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Lots drawn for first round of CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup

Teams competing in the first round of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup were drawn on Friday in Luxembourg
Luxembourg, Luxembourg, February 28, 2014 - The Drawing of Lots for Round 1 of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup took place on the CEV premises in Luxembourg today. With Eight countries per gender qualifying directly to Round Three of the competition, the other 34 participating teams were split into eight double-gender tournaments from where they will launch their campaign to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Based on their CEV Country Ranking (as of December 31, 2013), the men’s beach volleyball national teams of the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Spain, Austria and Russia and the women’s beach volleyball national teams of Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Spain qualify directly to Round 3.

The other registered participants, who will start from Round 1 to be played in the summer of 2014, were divided into two zones and seeded based on their geographical location and their combined men/women average ranking.

The Drawing of Lots produced the following eight double-gender Round 1 pools:

Zone A

Pool A: France, Portugal, Hungary, Iceland (June 27-29 in Portugal)
Pool B: Norway, Slovenia, Belgium, Northern Ireland, Scotland (June 14-15 in Slovenia)
Pool C: Czech Republic (men only) / Poland (women only), Denmark, Croatia, Luxembourg (June 27-29 in Croatia)
Pool D: Switzerland (men only) / Sweden (women only), Slovakia, England, Ireland (Dates TBA in England)

Zone B
Pool E: Greece, Belarus, Romania, San Marino (men only) / Malta (women only) (June 21-22 in Greece)
Pool F: Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova (men only) / Latvia (women only), Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina (June 28-29 in Lithuania)
Pool G: Finland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania (June 21-22 in Bulgaria)
Pool H: Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Azerbaijan (June 21-22 in Azerbaijan)

With eight organizers needed and only seven candidates available, as per the CEV regulations, one organizer, England, was determined by the Drawing of Lots.

The winners and the runners-up of these eight tournaments (16 countries per gender) will qualify for Round 3, while the other 18 teams per gender will get a second chance to move forward in the competition by participating in their Zone’s Round 2 to be played in August / September 2014.

Round 3 will take place in 2015 with the participation of 32 countries per gender with 8 of them qualifying to the Semifinals in 2016 and 16 moving on to Round 4 which will also be held in 2015 and will determine the other eight semifinalists in each gender.

The Final Round will take place in 2016 with eight women’s and eight men’s national teams vying for continental honors. The eventual winners of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup will earn quotas for the beach volleyball tournament of the 2016 Olympic Games, while another two countries will have a second opportunity to qualify for Rio via the Intercontinental Final Round that will also be held in 2016.

The 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup features teams from a total of 44 countries, with 42 represented in each gender. This accounts for 80% of the CEV member countries, with a formidable increase from the inaugural edition when 31 men’s and 32 women’s teams registered to take part during the build-up to the London Olympics.

“The inaugural CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup triggered a real breakthrough for the sport in many countries and we are confident that this positive trend will continue as the second edition gets underway after this Drawing of Lots” CEV President André Meyer says. “We expect beach volleyball will further flourish in Europe and reach unprecedented standards with the second edition of the CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup.”

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