Toronto, Canada, July 25, 2016 – The full schedule of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals has been released after the Canadian city of Toronto was announced as the hosts.
In a change to the 2015 format, the 2016 edition will include four pools of three teams each for both genders. All 12 teams will qualify for the single elimination phase and the seeding of this phase will be based on the ranking of the pools. The first ranked team of each pool will have a bye in the single elimination followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches.
Pool play will run from September 14-16.
The women’s bronze and gold medal matches will be played on September 17 at 13:30 and 14:45 local time respectively. The men’s bronze and gold medal matches will take place a day later at 13:45 and 15:00 respectively. All times are subject to change.
Qualification for the Finals is still wide open, with pairs able to collect points at both the Klagenfurt Major – which starts in Austria on Tuesday – as well as at the Long Beach Grand Slam from August 23-28.
The 12 teams per gender will include wild cards, with a quota of maximum two teams per country. With the event coming under a month after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it is likely to feature the new men's and women's Olympic champions.
The prize money for the Finals will be $500,000, marking the end of the season and the beginning of the next season. The prize money for the World Tour Finals is part of a total prize pool of $8,250,000 for the season.
The Finals in Toronto will be the first World Tour event to be held on Canadian soil since the Québec Open in 2011 and wins for Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States in the men's competition and Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes of Brazil in the women's.
Canadian teams have made their mark on the 2015/2016 World Tour with John Binstock and Sam Schachter claiming silver medals at the Cincinnati Open in May and Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan winning bronze a week later at the Moscow Grand Slam and silver at the Porec Major at the beginning of July.