FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returning to Poland for Grand Slam

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to Poland for the 12th straight year from June 14-19 for a $800,000 double-gender FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam. Visiting Olsztyn for the event will mark the 15th time for a men’s competition in Poland and 13th women’s tournament held in Poland. This will be the second straight year that the FIVB World Tour will stop in Olsztyn.


In last year’s FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland, Brazil won both gold medals as Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt won the men’s gold and Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca captured the women’s top spot on the podium.


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 four Polish sites of FIVB international events have been Myslowice (two men, two women), Olsztyn (one men, one women), Stare Jablonki (11 men, seven women) and Warsaw (two women).


Through the 2015 event, Poland has hosted a total of 26 FIVB World Tour events (14 men, 12 women) over a 12-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals after 14 events, Brazil has 15 medals, followed by the USA with eight, Germany with five each, Spain with three, Latvia with two and with one men’s medal each in Poland are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.


After 12 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Poland through 2015, Brazil leads the medal parade with 15 total medals followed by China and Germany with five each, USA with four, Italy and the Netherlands with two each and with one women’s medal each in Poland are Australia, Norway and Poland.


Olsztyn is one of the most important cities in Poland. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country. The city of Olsztyn was established in 1353 and has a population of just under 200,000. The area of the city covers 88.328 km (34.104 sq mi). Olsztyn is the capital of the Warmian-Masurian province in Poland. Olsztyn is immensely popular with the tourists from all over the world for the dense forests and the lakes situated in the region. There are 13 lakes in Olsztyn. The lakes in Olsztyn add to the beauty of the landscape of the region and also provide many activities for tourists.


The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2015/2016 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 in August.


The 2016 FIVB World Ranking system again includes 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.