Lausanne, Switzerland, June 14, 2015 — Crossing the pond for the first time in 2015, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) travels from Norway to the United States as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with the $800,000 FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam this week in Florida, the second of five double-gender FIVB Grand Slams on this year’s schedule. Visiting the United States for the 12th time and the state of Florida for the third time, the FIVB World Tour stop will be held on the purpose-built site at the popular Spa Beach Park in St. Petersburg.
This week’s FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam will start with men’s qualifying on Tuesday followed by men’s pool play Wednesday with women’s qualifying on Wednesday followed by the start of pool play on Thursday. The men’s quarterfinals will be held Friday, semifinals and medal matches on Saturday and women’s quarterfinals on Saturday with their semifinals and medal matches on Sunday. The tournament format has a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams. Country quota playoffs for men, as needed, will be held on Monday and on Tuesday, as needed, for women.
Following Stavanger last week, the third and final Swatch FIVB Major Series tournament in 2015 will be held July 7-12 in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Following this week’s event, the FIVB will return to the USA twice more in 2015 with the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam Aug. 18-23 in Southern California and the $500,000 Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Sept. 29-Oct. 4.
With the FIVB World Tour back in the USA for the third straight year after a 10-year absence, a total of 53 men’s teams from 29 countries selected by their national federations and 49 women’s teams from 22 countries selected by their national federations are officially entered in the Olympian-filled field in the second FIVB Grand Slam of 2015.USA HISTORY
St. Petersburg becomes one of 10 U.S. cities that have hosted an international FIVB beach volleyball event. Others have been Atlanta, Carson, Calif., Chicago, Clearwater, Fla., Hermosa Beach, Calif., Long Beach, Calif., Los Angeles, Miami and New York. The event in Atlanta was the 1996 Olympic Games, the first at which Beach Volleyball was a medal sport.
Through the 2014 event, the United States has hosted a total of 22 FIVB World Tour events (11 men, 11 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals after 11 events, Brazil has 11 medals, followed by the USA with 10, Argentina, Norway and Switzerland with two each and with one men’s medal each the USA are Canada, Italy, Poland and Spain. After 11 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in the United States through 2014, Brazil leads the medal parade with 15 total medals followed by the USA with 13, Australia with three and with one women’s medal each in the USA are Germany and the Slovak Republic.WELCOME TO ST. PETERSBURG
St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas Country, Florida, United States. As of the 2013 census estimate, the population was 249,688, making St. Petersburg the fifth most populous city in the state of Florida. St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area, composed of roughly 2.8 million residents. It is also a popular vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists.
The city is often referred to by locals as St. Pete. Neighboring St. Pete Beach formally shortened its name in 1994 after a vote by its residents. The city is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.TEAM USA
As the host nation, the United States has four men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and one team in the qualification tournament. USA’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Tri Bourne/John Hyden, 18th-seeded Theo Brunner/Nick Lucena, seventh-seeded Sean Rosenthal/Stafford Slick, United States and 11th-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson. Men’s team in the qualifier from the USA is Ryan Doherty/John Mayer, United States.
As the host nation, the United States has four women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two teams in the women’s qualification tournament. USA’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, 21st-seeded Lane Carico/Kim DiCello, 18th-seeded Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy and 15th-seeded Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat.
Women’s teams in the qualifier from the USA are Nicole Branaugh/Jennifer Fopma and Brittany Hochevar/Heather McGuire.TOP SEEDS
For the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam, preliminary revised top men’s seeds are USA’s Tri Bourne/John Hyden, Brazil’s No. 2 Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Poland’s No. 3 Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Brazil’s No. 4 Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Italy’s No. 5 Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Netherlands’ No. 6 Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, USA’s No. 7 Sean Rosenthal/Stafford Slick, Germany’s No. 8 Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Brazil’s No. 9 Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Salgado and Russia’s No. 10 Viacheslav Kraslinikov/Konstantin Semenov.
For the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam, preliminary revised top women’s seeds are USA’s top-seeded April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brazil’s No. 2 Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Germany’s No. 3 Katrin Holtick/Ilka Semmler, Brazil’s No. 4 Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil’s No. 5 Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, Czech Republic’s No. 6 Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova, Spain’s No. 7 Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, China’s No. 8 Fan Wang/Yuan Yue, Germany’s No. 9 Karla Borger/Britta Buthe and Germany’s No. 10 Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst.FIVB ST. PETERSBURG GRAND SLAM PURSE
The gold medal team in the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam will split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The men’s semifinals and medal matches and the women’s quarterfinal matches will all be played on Saturday with the women’s semifinals and medal matches on Sunday.
FIVB WORLD TOUR BREAKDOWN
The 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour schedule will include five FIVB Grand Slams, the new Swatch FIVB Major Series of three events, seven FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in the United States. The showcase event will be the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands (June 26-July 5).
A total of 15 countries will host events this year as the 2015 FIVB World Tour also begins the Olympic qualification process with all FIVB World Tour events (except the FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions, all double-gender each have $800,000 in total purses. The total purse FIVB World Championships the Netherlands 2015 will be $1,000,000 and $500,000 total for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams and two wild card teams in each gender.
The 10 FIVB Open tournaments in 2015, eight double-gender, one men only and one women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.FIVB EVENT FORMAT
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs will return as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.ON THE HORIZON
Following this week’s second of five FIVB Grand Slam tournaments on the 2015 FIVB calendar at the $800,000 FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam in the United States, the dynamic month of beach volleyball will conclude with the $1,000,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands (June 26-July 5) being anchored in The Hague with pool play and the first two rounds of single-elimination also being played in Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam.GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam will be the 320th men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 284th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.