Volleyball matchups live on the Ljubljanica
Ljubljana is hosting the world's first official water volleyball tournament this weekend after two successful promotional events on the Ljubljanica.
Featuring eight teams per each gender, the re:do Volleyball on Water Ljubljanica 2023 tournament is being held in collaboration with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
The matches are being played on a court on the Ljubljanica near the Triple Bridge. The court has been slightly submerged in water and illuminated for the evening matches.
"The basic idea was to make it seem like the players are walking on water," said Simon Rožnik, director of Extrem, which is organising the event together with the Slovenian Volleyball Federation.
"We have sunk the platform 13-15 centimetres below water and installed lights to demarcate the lines of the court, creating a sense of floating on water," he told the Slovenian Press Agency.
The rules are the same as for beach volley, which means two players on each team, best two out of three sets, the third set is played to 15 points.
Eight doubles in the men's and women's categories fought for a spot in the semi-finals in the group stage on 26 August.
The semi-finals and finals are being played on 27 August with the women's final starting at 9pm and the men's being played afterwards.
There has also been an lively accompanying programme, featuring a dance show and a performance by Duo Kamikaza and a treasure hunt.
Water volleyball was first presented as part of the promotion of the men's European championship that Slovenia hosted together with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 2019.
Another such spectacle on the Ljubljanica River in the run-up to the 2022 Men's Volleyball World Championship games hosted by Ljubljana's Stožice Arena attracted even more attention.
But this is the first official competitive event in what Rožnik says is an "extraordinary Slovenian product".