of volleyball in its birthplace of Holyoke, Massachusetts USA, by honoring, promoting and sharing its story with the world. Tickets to the Induction Ceremony and related events, and additional information on the International Volleyball Hall of Fame, can be found at

For additional information contact:
George Mulry, Executive Director
International Volleyball Hall of Fame
T: +1 413-536-0926  E: