The FIVB, which is currently conducting its first major pro beach tournament of the year, announced its 2021 schedule Wednesday.
Many of the top players are in Doha, Qatar, for a 4-star with Olympic points at stake. The complete 2021 schedule includes seven more 4-star events, and nine 1-star and 2-star events. It comes, of course, a year after which most of the FIVB slate was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the ongoing event in Qatar, next up is a series of three tournaments in row — they’re calling it the “Cancun Hub” — in Cancun, Mexico, April 16-20, April 22-26 and April 28-May 2. The FIVB reported that the three events will have a total prize of $900,000, $300,000 per event.
In a news release, the FIVB said:
“The FIVB is significantly investing in the Cancun Hub tournaments, and working in collaboration with the Mexican Volleyball Federation, the Quintana Roo local government and the event promoter Moveo-lab, to guarantee athletes the opportunity to compete in a safe environment before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, while earning ranking points and prize money.”
The addition of the four-star Olympic qualifiers has the most impact on the USA’s Olympic races, where Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, and Kelley Kolinske and Emily Stockman vie for a single Olympic berth, with April Ross and Alix Klineman having all but locked up the first berth.
For the men, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb hold a significant lead for the first spot, with Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb vying for the second spot.
Trevor Crabb was disappointed at the lack of 5-star events.
“We are excited that there are at least going to be a few more qualifying events for us. The overall schedule is pretty weak with no five stars which is a shame. I think the FIVB should have stepped up a little more.”
Those Cancun events are going to be a big deal for those US teams still chasing a spot. I’ll bet that they would prefer to be able to skip the Russia and Czech events if they can, then attend the Gstaad event to tune-up pre-olympics.
Hopefully Nick and Phil can grind out one more Olympics here before hanging them up internationally and giving way to the next generation.
Are fans allowed to attend the Cancun event April 16-20?