Billy Ketch Allen

A Mostly Volleyball Blog


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Wild Card

In beach volleyball, you earn points based on your recent finishes. These points determine your seed for the next tournament and whether you will be in the main draw or the qualifier (or if you can get into the tournament at all). No one wants to be in the qualifier, it’s a brutal single elimination bracket in which you grind through multiple matches before the real tournament even starts. Even top players in the world have suffered casualties in the qualifier.

If your team hasn’t earned enough points, there is one other way to sneak into the main draw. The wild card. Every time you register for an FIVB tournament you have the option of applying for the wild card which grants you a spot in the tournament regardless of your points. How wild cards are chosen is a mystery to me. God-like promoters have the ability to reach down from on high and place a team into the main draw they feel would add something to their event. Usually Olympians.

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Moscow FIVB

They Don’t Make Disney Movies About People Who Don’t Go To Moscow.

Stafford and I went back and forth on whether or not to go to the Moscow FIVB 3 Star Tournament. It was an expensive trip and because all the top teams were going we would have to play in the country quota match to get into the qualifier. That meant we’d fly to Russia just to play against our fellow Americans Sean Rosenthal and Trevor Crabb, who had just beaten us easily two weeks before at the Austin AVP.

You don’t want to make decisions based on loss aversion but every once in a while the real world creeps into your mind. We were coming off two horrible international tournaments with first-round losses in both Florida and China and were not fired up about traveling across the world for potentially one match. But after dragging our feet for a few weeks, we decided to go for it. As I texted Stafford, “They don’t make Disney movies about people who don’t go to Moscow.”

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