FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour visits Maceió, Brazil

One of several events in Brazil on the 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, Brazil’s Maceió will host the first of the year, the double-gender FIVB Maceió Open, to be held February 23-28. It will be the first time an FIVB World Tour men’s event will be held in Maceió, but the second for the women.

LIVE STREAM - Maceió Open semifinals on Saturday, February 27. Click here to watch.
LIVE STREAM - Maceió Open finals on Sunday, February 28. Click here to watch.

In 1996, Brazil’s Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva won the gold medal in the FIVB Maceió Open, the same year they won the Olympic gold medal in Atlanta, which was also the first year beach volleyball was a medal sport.

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 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 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 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 events in total, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 10 tevents, followed by Brasília with eight, Vitória also with eight, and Salvador with seven. There have been a total of 37 men’s events and 32 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.

Maceió is the capital and the largest city of the coastal state of Alagoas, Brazil, located on the East Coast of the country, nearly in the center of the east coast area of the country. The name "Maceió" is of indigenous origin, and designates the naturally spontaneous courses of water which flow out of the soil. Most maceiós flow to the sea, but some get trapped and form lakes ("lagoas", in Portuguese).

There are plenty of maceiós and lakes in this part of Brazil; because of this, the city was named Maceió, and the State, Alagoas. The new Zumbi dos Palmares International Airport connects Maceió with many Brazilian cities and also operates some international flights. The city is also home to the Federal University of Alagoas.

The city is located between Mandau Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. The city proper has a total population of nearly one million people living under a tropical climate with an average temperature of 25C (77F). The Maceio metropolitan area has a total population of approximately 1.2 million inhabitants.

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 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar - click here.

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.