The 2015 FIVB beach volleyball calendar marks what has potential to be a big year for the United States in the realm of international beach volleyball. In addition to the Long Beach Grand Slam, which celebrates its third year this August, the calendar features two other events in the U.S.: the St. Petersburg Grand Slam in mid-June and the World Tour Finals in an undisclosed location in the U.S. in early October.
Also new this year is a Major Series, which consists of four tournaments in locations around Europe, including player and fan favorites in Stavanger, Norway, and Gstaad, Switzerland. Each Major will award $800,000 in prize money, the equivalent of a Grand Slam purse. In total, the FIVB will be doling out $9.3 million in prize money this beach season, a record sum for the organization.
The inaugural World Tour Finals will feature the top eight teams in each gender as determined by accumulated points from the Opens, Grand Slams, and Majors earlier in the year. Participants in that event, played Oct. 1-4, will battle for $500,000 in prize money.
This season, which begins with the Fuzhou Open in China April 21-26, also marks the start of the Olympic-qualification process. Each event on the calendar, with the exception of the World Tour Finals, will count toward teams Olympic ranking, which will determine the 15 teams per gender who will compete in Rio (in addition to the automatic-qualifying teams from host country Brazil).
2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball Calendar
April 21-26 Fuzhou Open (China)
May 12-17 Lucerne Open (Switzerland)
May 26-31 Moscow Grand Slam (Russia)
May 26-31 Prague Open (Czech Republic) *women only
June 2-7 Porec Major (Croatia)
June 9-14 Stavanger Major (Norway)
June 16-21 St. Petersburg Grand Slam (USA)
June 26-July 5 FIVB World Championships (Netherlands)
July 7-12 Gstaad Major (Switzerland)
July 21-26 Yokohama Grand Slam (Japan)
Aug. 11-16 Istanbul Open (Turkey)
Aug. 18-23 Long Beach Grand Slam (USA)
Aug. 25-30 TBD Grand Slam (Poland)
Sept. 1-6 TBD Major (Germany)
Sept. 8-13 Sochi Open (Russia)
Sept. 22-27 Xiamen Open (China)
Oct. 1-4 World Tour Finals (USA)
Oct. 7-11 Puerto Vallarta Open (Mexico)
Nov. 3-8 TBD Open (Thailand) *women only
Nov. 17-21 Doha Open (Qatar) *men only
Dec. 8-13 Mangaung Open (South Africa)