Klagenfurt, Austria hosting 2016 Swatch FIVB Major Series event

Considered by many as the premier Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) beach volleyball venue, Klagenfurt, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria will host the double-gender $800,000 swatch FIVB Klagenfurt Major, the third and final swatch FIVB Major Series, part on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This year’s event will be held July 26-31 as the iconic returnes returns after a one-year absence.


This year will be an unprecedented 18th time in the last 20 years that the Lake Wörthersee site has hosted the international circuit. While the men’s world tour stop was held in Klagenfurt 16 straight times from 1997 through 2012 for this magical summer festival, the women’s world tour was held in Klagenfurt for 12 consecutive years from 2001 through 2012.


A total of 30 previous FIVB World Tour events have been staged in the Klagenfurt (17 men’s events, 13 Women). The 2001 event in Klagenfurt was the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.


Prior to Klagenfurt, the first two 2016 Swatch FIVB Major Series tournaments will be held in Croatia (Poreč, June 28-July 3) and Switzerland (Gstaad, July 5-10).


As part of the continuing 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.


Through the last event in 2014, Austria has hosted a total of 30 FIVB World Tour events (17 men, 13 women-all in Klagenfurt) during a 18-year period with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders.  In the men’s totals, Brazil has 25 medals, followed by the USA with nine, Germany with five, Netherlands and Norway with three each, Switzerland with two and with one men’s medal each in Klagenfurt are Argentina, Australia, Italy and Russia.


After 13 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Klagenfurt, Austria through the 2014 event, Brazil leads the medal parade with 18 total medals followed by the USA with 11, Germany and China with four each, Netherlands with two and with one women’s medal in Klagenfurt are Czech Republic, Russia and Ukraine.


Men’s championship team of the 2014 FIVB Klagenfurt Grand Slam was Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Oscar Bruno Schmidt. Winning the 2014 women’s gold medal in Klagenfurt was Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca.


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.


Klagenfurt is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria. With a population of over 90,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the country. The city of Klagenfurt is located in southern Austria, midway across the nation, near the international border. It rests in the middle region, almost as far from Innsbruck, to the west, as from Vienna, to the northeast. Klagenfurt is elevated 446 meters (1,463 feet) above sea level. It is on Lake Wörthersee and on the Glan River.


The city is surrounded by several forest-covered hills and mountains with heights of up to 1,000m (3,300ft). To the south is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy.


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.


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.