How Mexico Became a Haven for Beach Volleyball Officiating

Mexico became a beach volleyball haven during the pandemic. Now a regular on the FIVB World Tour, Mexico's commitment to top-tier events and refereeing has earned praise from experienced officials like Padrón and Sumavil.

How Mexico Became a Haven for Beach Volleyball Officiating
Experienced referees like Padrón and Sumavil praise Mexico's commitment to top-notch officiating. Credit: CONADE

Recently, the International Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has placed its trust in Mexico to host top-level events in the world, thanks to various factors that have been recognized by athletes and national and international authorities also from other countries, but referees with great experience and enviable track records also do so.

The Spanish José Padrón and the Argentine Osvaldo Sumavil, who have administered justice at the London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (they will do the same in Paris 2024), are first-class judges who have participated in competitions held in Aztec territory since 2021, so they did not hesitate to share their pleasant stays and vision of the country as host.

“We must recognize that Mexico was the one that opened the doors to beach volleyball at a very critical moment such as the pandemic. We must never forget what this country did in 2021 with the tournaments held in the Cancun bubble. Thereafter, he continued betting on this sport and each year it has been hosted in various places. The treatment I have received from the organization, public, and volunteers is incredible. At the World Cup in Tlaxcala the bullring concept was idyllic,” said Padrón.

For Sumavil, the Aztec nation is a “world power” as the home of the best beach volleyball, since it has opened its doors to stops on the FIVB World Tour, such as the Tlaxcala, La Paz and Guadalajara Challenges; the Elite in Tepic (twice) and Rosarito, until earning the right to have the World Championship on Tlaxcaltecan soil, an aspect that can lead to it also being a reference in the competitive field.

“Mexico has become a world power regarding the organization of these types of events. The Tlaxcala 2023 World Cup was one of the best there has ever been, and that is why the FIVB has been betting on this country for several years. It gives us great pleasure that Mexico is consolidating in this area and this will surely help it to have great athletes,” said the Argentine with 25 years of experience.

The transcendental role of referees in beach volleyball

An official beach volleyball match must have the presence of a main referee, who makes the decisions in the development of the match; The second judge is responsible for observing if there are touches of the ball that decide the winning team of a point and the touches of the net; the linesmen make markings on and off the court; and the scorers and their assistants record everything that happens throughout the confrontation.

“We try to dispense justice in accordance with what the FIVB imposes in each season; We are aware that the referee is an important piece in this sport where there is no tie and there must always be a winner. We begin with experience in essential events in our countries, we must master the English language, and then we grow in international tournaments until we reach the Olympic Games, which is our greatest achievement,” Padrón concluded.