Porec, Croatia to host another Swatch FIVB Major Series tournament


Visiting Poreč, Croatia for the second straight year, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) will be launching the second year of the spectacular Swatch FIVB Major Series of three key tournaments scheduled as part of the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. With the FIVB international calendar opening in February in Iran, the $800,000 Swatch FIVB Poreč Major Series double-gender event will be held June 28-July 3.


While this will be the second visit to Poreč, the FIVB World Tour has stopped in Croatia in previous years, presenting four men’s only events in Zagreb in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.


Following Croatia, the two other Swatch FIVB Major Series tournaments will be held in Switzerland (Gstaad, July 5-10) and in Austria (Klagenfurt, July 27-31).


As part of the new sponsor partnership, the Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Final will be held in a location to be announced on Oct. 25-30. The event will again feature the top eight teams and two wildcards for each gender from the 2016 FIVB World Tour. This illustrious group will compete for a total purse of $500,000 with the winning men and women’s tandems receiving $100,000 each.


Winning the gold medals last year in Poreč were the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen for the men and for the women was Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca.


Croatia has hosted six FIVB World Tour events through 2015, (five men and one women). In the men’s medal count through five events, Brazil and the United States are tied with three each, the Netherlands has two medals and with one medal each are Canada, China, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Switzerland.


After one FIVB World Tour women’s event held in Croatia through 2015, Australia, Brazil and Canada lead the medal parade one total medal each.


The first men’s FIVB World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 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 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.  Highlight of the calendar will be the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.


Poreč is a town and municipality on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, in Istia County, Croatia. Its major landmark is the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.


Poreč is almost 2,000 years old, and is set around a harbor protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas/San Nicolo. The town's population of approximately 12,000 resides mostly on the outskirts, while the wider Poreč area has a population of approximately 17,000 inhabitants.


The municipal area covers 142 square kilometers (55 sq mi), with the 37 kilometers (23 miles) long shoreline stretching from the Mirna River near Novigrad to Funtana and Vrsar in the south. Ever since the 1970s, the coast of Poreč has been the most visited tourist destination in Croatia.


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 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.