15 Mrz TORINO 2025 BRINGS SNOW VOLLEY TO BARDONECCHIA AND STUDIES HIS POTENTIAL AS AN OPTIONAL SPORT FOR THE NEXT FISU GAMES
Torino 2025 brings snow volley to Bardonecchia. On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March, two days of sports and festivities will be held on the snow of the Valsusa resort that, in less than two years, will be one of the competition venues for the XXXII World University Games Winter, assigned by the FISU to the FederCUSI and ready to return to the Mole 18 years after the 2007 edition. Piemonte thus confirms itself more and more as Land of Sport, as per the official claim of the FISU Games.
Snow volley, which has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the national push of the FIPAV (Italian Volleyball Federation), the European push of the CEV, and the international push of the FIVB, dreams of carving out a space for itself as an optional discipline of the FISU Games scheduled from 13 to 23 January 2025, and this weekend’s #TO25 Snow Volleyball Festival, organised by the Torino 2025 Organising Committee with the technical support of Snow Volley Italia, is the first step in assessing its potential. This morning, the event was presented in the Sala Trasparenza of the Regione Piemonte Palace in Piazza Castello in Torino, with a welcome speech by the Regional councillor for Budget Andrea Tronzano and speeches by Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (president of Torino 2025 and Edisu Piemonte), Vittorio Montabone (deputy mayor and sports councillor of of Bardonecchia), Riccardo D’Elicio, (deputy vice-president of Torino 2025 and president of Cus Torino) and a volleyball player from Cuneo, Piemonte: Anna Dalmazzo (reigning Italian snow volleyball champion).
SNOW VOLLEY: A BIT OF HISTORY
Launched in Austria in 2008, snow volley was officially recognised three years later. In 2013, the first Italian leg of the Austrian tour, which had started the year before. In 2015, Snow Volley Italia organised the first Italian tournament in Prato Nevoso, with 150 participants, including amateurs: a real weekend of celebration on the snow, for volleyball lovers. The following October, the European Volleyball Confederation also officially recognised snow volleyball. In 2022, in Prato Nevoso, Snow Volley Italia awarded the first Italian titles, in a weekend that saw more than one hundred teams and athletes from all over Italy, as well as from four continents, competing.
THE BIG NAMES FASCINATED BY SNOW VOLLEYBALL
Among the big names that put on a show on the snow were those of all-time champion Gilberto “Giba” Amauri Godoy Filho, Russia’s Konstantin Semenov, Riley and Maddison McKibbin, as well as Italians Eugenio Amore and Sara Breidenbach, who already won the Italian title in 2022.
There will also be big names in the discipline in Bardonecchia. Like the Poles Michal Matyja, king of the snow for several years, and Piotr Groszek, his ‘heir’ and already winner in Prato Nevoso in 2018. Then, there will be the French led by Iskander El Ghouti (king of the snow last year) and with Paul Nicole, Cyril Larrieu and Julien Bourdon.
Among the women confirmed is Sara Breidenbach, already Italian beach volleyball and snow volleyball champion and winner of some World Tour stages, together with Anna Dalmazzo and Sofia Arcaini, undisputed queen of all the last editions of Prato Nevoso. And then Cristiana Parenzan, in the field at both the first European Sand Volleyball and Snow Volleyball Championships, and Michela Lantignotti.
SNOW VOLLEYBALL: THE RULES
The rules of the tournament on Saturday provide for 3-on-3 challenges, with two men’s semifinals, as many women’s semifinals and the 3rd/4th place finals on Saturday. The next day, the finals. All matches will be played to the best of two 15-point sets. Also on Sunday, space will be given to the Queen & King of the Court tournament, a new and fun timed format in the ‘winner-takes-all’ format, with 15-minute elimination rounds.
THE BARDONECCHIA WEEKEND PROGRAMME
Saturday 18 March will see the kick-off of the #TO25 Snow Volleyball Festival tournament at 11am in the Campo Smith area of Bardonecchia until 4.30pm, when the après-ski party at the Haralds will start, continuing until late in the evening.
The following day, Sunday 19 March, the King of the Court tournament is scheduled from 10am, while at 2pm there will be the finals of the #TO25 Snow Volleyball Festival, followed by the awards ceremony and the big final party.
The speeches of the speakers at today’s press conference follow:
Andrea Tronzano (Councillor for the Budget of the Piedmont Region): “The Region has invested 60 million euros in 2022 in sport, a figure never seen before. It is a figure that comes from the firm political will to say that sport counts and is added value. The event is an intelligent experiment and will serve to involve many nations that would otherwise not have come to the World University Games. The Region is at your side to support you”.
Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (President of Torino 2025 and Edisu Piemonte) ‘In our path of Torino 2025 always aiming at innovation, there is a first again. This snow volleyball event, which is the first to be organised directly by our Committee, will pave the way for the addition of this discipline among the options for the 2025 Games. Another opportunity for those who want to practice winter sports, which will allow even more nations to be involved, and the reconfirmation that Turin 2025 will be an opportunity to bring the people of Turin and Piedmont closer to the winter disciplines, which are already very much in the DNA of our territory. Turin and Piedmont are also proving to be a land of innovation in the field of sport. Snow volleyball has amazed me and I am happy that one of the optional disciplines for 2025 will not be an addition to an already existing historical discipline, but a new sport altogether. We are networking and collaborating with all the institutions, starting with the Piedmont Region and the City of Turin to promote our Games’.
Vittorio Montabone (deputy mayor and sports councillor of Bardonecchia): “Bardonecchia is ready. We are working hard on Turin 2025. Every event that will take place over these two years will be in preparation for the event. Snow volleyball is a young, innovative and festive sport. In addition to sport, there is also the more playful side. We therefore welcome this kind of event. We are also willing to bring an event like the championship final to Bardonecchia in the future”.
Riccardo D’Elicio (deputy vice-president Torino 2025 and president of Cus Torino): “It is an idea that was started by a group of students from the Turin Polytechnic. Mauro Berruto (former coach of the men’s Italian national volleyball team who won the bronze medal in London 2012 Olympics), whom I would like to thank, started thinking about the concrete possibility of developing this activity and in a very short time set up a meeting with Fipav and the International Federation. I have seen great enthusiasm for this sport, which is already practised in 50 countries. A dialogue is underway between FISU and CUSI so that this sport can be part of the programme in the near future. I am happy to have met Matteo Carlon, president of Snow Volley Italia, who really believes in this project. This can help ski resorts in something that even just five years ago seemed unthinkable. I like to think that after this presentation we will try to officially propose it as an optional sport in Turin 2025. One of our goals is to propose the third half. A community that plays sport but then gathers to get to know each other. Turin has always been a city of innovation”.
Anna Dalmazzo (reigning Italian snow volleyball champion): “I am from Cuneo and was born in volleyball. I then switched to beach volleyball nine years ago with Cus Torino. Last year I also tried the transition to snow. It is a joy to practise this sport for three different disciplines. It seems like a similar sport but the dynamics change or other unforeseen events. It’s nice to always have to adapt to new situations. We all know how much the magic of snow attracts, so being able to bring this sport to the mountains is very nice, even for those who have never been close to skiing and snowboarding”.
Matteo Carlon (president Snow Volley Italia): “Since 2015, the discipline has been recognised by the CEV, in 2018 the first European title was awarded and in 2019 there was the first FIVB world tour. Snow Volleyball Italia was born in 2015 launching the movement on the Boot and last year we awarded the first championship, recognised by FIPAV. Four men’s teams from Poland, the Czech Republic, France and Italy will take part in this promotional stage in Bardonecchia, while in the women’s event we will have four teams with former Italian volleyball and beach volleyball champions. On Sunday, on the other hand, the event will be open to everyone with the King of the Court, an innovative format brought by beach volleyball that we will present for the first time in Italy and on the snow. Fun is guaranteed”.