Stellar Stavanger awaiting FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam
Following an absence since the 2011 season, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns again to a very popular venue in Norway for the double-gender 2014 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam. The Stavanger event, to be held from June 24 to 29, will mark the 18th time for a men’s competition in Norway and the 15th women’s tournament held in this country.
A total of 31 previous FIVB World Tour events have been staged in Norway, including 13 straight men’s events (1999-2011) and 10 consecutive women’s events (2002-2011). The 2009 event in Stavanger was the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
This year’s FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam will be the fourth Grand Slam of the 2014 season and the third in a string of seven FIVB Grand Slams to be held over an eight-week window. The seven consecutive FIVB Grand Slam events start in Moscow, Russia (June 11 to 15) and ends in Klagenfurt, Austria (July 29 to August 3).
Up until 2011, Norway hosted a total of 31 FIVB World Tour events (17 men, 14 women) with 23 being held in Stavanger and four in Kristiansand with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 28, followed by Germany with six, Switzerland three, Norway and USA two each and with one men’s medal each are Argentina, Australia, China, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and Spain.
After 14 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in Norway, Brazil leads the medal parade with 17 total medals followed by the USA with 12, China with five, Austria and Greece with two each and with one each women’s medals are Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.
At the 2011 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam, Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland’s were the first-time gold medal winning team in the men's competition while USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross won women's gold. Kessy/Ross also won the 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stavanger.
The planet's best beach volleyball players return to the Vaagen Harbour dockside purpose-built courts in Stavanger, the "oil" capital of Norway. With a population of over 121,000, Stavanger is the third largest city in Norway and sits on the western coast of the country on the North Sea.
The 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will include 10 double-gender FIVB Grand Slam tournaments along with the inaugural FIVB Grand Slam and eleven FIVB Beach Volleyball Open events.
This year's FIVB World Ranking system will 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.
The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup also returns this year as it starts its portion of the qualification process for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.