Preolympic Volleyball Tournament

2008 is upon us and that means a countdown to the Olympics. The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, will be celebrated from August 8, 2008 to August 24, 2008. In preparation for that special event and in continuation of our coverage of the Puerto Rico National Men's Volleyball team, I wanted to let everyone know about Caguas 2008, the pre-olympic qualifying event being held in Caguas starting this Sunday.

Two groups of teams are invited to this tournament. Including the Puerto Rican team, group A consists of the United States, Dominicana and Barbados. Group B consists of Cuba, Canada, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago. From January 6th through the 11th, these teams will battle for the rights to participate in the Olympics.

The tournament, which is also referred to as the 2008 NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Championship, will be a tough battle for all of the teams, with only the winner of the final game played on Friday January 11th earning a trip to Bejing. In pre-tournament predictions, the United States is heavily favored after claiming 4th in the 2007 World Cup and improving their world ranking position from 5th to 3rd, behind Russia and Brazil.

The tournament is being held at the Coliseo Héctor Solá Bezares in Caguas, which is part of the beautiful Complejo de Criollo Multiusos Deportivos. Tickets are $12 for box seats, $8 for general admission for adults and $4 for children. While those prices are probably reasonable, I wish they were a little more affordable. I was kind of hoping to take the kids to see a "real" volleyball game, but including the kids we're talking $24, which seems like a lot. Hey, just call me a cheap bastard. For more information call the Federación de Voleibol at (787) 282-7524.