Lausanne, Switzerland, August 15, 2015 — Back in the USA following a three-week break in its schedule, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is in Southern California as the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour resumes Monday with the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, the fourth of five FIVB Grand Slams on this year’s schedule. Visiting the United States for the second of three events in 2015, the internationally-televised FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will be held on the purpose-built site at Alamitos Beach in Long Beach.
The 2015 FIVB World Tour resumes with the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam which be held Monday through Sunday. Being held on the special site located on the sands of the Alamitos Beach adjacent to Marina Green Park, it will be the 13th men’s competition and 13th women’s competition in the United States. Starting the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will be 53 men’s teams from 24 countries along with 49 women’s teams from 23 countries.
With the first USA visit being held in Miami, Florida in 1994, the 1997 event was the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, held in the Tennis Center stadium at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). The other two stops in the United States in 2015 were the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam in Florida (June 16-21) and the upcoming season-ending Swatch FIVB Season Final in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Sept. 29-Oct. 4).
A pair of teams from the USA won the men and women’s gold medal in last year’s only U.S. stop in Long Beach. Winning men’s gold was the duo of Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal while topping the women’s podium on their home sand was the duo of Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross. In June this year, winning the gold medals at the FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam were the USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas.
LONG BEACH SCHEDULE
This week’s FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will have near-parallel schedules for men and women. Country quota playoffs for each gender, as needed, will be held on Monday. On Tuesday there will be a one-day qualification tournament for each gender to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play Wednesday and Thursday. For the advancing 24 teams from pool play, the men will play their elimination rounds and quarterfinals while the women will play two rounds of elimination matches on Friday. On Saturday, the men will play their semifinals and the women will have both their quarterfinals and their semifinals.
Sunday’s schedule for the final day of the tournament will have the bronze and gold medal matches for each gender.
USA FIVB HISTORY
Long Beach is 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., Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and St. Petersburg, Fla. The event in Atlanta was the 1996 Olympic Games, the first at which Beach Volleyball was a medal sport. This is the third consecutive year Long Beach has hosted an FIVB World Tour event.
Through the 2015 event in St. Petersburg, the United States has hosted a total of 24 FIVB World Tour events (12 men, 12 women) with the host country leading the men’s medal count and Brazil leading the women’s medal count.
In the men’s totals after 12 events in the United States, USA has 12 medals, followed by Brazil with 11 medals, followed by the USA with 10, Argentina, Norway and Switzerland with two each and with one men’s medal each in the USA are Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. After 12 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in the United States through St. Petersburg 2015, Brazil leads the medal parade with 18 total medals followed by the USA with 13, Australia with three and with one women’s medal each in the USA are Germany and Slovakia.
WELCOME TO LONG BEACH
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 nation and the seventh-largest in California with its population of nearly 475,000. The city is a dominant maritime center of the United States. The Port of Long Beach is the United States' second busiest container port and one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a large oil industry with the substance being found both underground and offshore.
USA STARS RETURN
Forced to the sideline with serious injuries most of this year’s FIVB World Tour, USA Olympic Champions Phil Dalhausser and Kerri Walsh Jennings will both be back in action in Long Beach. Both defending champions in this event, Dalhausser will be playing for the first time with Nick Lucena, with whom he played briefly at the start of his beach career, while Walsh Jennings will again be playing with April Ross.
As the host nation for the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, the United States has four men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two more teams in the qualification tournament. USA’s main draw teams are provisional top-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Paterson, 14th-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne, 21st-seeded Sean Rosenthal/Theo Brunner and 24th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena.
Men’s teams in the qualifier from USA are John Mayer/Ryan Doherty and Todd Rogers/Stafford Slick.
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 Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, 12th-seeded Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, 16th-seeded Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day and 24th-seeded Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar.
Women’s teams in the qualifier from the USA are Lane Carico/Summer Ross and Sara Hughes/Kelly Claes.
For the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, preliminary revised top men’s seeds are, USA’s No. 1 seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Brazil’s No. 2 newly crowned FIVB World Champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Netherland’s No. 3 seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst, Brazil’s No. 4 Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg, Netherland’s No. 5 Alexander Brouwer/RobMeeuwsen, Latvia’s No. 6 Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Martins Plavins, Brazil’s No. 7 Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos, Austria’s No. 8 Doppler Clemens/Alexander Horst, Italy’s No. 9 Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo and Germany’s No. 10 Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik.
For the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, preliminary revised top women’s seeds are USA’s No. 1 seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, Brazil’s No. 2 recently crowned FIVB World Champions Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil’s No. 3 Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil’s No. 4 Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta, Canada’s No. 5 Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Netherlands’ No. 6 Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Germany’s No. 7 Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Australia’s No. 8 Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Italy’s No. 9 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth and Spain’s No. 10 Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez.
FIVB LONG BEACH GRAND SLAM PURSE
The gold medal team in each gender at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000.
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.
The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will be the 324th men’s event since the FIVB began men’s competition in 1987 and the 288th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.
ON THE HORIZON
Following this week’s visit to Southern California in the United States for the double-gender $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, Long Beach will be the first of four straight double-gender events as the schedule has five events on tap in a six-week window. The final 2015 FIVB Grand Slam will be held in Poland August 25-30 at the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam, followed by the FIVB Rio Open in Brazil (Sept. 2-6).
The FIVB Rio Open will be a 24-team event, per gender, that is the final qualifying event for the inaugural double-gender $500,000 Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals to held in the United States in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Sept. 29-Oct. 4) for the top eight teams in each gender in the final 2015 FIVB World Tour Rankings plus two wild card teams will qualify for Fort Lauderdale. The gold medal teams in each gender at the Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals will each earn a FIVB $100,000 in prize money.
After Rio and prior to Fort Lauderdale, two double-gender $150,000 FIVB Opens, the FIVB Sochi Open in Russia (Sept. 8-13) and the FIVB Xiamen Open in China (Sept. 22-27) will be held, with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
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 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.
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.