FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam back in the USA at Long Beach
After a decade away from the United States the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar in 2014 returns for the second straight year for the double-gender FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam. The Long Beach event, to be held July 22 to 27, will be 11th FIVB World Tour competition held in the United States, the first being held in Miami, Florida in 1994. The 1997 event was the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, held in the Tennis Center stadium at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).
This year’s FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will be seventh Grand Slam of the 2014 season and sixth 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).
The United States has hosted a total of 20 FIVB World Tour events (10 men, 10 women) with Brazil leading the medal count in both genders. In the men’s totals, Brazil has 11 medals, followed by the USA with eight, Argentina, Norway and Switzerland with two each and with one men’s medal each are Canada, Italy and Spain.
After 10 FIVB World Tour women’s events held in the United States, Brazil leads the medal parade with 14 total medals followed by the USA with 12, Australia with three and with one women’s medal is Germany.
At the 2013 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, USA’s new team of Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal won the gold medal in the men's competition while the Brazilian duo of Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima topped the podium in the women's.
Long Beach is one of nine U. cities that have hosted an international FIVB beach volleyball event. Others have been Atlanta, Carson (California), Chicago, Clearwater (Florida), Hermosa Beach (California), Los Angeles, Miami and New York. The event in Atlanta was the 1996 Olympic Games, the first at which beach volleyball was a medal sport.
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California with its population of nearly 475,000.
The city is a dominant maritime center of the United States. The Port of Long Beach is the United States' second busiest container port and one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a large oil industry with the substance being found both underground and offshore.
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.