Lausanne, Switzerland, February 6, 2017 - While the change will not be noticeable at this week’s Swatch Major Series stop in Fort Lauderdale, the 2017 international beach volleyball schedule will feature the introduction of the FIVB’s star structure to deliver the best possible events for its athletes, fans and sponsors.
Five- and four-star will be the highest level elite events while three, two and one star events are designed to develop the sport in as many regions as possible. The aim of the new structure is to provide a platform and formation of events that increase the number of competitions in a growing number of hosting countries and create a sustainable business model while providing additional commercial flexibility and opportunities.
The five-star events will sport 32-team Main Draws for both genders along with 24-team qualification tournaments advancing eight pairs to the money rounds. A continental quota playoff, if needed, will be held per gender to advance teams to the qualifier.
The five-star list includes Swatch Major Series stops in Fort Lauderdale, USA (February 7-12), Croatia (June 27-July 2, Porec), Switzerland (July 4-9, Gstaad) and Germany (August 8-13, Hamburg). Rome (June 6-11) hosts the other five-star event in the Italian capital.
The four- and three star events will include 32-team Main Draws for both genders, 16-team qualification tournaments advancing eight pairs to the money rounds and a continental quota playoff, if needed. Four-star stops will be staged in Brazil (May 18-21, Rio de Janeiro), Switzerland (May 23-28, Lucerne) and Poland (July 19-23, Olsztyn).
Three-star events will be held in Iran (February 15-18, men’s only, Kish Island), China (April 20-23, Xiamen), Russia (May 31-June 4, Moscow), and the Netherlands (June 15-18, The Hague).
The two-star events will include 24-team Main Draws for both genders and a continental quota playoff, if needed. Australia (March 17-19, women’s only, Sydney), China (June 16-18, women’s only, Jiangning, Nanjing, and June 23-25, women’s only, Nantong) and Portugal (July 28-30, men’s only, Espinho) will host two-star tournaments.
The one-star events will include 16-team Main Draws for both genders and a possible continental quota playoff. One-star events are set for Australia (March 4-5, Shepparton), Malaysia (April 15-16, Selangor), Monaco (June 17-18, women’s only), Fiji (June 23-24, Pacific Harbour), Korea (July 14-16, women’s only, Daegu and July 20-22, women’s only, Ulsan) and Morocco (July 21-23, Agadir).
In addition to the World Championships and the star structure events, the 2017 international calendar will feature the third annual Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (August 23-27) in Canada where the field will include 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing for the $100,000 first-place prizes.