FIVB unveils record prize money and tournaments in bumper 2014 beach volleyball season
The FIVB has confirmed a total of nine double-gender Grand Slams - with another Grand Slam to be added - for the 2013 season, supplemented by a further six double-gender and five single-gender Open tournaments |
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 12, 2013 – A record $10.2m in prize money, 10 Grand Slams, an inaugural FIVB Grand Slam Final and 11 Open tournaments are the highlights of a record-breaking beach volleyball calendar announced by the FIVB on Thursday.
With the aim of providing athletes with more opportunities to participate, the FIVB has confirmed a total of nine double-gender Grand Slams - with another Grand Slam to be added - for the 2013 season, supplemented by a further six double-gender and five single-gender Open tournaments, which represents a significant increase on the 10 Grand Slams and four Open tournaments which featured along with the World Championships in 2013 and carried total prize money of $6.4m. The previous record prize money for a season was $7.5m in 2011.
For the first time in FIVB history, two of the Grand Slams (which ones are still to be confirmed) will have a prize pot of $1m, while the other eight will feature a total purse of $800,000 – nearly double the prize money of $440,000 on offer for Grand Slams in 2013.
“Following the outstanding success of the 2013 season, the FIVB is rewarding beach volleyball players around the world with increased prize money and more opportunities to play,” FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° said. “We recognise that beach volleyball is more popular than ever around the world so the new 2014 beach volleyball calendar reflects this popularity and ensures that beach volleyball continues to grow year on year, building up to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Hague in 2015 and the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.”
The 2014 season starts in similar fashion to this year with the Fuzhou Open in China from April 22-27. The world’s best beach volleyball stars will then stay in China for the first Grand Slam of the season in Shanghai, which takes place from April 29 – May 4.
Stavanger, one of the most popular stops on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, makes a welcome return. The unique dockside venue, which hosted the 2009 World Championships, was last present on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 2011, after 13 straight seasons, but returns with a Grand Slam from June 24-29.
Through the year there are a host of familiar cities hosting Grand Slams; Long Beach continues for a second season after a successful debut in 2013, while The Hague is planning on spreading the tournament over four different cities in preparation for their hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2015.
This year’s World Championships host city, the ever-popular Stare Jablonki, will revert back to a Grand Slam and the venue on the banks of Lake Mazury will welcome the beach volleyball world from August 12-17.
There are also Grand Slams in Fortaleza, Berlin, Moscow and Gstaad and the Grand Slams conclude with the first ever FIVB Grand Slam Final, which will offer $500,000 in prize money, from October 15-19. The participants in the FIVB Grand Slam Final, for which the location is still to be confirmed, will be made up of the top eight nations on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam ranking with a maximum quota of two teams per country, per gender.
Book-ending the season
Open tournaments will again book end the beach volleyball season and after Fuzhou has marked the start of the season, Durban brings down the curtain from December 10-14. In between there are tournaments in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Prague, Anapa, Thailand, Xiamen, Parana in Argentina, Doha with Sanya and St Denis de la Reunion to be confirmed while the FIVB continues to negotiate with other potential organisers.
There will be more opportunities for up and coming beach volleyball players to play on the international stage with the introduction of the U17 World Championships increasing the number of age-group World Championships to four. Myslowice in Poland and Porto in Portugal return as hosts of the U23 and U19 versions and Larnaka in Cyprus will host the U21 tournament.
The 2014-2016 Continental Cup will also return next year as it starts its qualification process for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
To conclude an outstanding season, beach volleyball will also make its debut at the Youth Olympic Games. The event, the second of its kind, will take place in Nanjing, China and runs from August 16-28.