FIVB World Tour heading to Switzerland for $800,000 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 3, 2016 — Moving to the home country of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) in Switzerland, final Olympic preparations on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continue along with the remaining stops on this season’s international tour. 

The 2016 FIVB World Tour continues this week in Switzerland at the vastly popular double-gender $800,000 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major. The vastly popular event will again be held with the stadium court in the center of the quaint Gstaad village, nestled serenely among the Swiss Alps.

Playing in Switzerland (FIVB is based in Lausanne) for the only time this year following the Swatch FIVB Poreč Major last week in Croatia, there are 66 men’s teams from 24 countries and 45 women’s teams from 20 countries in Switzerland for the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major.

The Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major starts Monday and concludes on Sunday. It is the 19th men’s event of the season and 16th women’s event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015.

The Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major will have 32 main draw teams per gender. The format is the same for each gender with both the women and the men staring on Tuesday.

Qualifying tournaments will be held on Tuesday for women and Tuesday and Wednesday for men to determine the final eight teams for each 32-team main draw. On Wednesday and Thursday for women and Thursday and Friday for men, teams will be split into eight, four-team pools to play three matches over the two days for each gender. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds.

On Friday for women and Saturday for men, there will play three rounds of eliminations.

On Saturday for women and Sunday for men at the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, the semifinals and medal matches will be held. The awarding ceremonies will follow the gold medal match for each gender.

As needed, country quota playoff matches will be played on Monday for women and Tuesday for men to determine the final teams in their respective qualification tournaments.

The Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour features four events. Already played were events in Hamburg, Germany and Olsztyn, Poland and Poreč, Croatia. After this week’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, the other tournament in this group of four will be held in Austria (Klagenfurt, July 27-31).

As part of the second season of the sponsor partnership, the Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Final will also be held again.  With the location to be announced, the finale will be held on Sept. 13-18. 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.

Part of the festivities of the event week in Gstaad will be the very special drawing of lots for pool play assignments for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

A total of 31 previous FIVB World Tour events have been staged in the picturesque Swiss village of Gstaad, including 15 straight men’s events and 16 consecutive women’s events. A double-gender open for men and women was held in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2015. The 2007 event in Gstaad was the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.

Through the 2015 season, Switzerland has hosted a total of 33 FIVB World Tour events (16 men, 17 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders.  In the men’s totals after 16 events in Switzerland, Brazil has 20 medals, followed by USA with eight, Germany with six, the Netherlands and Switzerland with three each, Italy with two, and with one men’s medal each in Switzerland are Argentina, Australia, Latvia, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

After 17 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Switzerland through 2015, Brazil leads the medal parade with 20 total medals followed by the USA with 11, China with eight, German with four, Canada and the Netherlands with two each and with one each women’s medals in Switzerland are Australia, Czech Republic, Italy and Switzerland.

Men’s championship team of the 2015 Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major was Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt. Winning last year’s women’s gold medal in Gstaad was Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca. Both teams are headed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18), both are the top seeded teams for Rio and both are returning to defend their championships in Gstaad.

Gstaad is a picturesque village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland in the shadow of the majestic Swiss Alps. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst the high society and the international jet set.

Gstaad has a permanent population of about 3,200 and is located 1,050 meters (3,445 feet) above sea level, making it the highest altitude venue for a FIVB World Tour event.

Olympians abound as most of the world’s best beach volleyball teams are entered in this week’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major in Switzerland.

The preliminary top-seeded men’s teams for the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major are Brazil’s top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Netherland’s second-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, USA’s third-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, USA’s fourth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and Spain’s fifth-seeded Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira.

The second-five preliminary men’s pre-seeds competing in the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major are Italy’s sixth-seeded Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo, Poland’s seventh-seeded Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor, Canada’s eighth-seeded Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton, Latvia’s ninth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Brazil’s 10th-seeded Pedro Solberg/Evandro Goncalves.

For the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, the top preliminary pre-seeded women’s teams are Brazil’s top-seeded Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes, USA’s second-seeded Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, Germany’s third-seeded Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Canada’s fourth-seeded Sarah Pavan/Heather Bansley and Poland’s fifth-seeded Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek.

The second-five preliminary pre-seeded women’s team competing in the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major are Australia’s sixth-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Netherlands’ seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Germany’s eighth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Brazil’s ninth-seeded Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima and USA’s 10th-seeded Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat.

The gold medal teams at the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major will split $57,000 and 800 points, the silver $43,000 and 720 points, the bronze $32,000 and 640 points and fourth place $24,000 and 560 points.

As the host nation for the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, Switzerland has three men’s teams pre-seeded into the men’s main draw for this event and three more in the qualification tournament. Switzerland’s men’s main draw teams are 21st-seeded Philip Gabathuler/Mirco Gerson, 22nd-seeded Nico Beeler/Alexei Strasser and 24th-seeded Jonas Kissling/Marco Krattiger.

Switzerland’s men’s qualification teams for this event are Adrian Heidrich/Gabriel Kissling, Quentin Metral/Michiel Zandbergen and Fabio Berta/Luca Muller.

As the host nation for the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major, Switzerland has three women’s teams pre-seeded into the women’s main draw for this event along with two teams in the women’s qualification tournament. Switzerland’s confirmed women’s main draw teams are 12th-seeded Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, 13th-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre and 23rd-seeded Nina Betchart/Tanja Huberli.

Entered in the women’s qualification tournament from Switzerland are the teams of Nicole Eiholzer/Dunja Gerson and Laura Caluori/Elena Steinemann.

Qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour complete, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio, Vitoria and Fortaleza, the Brazil events will be capped with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

After the Swatch FIVB Porec Major last week, remaining 2016 FIVB World Tour events prior to the Rio Olympics will be two more events on the Swatch FIVB Major Series portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour. First is this week’s Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major Series in Switzerland (July 5-10) and concluding with the Swatch FIVB Klagenfurt Major Series in Austria (July 26-31).

Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are three more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28), the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, location TBA) and the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open in Mexico (Oct. 11-16). All three are double-gender events.

The Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major in Switzerland will be the 348th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 309th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar features a purse of US$8.8 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 23 venues in 13 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 14 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).

The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.

The Olympic qualification process began in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 through June 13, 2016 counted towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Copacabana Beach in Brazil in August. Brazil also was awarded two additional spots in the field of 24, one in each gender as the host nation and the other as winning both the men and women’s gold medals in the 2015 FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands. With qualifying through the FIVB World Tour completed, the official announcement of teams and drawing for pool assignments will be held at the Swatch FIVB Gstaad Major.

The four FIVB Grand Slam and four Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions in 2016, all double-gender, each have $800,000 in total purses. The total of $500,000 will be the purse for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender and two wild card teams.

The 14 FIVB Open tournaments on 2016 calendar, 11 double-gender, and three men’s only, have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions.

The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series events split $57,000, the silver $43,000, the bronze $32,000 and fourth place $24,000. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

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. Country Quota playoffs returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.


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