FIVB Beach Press Release, 01 October 1998

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Press Release #9, October 1st, 1998

1999 Beach Volleyball World Tour:
the road to the Sydney Games!


The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council meeting, recently held in Lausanne, drew up the framework of the 1999 Beach Volleyball World Tour season.

A number of tournaments are already confirmed (see tentative calendar below). Besides the cities that have already organised the World Tour Open in the past, there are several premieres which well demonstrates the development of Beach Volleyball worldwide, at all latitudes: the Mexico Open for men and women, which will be held from 9 to 11 April on the magnificent beaches of Acapulco and which the promoter has plans to extend to Cancun in the future; the Norway Men’s Open from 9 to 11 July in Stavanger with the support of Bjorn Maaseide, one of the top ten professional players in the Tour.

The Australia Women’s Open (7 – 10 October) will be disputed at Bondi Beach, the venue where the Beach Volleyball Olympic tournament will be held in 2000, and which will serve as a test event for the organisers of the Sydney Games.

Additional tournaments will be confirmed very soon, completing the 1999 calendar which will be finalised at the end of November.

The Beach Volleyball World Championships, organised every two years, the first edition of which was held in 1997 in Los Angeles, should be staged next year in Marseille, from 22 to 24 July for women and from 23 to 25 July for men. Some administrative details have to be finalised by Marseille’s organisers before the candidature can be officially accepted. The prize money will be fixed at US$250,000 for each of the 2 categories. The participants in these World Championships will receive points that will count for the World Ranking.

All the World Tour tournaments played from 1 January 1999 to 15 August 2000 will be qualification competitions for the Sydney Olympic Games. The Opens of Mar del Plata for men and Acapulco for women will thus be the first stage of this qualification process to the 2000 Games competitions (24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams).

To make Beach Volleyball even more attractive for the spectators and television viewers, some novelties have been introduced in the rules, applicable at the beginning of the 99 season:

- In principle, all the matches including the finals, will be played in one set to 15 points, with minimum lead of two points; set limit at 17 points.
- The time between two rallies will be limited to 12 seconds.
- Each team will have the right to call two 30-second timeouts each match (instead of four previously).

In order to facilitate the organisation of Open Events, the number of participating teams for the qualification tournament of each World Tour event will be restricted to 64, taking into consideration the limited courts and playing days available.

As the 1999-2000 World Tour will serve as the Olympic Games qualification tournaments, special measures will be taken to support anti-doping efforts, even though it is known that fortunately volleyball is practically untouched by this problem. Random anti-doping tests will be carried out during the events and also outside the official competitions, with the collaboration of the National Federations and the National Olympic Committees.

_________________________________________________________

FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD TOUR
TENTATIVE CALENDAR 1999
subject to modifications

World Championships in Marseille, France (to be confirmed)

22 – 24 July 99 for women, 23-25 July for men

FIVB World Tour Men

15 – 17 January
09 – 11 April
18 – 20 June
09 – 11 July
16 – 18 July
06 – 08 August
13 – 15 August
02 – 05 September
Argentina Open in Mar del Plata
Mexico Open in Acapulco
Canada Open in Toronto
Norway Open in Stavanger
Italy Open in Lignano Sabbiadoro
Portugal Open in Espinho
Belgium Open in Ostende
Spain Open in the Canary Islands

FIVB World Tour Women

09 – 11 April
18 – 20 June
09 – 11 July
30 July – 01 August
06 – 08 August
13 – 15 August
07 – 10 October
Mexico Open in Acapulco
Canada Open in Toronto
Italy Open in Pescara
Portugal Open in Espinho
Japan Open in Osaka
China Open in Dalian
Australia Open at Bondi Beach (Sydney)


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