USA hosting FIVB World Tour at $440,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
Long Beach, Calif., USA, July 21, 2013 — Resuming action after a week layoff, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to the United States for the first time in a decade this week, heading to Southern California for the $440,000 FIVB Long Beach double-gender tournament this week. A total of 78 tandems from 24 countries are in Long Beach for the sixth of 10 grand slam events on the 2013 FIVB international season schedule.
The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, presented by ASICS is the showcase part of the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a SoCal beach festival that includes 4-person and 6-person recreational events, a youth tournament and nightly music concerts. Also part of the event is the inaugural ASICS World Series Cup featuring two teams in each gender from the USA against two international teams with the finals next Sunday. In addition to the international live FIVB telecasts, the event also includes 23 hours of live or same-day telecasts split between NBC Sports Network, Universal Network and NBC TV Network. The teams selected for the ASICS World Series Cup will be announced on Tuesday.
The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam is using a format of a single-day qualification tournament on Monday to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments, round-robin pool play with begin on Tuesday. It will conclude with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. With the event being held for the first time in Long Beach the purpose-built site is located on the sands of the Marina Green Park on East Shoreline Drive. General admission is free to the event and VIP tickets are on sale through the event website at www.wsobv.com.
The women’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Friday with the men’s semifinals also on Friday and medal matches closing the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam on Saturday. Monday’s qualification tournament for each gender will start at 10 a.m. Play Tuesday through Friday is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and at 11 a.m. on Saturday for the men’s medal matches.
A total of 78 teams from 24 countries (41 men’s teams from 17 countries and 37 women’s teams from 19 countries) selected by their national federations are officially entered. The event this year in Southern California is the 10th FIVB event ever held in the United States, fifth in Southern California and first since the Tour visited a USA Olympic Training Center in Carson, Calif. in 2003.
In addition to two FIVB World Tour stops in Hermosa Beach, Calif. (1995, 1996), and Carson in 2003, the other SoCal FIVB event was the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 1997 held on the UCLA campus in Westwood.
As the host nation, the United States has four teams in each gender pre-positioned into the main draw. For the men, USA’s teams are Sean Rosenthal/Phil Dalhausser, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Todd Rogers/Ryan Doherty and Stafford Slick/Casey Jennings. The USA women’s teams pre-positioned are 2012 Olympic silver medalists April Ross/Jennifer Kessy, Lauren Fendrick/Brittany Hochevar, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings and new partner Whitney Pavlik and Jennifer Fopma/Brooke Sweat. Except for Ross/Kessy, the other five USA teams are new partnerships in 2013.
The USA also has one team in each gender in Monday’s qualification tournament. Playing for the USA on Monday will be Emily Day/Summer Ross in the women’s QT while playing for the USA in the men’s QT will be Nick Lucena/John Hyden. The top-seeded women’s team in the QT is Brazil’s Barbara Seixas/Liliane Maestrini while No. 1 in men’s action Monday will be Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves.
Even though it has been 10 years since a World Tour event has been held in the USA, two of the previous medal winners in USA tournaments are still active, both from Brazil. On the men’s side Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos are still playing and among the top players in the world.
Emanuel has won four medals with a silver medal in 1995 and a bronze in 1996 playing with Ze Marco de Melo along with two gold medals, one in 2000 with Jose Loiola and again in 2003 with Ricardo. Ricardo also earned a silver medal in 2000 playing with Ze Marco.
The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Not part of the World Tour but still counting towards the FIVB World Rankings, the FIVB yearly calendar also includes seven Open events, five double-gender and two women-only. There is a double-gender FIVB Open event being playing this week as well in Anapa, Russia.
The gold medal teams in each gender in the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will each split $33,000, the silver $22,000, the bronze $16,500 and fourth place $12,900. The women’s medal matches will be held on Friday and the men’s medal matches on Saturday. The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam is the 291st FIVB dinternational men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 253rd FIVB women’s tournament since women started international competition in 1992.
In the second half of the 2013 FIVB World Tour, the season finale will be in Brazil in mid-October at the $440,000 FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam.
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the USA and the seventh-largest in California with its population of nearly 475,000. In addition, Long Beach is the second largest city within Greater Los Angeles Area, after Los Angeles, and a principal city of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area.