New event concept highlights best Beach Volleyball year yet
The governing body for volleyball has reshaped the global calendar for beach volleyball by focusing on the biennial FIVB World Championships and Grand Slam events. The 11 FIVB World Tour Grand Slams across four of the five FIVB Confederations in 10 different countries represent an increase from eight from 2012 and six from 2011 while the beach volleyball season will run over 10 months for the first time ever. Record prize money is also on offer with $7.45m, up from 7.3m in 2012.
At the heart of the calendar are changes that were voted in by the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Council at the end of 2012, which sought to widen the competitions available for players and the opportunities for national federations to host tournaments. To provide the chance to up and coming players there have been also scheduled eight FIVB Beach Volleyball Open competitions in the current 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar, made up of five mixed-gender and three women-only tournaments, ensuring all five Confederations will host an FIVB event in 2013. The FIVB World Ranking system shall embrace Beach Volleyball events at inter-continental, continental and national level.
“Following a very successful year in 2012, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Council sought a new vision for 2013 and beyond in order to capitalise on the tremendous momentum of the past 12 to 24 months,” World Tour Council President and FIVB Board of Administration member Vicente Araujo said. “Thanks to the vision three years ago of the FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça, who at the time as Beach Volleyball Commission President introduced many initiatives for the betterment of beach volleyball, the Continental Cup illustrated how popular beach volleyball is when national federations and athletes are given the chance to play.”
“The aim now is to create new opportunities for players, create a sustainable beach volleyball event’s structure and to provide more occasions for athletes worldwide to play our wonderful sport.”
In another significant change, the format of all the tournaments – whether FIVB World Championships, FIVB World Tour Grand Slam or an FIVB Open – will be the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds.
Stare Jablonki has been rewarded for hosting one of the most popular stops on the World Tour by being given the responsibility of organising the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. The cream of the beach volleyball world will descend on the banks of Lake Mazury in north-east Poland from July 1 to 7 to see if Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti can retain their world crown in the men’s competition, and who will succeed Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Larissa Franca as women’s world champions and take home the $500,000 on offer to the winners of each gender.
Earlier in the year Shanghai, China will play host to the first FIVB World Tour Grand Slam of 2013 from May 22-26 and the Tour is expected to finish in Dubai with a tournament that runs from November 20-24. Rome, Berlin and Gstaad are some of the familiar venues on the World Tour, while beach volleyball returns to the United States for the first time since Carson in 2003 when Long Beach, California hosts a tournament from July 23-28. The Tour also welcomes back The Hague in The Netherlands, after the Dutch capital hosted the CEV European Championships in 2012, a responsibility taken on by Klagenfurt in Austria in 2013.
The FIVB Open tournaments meanwhile get underway in the sunny surrounds of Fuzhou in south-east China from April 24-28 and conclude in South Africa’s surf capital, Durban from December 12-15. Other FIVB Open tournaments in 2013 include Kampala in Uganda, Vizag in India and Phuket in Thailand. Any changes to the calendar will be communicated through FIVB.org and the final 2013 calendar shall be confirmed by mid-March.
You can view the current 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar here