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FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2002 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR RELEASED TODAY
 
Lausanne, Switzerland, 10 October, 2001 - The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Council, meeting in Lausanne, today released the provisional calendar of events for the 2002 season.

Seven (7) men's events (Switzerland, Norway, Canada, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and Brazil) and six (6) women's events (Switzerland, Norway, Greece, Japan, Spain and Brazil) have already been confirmed for 2002.

Negotiations are also in progress with France and Austria (for Grand Slam events), Germany, Italy, Australia, China with also the possibility of another World Tour event in Spain.

Expectations are that the final calendar will consist of ten men's and ten women's events, each offering US$100,000 in prize money (with Grand Slam events offering US$150,000 prize money), plus a Bonus Pool to be confirmed by the FIVB once the calendar is finalised. The 2001 Bonus Pool was US$1.8 million. The 2002 calendar will be finalised in late November 2001.

The World Council also confirmed the news rules governing the sport up-to-and including the Athens 2004 Olympic Games; the introduction of international referees following World Tour; the introduction of an annual under-21 and under-18 Beach Volleyball World Championships; and a new ranking system with a '2002 World Tour Champion' title awarded at the last event of the season.

New Rules
The World Council confirmed that the rally point system would be adopted on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour up-to-and including the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

The rally point scoring system was introduced for a trial period on the World Tour following the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Matches will consist of a best of 3 sets. The first two sets will be first team to reach 21 points, with a 2 point lead (no cap), and a third tiebreaker-set, if required, being the first team to reach 15 points with a two point lead (no cap).

In the rally point system, one point is won with every serve (regardless which team is serving) whereas with the superseded sideout system, only the serving team could win a point.

The introduction of the 8m x 16m court was discussed at length but it was decided by the Council to undertake further tests in forthcoming events before adopting the new court size.

The 8m x 16m court (each side being 8m x 8m) was trialed for the first time this season and is being considered as an option to replace the 9m x 18m court in all future FIVB beach volleyball events.

Both the rally point system and the 8m x 16m court have been considered to make beach volleyball matches even more exciting and spectacular for spectators and television audiences. The court size initiative particularly is being considered to increase the length and quantity of rallies in each match.

In line with the FIVB's policy of considering the athletes' opinions and proposals, players have until the end of December, 2001 to submit proposals for possible further adjustments to the format (working within the rally point system) and smaller court. These proposals will then be considered by the FIVB Board of Administration and ratified at the 2002 World Congress.

Refereeing
The World Council confirmed that more international professional referees would be used on the 2002 World Tour to improve the quality and consistency of refereeing.

Junior World Championships
Following the overwhelming success of the first under-21 Beach Volleyball World Championships, held in Le Lavandou, France, 24-26 August 2001, which included 24-teams for both a women's and men's competition, the FIVB will introduce a under-21 and under-18 Beach Volleyball World Championships to be held every year starting in 2002. Dates and venues to be confirmed.

Rankings and Overall World Tour Champion
Starting with the first event of 2002, the World Tour will introduce a new ranking system whereby every team will start the season at zero (0) points, and progressively build their seasons ranking.

In another World Tour initiative, the team with the highest World Tour ranking points at the end of the season will be awarded the '2002 World Tour Champion' title. There will also be awards for the second and third placed teams of the season.

MEN'S 2002 CALENDAR
DATES COUNTRY EVENT SITE PRIZE MONEY STATUS
19-23 June Switzerland Open Gstaad USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
10-14 July Canada Open Montreal USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
3-7 July Norway Open Stavanger USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
24-28 July Portugal Open Espinho USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
14-18 August Sweden Open Stockholm USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
4-8 September Spain Open Mallorca USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
29 Oct-3 Nov Brazil Open Fortaleza USD 100,000 CONFIRMED

In negotiations:
Spain (Tenerife)Germany (Berlin)France (Marseille) Austria (Klagenfurt), Australia, Italy (Jesolo)

WOMEN'S 2002 CALENDAR
DATES COUNTRY EVENT SITE PRIZE MONEY STATUS
18-22 June Switzerland Open Gstaad USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
2-6 July Norway Open Stavanger USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
10-14 July Greece Open Xylokastro USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
7-11 August Japan Open Osaka USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
3-7 September Spain Open Mallorca USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
26 Nov - 1 Dec Brazil Open Vitoria USD 100,000 CONFIRMED
In negotiations:
Italy (Cagliari), France (Marseille, Germany (Berlin), Austria (Klagenfurt), Australia, China (Maoming), Spain (Gran Canaria)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO www.fivb.org

~FIVB Volleyball Online


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