FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will be returning to Rio de Janeiro

One of three successive events in Brazil on the 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro will host the first grand slam of the 2015/2016 FIVB World Tour at the double-gender FIVB Rio Grand Slam, to be held March 8-13. Prior to this visit, the FIVB World Tour has held 15 men’s events and eight women’s events in Rio.

Last year, Rio hosted a double-gender test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the beach volleyball venue at iconic Copacabana Beach.

The first men’s FIVB World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, while the first women’s FIVB World Tour event in Brazil was played in 1993 in Rio de Janeiro. The women’s FIVB World Tour held its first tournament in Spain in 1992.

The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2016 calendar will include multiple FIVB Open and multiple FIVB Grand Slam events along with more Swatch FIVB Major Series events, and the second Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals.  The highlight of the calendar will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.

Overall, Brazil has hosted 69 total previous FIVB World Tour events, at least one has been held every season that the FIVB has played beach volleyball. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 23 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events, Vitória also with eight, and Salvador with seven. There have been 37 total men’s events and 32 total women’s events.

In the medal count for events held in the South American country, Brazil is far ahead in both genders. For the men, Brazil has 63 total medals followed by the United States with 24, Switzerland 6, Germany 5, Argentina 4, Canada 2, Latvia 2, China 1, Cuba 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 1 and Poland 1.

In women’s medals for FIVB events held in Brazil, Brazil tops the chart with 56 followed again by the USA with 28, Australia 3, Germany 3, Italy 2, Netherlands 2, China 1 and Japan 1.

Rio de Janeiro (River of January in Portuguese) is the second-largest city in Brazil, the sixth-largest city in the Americas and the world’s 39th largest city by population. The Rio de Janeiro metropolis is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s third-most populous state.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, Carnival, samba, bossa nova and beaches like Barra Tijuca, Copocabana, Ipanema and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the new seven wonders of the world; Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable car; the Sambodromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and  Maracana Stadium, one of the world’s largest football (soccer) stadiums.

Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics - the first time a South American and Portuguese-speaking nation will host these events, and the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city.

The event continues the road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine the 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2016 FIVB World Ranking system will again include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam and Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.

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. While the FIVB World Championships had 48 teams, all other tournaments have 32 teams and begin with a qualification tournament in each gender to determine the final eight teams in the main draw fields.

Country quota playoffs are also held, as needed, to determine the final teams for qualification tournaments.

The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup is back again this year as it completes its portion of the qualification process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.