FIVB World Tour resumes in Switzerland at Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 6, 2015 — Basking in the glow of the last week’s landmark 2015 FIVB World Championships, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) returns to its home country Switzerland as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with the $800,000 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major this week in Switzerland, the last of three events in the special double-gender Swatch FIVB Major Series on this year’s schedule.

Visiting Gstaad, Switzerland for the 16th straight year, the FIVB World Tour stop will be held on the purpose-built site at the in the center of the quaint Village Gstaad.

With the current most consecutive years on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, the Gstaad event, to be Tuesday through Sunday, will mark the 15th straight year for a men’s competition in Gstaad and 16th consecutive year that a women’s tournament will be held in this picturesque peaceful village.

This week’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major will start with women’s qualifying on Tuesday followed by women’s pool play Wednesday with men’s qualifying on Wednesday followed by the start of pool play on Thursday. The women’s quarterfinals will be held Friday, semifinals and medal matches on Saturday and men’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 women, as needed, will be held on Monday and on Tuesday, as needed, for men.

This year’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major is third of three events that are part of the new Swatch FIVB Major Series part of the FIVB World Tour. With each of the Swatch FIVB Major Series offering a purse of $800,000, the other two events in the series were in Croatia (Poreč, June 2-7) and in Norway (Stavanger, June 9-14).

Switzerland has hosted a total of 31 FIVB World Tour events (15 men, 16 women) 29 of them being held in Gstaad and two (one for each gender) in Lucerne this year. Brazil leads the medal count in both genders.  In the men’s totals after 15 events, Brazil has 19 medals, followed by USA with eight, Germany with six, Switzerland three, while Italy and Netherlands have two men’s medals each and with one men’s medal each are Argentina, Australia, Russia and Spain.

After 16 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Switzerland, Brazil leads the medal parade with 18 total medals followed by the USA with 11, China with eight, German with four while Netherlands has two and with one each women’s medals in Gstaad are Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, and Switzerland.

Gstaad is a picturesque village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland in the shadow of the majestic Swiss Alps. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst the high society and the international jet set. Gstaad has a permanent population of about 3,200 and is located 1,050 metres (3,445 feet) above sea level, making it the highest altitude venue for a FIVB World Tour event.

As the host nation, Switzerland has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw one team in the qualification tournament and two more in a country quota match, if needed. Switzerland’s main draw teams are provisional seeds 21st-seeded Philip Gabathuler/Mirco Gerson, 23rd-seeded Nico Beeler/Alexei Strasser and 24th-seeded Matts Kovatsch/Jonas Kissling.Men’s team in the qualifier from the Switzerland is Sebastian Chevallier/Marco Krattiger.

On the provisional list for a country quota match up from Switzerland are Adrian Heidrich/Gabrield Kissling andAndreas Martin Sutter/Bernhard Beyeler.

As the host nation, Switzerland has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Switzerland’s main draw teams are provisional 16th-seeded Nadine Zumkehr/Joana Heidich, 23rd-seeded Tanja Goricanec/Tanja Huberli and 24th-seeded Isabell Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre. Women’s teams in the qualifier from the Switzerland are Dunja Gerson/Tanya Guerra Arias-Schmocker and Nina Betschart/Nicole Eiholzer.

For the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, preliminary revised top men’s seeds are Poland’s No. 1 Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, Brazil’s No. 2 Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Netherland’s No. 3 seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Latvia’s No. 4 Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Martins Plavins, No. 5 Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Brazil’s No. 7 Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Netherland’s eigth-seeded Alexander Brouwer/RobMeeuwsen, Austria’s ninth-seeded Doppler Clemens/Alexander Horst and Canada’s 10th-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter.

For the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, preliminary revised top women’s seeds are Brazil’s top-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil’s No. 2 Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Netherlands’ No. 3 Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Brazil’s No. 4 Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, USA’s No. 5 April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, Italy’s No. 6 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Canada’s No. 7 Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Spain’s No. 8 Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Germany’s No. 9 Karla Borger/Britta Buthe and Australia’s No. 10 Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy.

The gold medal team in the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major will split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The women’s semifinals and medal matches and the men’s quarterfinal matches will all be played on Saturday with the men’s semifinals and medal matches on Sunday.

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.

The Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major will be the 322nd men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 286th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

Following last week’s spectacularly splendid $1,000,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships the Netherlands 2015, the month of July continues with the third and final event of the Swatch FIVB Major Series within the FIVB World Tour, the $800,000 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major to be held in Switzerland starting Tuesday and continuing through Sunday. The month’s competition schedule on the FIVB World Tour will conclude July 21-26 in Japan at the $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam.

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 was 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.

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.


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