The AVP Tour has shut down, citing financial hardship and cutting short its 2010 season. The Association of Volleyball Professionals, which helped usher in a new era of beach volleyball, is not funding the tour and has been unsuccessful at finding new investors.
"Through the course of this investor search, we have encountered individuals and groups with intelligence, common sense and a passion for the game of beach volleyball," AVP commissioner Mike Dodd said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, the time constraints were such that pulling the trigger on the amount of money necessary to salvage this season were too great. Ironically this sad news comes as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Manhattan Open, our sport's crown jewel and the one event that showed us all we could dream big. The Open has seen its ups and downs over the years and always persevered. I'm sure our sport will do the same."
Former AVP player and now AVP staff writer Hans Stolfus isn't so sure. In his farewell to the association, he claims "our sport is on the verge of dying."
As recently as 2008, the AVP was increased significantly during that time, with AVP athletes winning at least one gold medal in every Olympics since the sport was recognized by the IOC in 1996.