FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour heading back to Fortaleza, Brazil

The last of four scheduled events in Brazil on the 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be the double-gender FIVB Fortaleza Open, to be held in Fortaleza on April 26-May 1. Prior to this visit, the FIVB World Tour has held five men’s events and four women’s events in Fortaleza.

The last men’s event in Fortaleza was in 2007 and the last women’s FIVB World Tour event in Fortaleza was also in 2007.

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.

The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2015/2016 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.  The highlight of the calendar will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.

Overall, Brazil has hosted 69 total previous FIVB World Tour events, at least one has been held every season that the FIVB has played beach volleyball. Rio de Janeiro has hosted 23 total events, including the 1999 World Championships. Fortaleza has hosted 10 total events, followed by Brasília with eight total events, Vitória also with eight, and Salvador with seven.  There have been 37 total men’s events and 32 total women’s events.

Entering 2016, in the medal count for events held in the South American country, Brazil is far ahead in both genders. For the men, Brazil has 63 total medals followed by the United States with 24, Switzerland 6, Germany 5, Argentina 4, Canada 2, Latvia 2, China 1, Cuba 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 1 and Poland 1.

Entering 2016, in women’s medals for FIVB events held in Brazil, Brazil tops the chart with 56 followed again by the USA with 28, Australia 3, Germany 3, Italy 2, Netherlands 2, China 1 and Japan 1.

Fortaleza  (Portuguese for Fortress) is in the Northeast Region of Brazil and it is the state capital of Ceará state. With a population close to 2.55 million (metropolitan region over 3.6 million), Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil.

To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean; to the south are the municipalities of Pactuba, Eusebio, Maracanau and Itaitinga, to the east is the municipality of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the municipality of Caucaia. Residents of the city are known as Fortalezenses. Fortaleza is one of the three leading cities in the Northeast region together with Recife and Salvador.

The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Fortaleza was one of the host cities of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The event continues the Road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine the 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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.