The draw for the Men’s U22 European Volleyball Championship, which took place in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, was held in a unique manner. The much-anticipated event, setting the stage for the second edition of #EuroVolleyU22M, concluded on Monday, revealing the paths for the eight contending teams. This summer, from July 9 to 14, Apeldoorn, along with Groningen, will buzz with the energy of Europe’s top young volleyball talents vying for the continental crown.
However, it was not the teams’ lineup that sparked discussions but the methodology of the draw itself. Captured in the event’s video footage, a peculiar setup was noticed – narrow vases containing pairs of balls, each placed one atop the other (one slightly more placed on the other due to the size and shape of the container). Deviating from the standard practice of mixing balls before a draw, the procedure at this event was notably different. The ball on top determined a team’s grouping with the Netherlands, while the one at the bottom linked another team with Italy.
This deviation from conventional draw practices has led to raised eyebrows within the part of volleyball community. The lack of mixing, a standard step to ensure randomness and fairness, has brought the event’s regularity into question. Although the event was transparently recorded and publicly accessible, leaving no room for allegations of malintent, the unusual draw method has inevitably cast a shadow of doubt on the regularity of the event itself.