In a Commonwealth Games first, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) have today confirmed that Beach Volleyball will feature at the next Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018. This follows on the back of initial discussions at the 2015 CGF General Assembly in Auckland and will extend the Games sports programme for the first time from 17 to 18 sports, including four team sports.

The decision to include Beach Volleyball in the Gold Coast 2018 Games was approved by the CGF Executive Board following a special request from the Queensland Minister for the Commonwealth Games and GOLDOC.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the news and said: “The Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches are a huge Games drawcard and Beach Volleyball is the perfect sporting fit for the 2018 programme. The Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase Queensland to the world and with Beach Volleyball now locked in to make its Commonwealth Games debut, vision of the Gold Coast’s iconic beaches will be beamed to an audience of over 1.5 billion people around the world.”

Games partners will now scout an accessible venue location that showcases the magnificent beaches and has the capacity to house the temporary infrastructure needed to meet international federation guidelines.

Two 12 team tournaments will be contested during the Games, one for Men’s Teams and one for Women’s Teams consisting of two players per team. A qualification system will be developed in collaboration with the international volleyball federation FIVB and will be finalised by July 2016.

Paul Bush OBE, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Today’s news is a huge boost for Beach Volleyball and there is no better place to showcase this exciting sport than in Gold Coast. We will now continue to work closely with colleagues at Scottish Volleyball to develop the necessary criteria to ensure that we can select a team that competes with distinction in accordance with the CGS General Selection Policy.”

Excited by the news, Margaret Ann Fleming, Chief Executive of Volleyball Scotland said: “Scottish Volleyball is absolutely delighted that Beach Volleyball is now included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. As a sport, in terms of audience viewing, delivery and athlete inspiration, we excelled in the London 2012 Olympics and our addition into the Gold Coast is a further stepping stone for Beach Volleyball to be recognised as the truly inspirational spectator and performance sport it is. I am confident that our athletes are ready to embrace this opportunity and I look forward to 2018 with optimism.”

Lynne Beattie, London 2012 Olympic volleyball women’s captain and Scotland’s number one international beach athlete said: “I would be overjoyed at the opportunity to represent Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and look forward to hearing more about the qualification process later in the year.”

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be staged from 4 – 15 April 2018.