The Hague, Netherlands, April 16, 2015 - With this summer’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships being tabbed as the most unique tournament in the history of the sport, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and the organisers of the 2015 event at four sites in the Netherlands have announced the schedule for the opening men’s and women’s pool play matches.FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015 - Match schedule to download
With the pool assignments announced on March 30 after the drawing of lots at the Mauritshuis Art Museum in The Hague, the FIVB and Nevobo (the national governing body for volleyball in the Netherlands) have worked with the tournament’s organising committee to schedule the 144 pool play matches at four different sites in the European country.Format
With men’s and women’s teams from 40 countries from the five FIVB confederations, pool play begins June 26 and ends June 30. Play will be at four sites in the Netherlands - The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam. Following the completion of group action, the top two teams from each pool along with the eight-best third-place finishers in each group determined by point and set ratios will advance to the opening rounds of the elimination bracket on July 1 and 2. The first two days of play in the 32-team elimination bracket will be held at the four pool play sites. The semifinal and gold medal matches for both men and women will be played on July 4 and 5 in The Hague.Purse
The purse for the FIVB World Championships will be $1 million. With the Netherlands hosting an FIVB international event for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, the winning teams in each gender will split the $60,000 first-place prize along with securing a spot for their country at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.Opening ceremonies and matches
The 2015 FIVB World Championships begin June 26 with the opening ceremonies at 16:30 local time in The Hague, followed by the first two matches when men’s and women’s pairs from the Netherlands perform against pairs from Kazakhstan and El Salvador. Host country teams of Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst and Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel are the top-seeded teams in the World Championships and headline the field in The Hague.
Meppelink and Van Iersel, the 2014 European champions, will be the first to play on June 26 as the Dutch pair meets Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan in the women’s opening match at 19:40 local time. Nummerdor and Varenhorst, winners of two FIVB gold medals at the end of the 2014 season in Brazil and South Africa, will be challenged by Carlos Escobar and David Vargas of El Salvador at 20:30 local time.Defending 2013 world champions
In addition to hosting one of the sport’s most prestigious events, the Netherlands will also be represented by the men’s defending champions as the team of Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen surprised the field in 2013 by defeating Brazilians Álvaro Filho and Ricardo Santos for the gold medal at Stare Jablonki, Poland. Brouwer and Meeuwsen will be the featured team in Rotterdam, where the Dutch will play pool matches against pairs from Austria (June 27), Chile (June 28) and Italy (June 29).
Álvaro and Ricardo are also in the field and will play with Vitor Gonçalves Felipe and Emanuel Rego, respectively. Álvaro and Vitor will compete in the Apeldoorn pool play matches against pairs from Argentina (June 27), Spain (June 29) and the United States (June 30).
Ricardo and Emanuel, the 2003 FIVB World Championship gold medal winners, will be playing in Amsterdam with group matches against pairs from Ghana (June 27), Russia (June 28) and Spain (June 30). Emanuel is a three-time world champion after winning gold medals in 1999 with Jose Loiola (Marseille, France) and 2011 with Alison Cerutti (Rome, Italy).
Chen Xue of China, who captured the 2013 FIVB World Championship title in Poland with Xi Zhang, is competing in this year’s event with Xinyi Xia. The Chinese pair will also be playing in Rotterdam with pool play matches against teams from Poland (June 27), the Czech Republic (June 28) and Morocco (June 30). Other top players
Other players with gold medal finishes in the FIVB World Championships are Americans Phil Dalhausser, Jen Kessy, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Brazilians Alison Cerutti, Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca. Dalhausser, who captured the 2007 world title in Switzerland with Todd Rogers, is playing with Sean Rosenthal and the pair will compete in pool matches at Amsterdam.
Ross and Walsh Jennings are paired together this season and will play their group matches in Apeldoorn. Walsh Jennings captured her world titles in 2003 (Rio), 2005 (Berlin) and 2007 (Gstaad, Switzerland) with Misty May-Treanor. Ross topped the 2009 World Championship podium in Norway with Kessy by defeating Juliana and Larissa in the Stavanger finale. Kessy is entered this year with Emily Day - the pair will also play in Apeldoorn.
While Alison is partnering this year with Bruno Oscar Schmidt - with their pool play matches taking place in Apeldoorn - Juliana and Larissa are competing this season with Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes respectively, with both teams playing group games in Amsterdam. Juliana and Larissa captured the 2011 World Championship in Rome, where the Brazilians defeated Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor in the finals.Country note
A total of 96 men’s and women’s teams from 40 countries will be participating in the 2015 World Championships.
• Host Netherlands will have nine teams in the competition (5 men’s, 4 women’s), Brazil total eight entries (4, 4), the United States have seven teams (4, 3) and Germany six entries (2, 4).
• Five countries - Australia (2, 2), Canada (2, 2), Poland (2, 2), Russia (3, 1) and Switzerland (1, 3) - will have four teams each in the competition.
• Two countries - Kazakhstan (2, 1) and Spain (2, 1) – will have three teams each participating.
• Eleven (11) countries with two teams each in the competition are Argentina (1, 1), Austria (2, 0), Chile (2, 0), China (0, 2), Cuba (1, 1), Czech Republic (0, 2), Italy (1, 1), Mexico (1, 1), Slovak Republic (0, 2), South Africa (1, 1) and Venezuela (1, 1).
• Eighteen (18) countries with one team each in the competition are Algeria (0, 1), Costa Rica (0, 1), Egypt (1, 0), El Salvador (1, 0), France (1, 0), Ghana (1, 0), Guatemala (0, 1), Latvia (1, 0), Morocco (0, 1), New Zealand (1, 0), Nigeria (0, 1), Paraguay (0, 1), Puerto Rico (1, 0), Qatar (1, 0), Thailand (0, 1), Tunisia (1, 0), Uruguay (0, 1) and Vanuatu (0, 1).Hot tickets
With sales underway for the past few weeks, tickets for the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015 are available for purchase at: netherlands2015.fivb.org/en/tickets
There were 10 World Championships (1987-1996) held on a yearly basis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before changing format and timing to become the most prestigious beach volleyball event, held every two years, outside of the Olympic Games. Prior to this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands, previous World Championships in the current format have been held in the United States (Los Angeles, 1997), France (Marseille,1999), Austria (Klagenfurt, 2001), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, 2003), Germany (Berlin, 2005), Switzerland (Gstaad, 2007), Norway (Stavanger, 2009), Italy (Rome, 2011) and Poland (Stare Jablonki, 2013).The Hague revisited
This will be the sixth FIVB international competition held in the Netherlands, with the other five double-gender events all held in The Hague in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. The men’s championship team of the 2014 FIVB The Hague Grand Slam was Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel. Winning last year’s women’s gold medal in The Hague was the new Brazilian duo of Fernanda Alves/Taiana Lima. Both teams are entered in this year’s FIVB World Championships.2015 FIVB World Tour
Starting April 21 in China and ending in mid-December, the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar will include five FIVB World Tour Grand Slams, the new FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series of three events, six FIVB World Tour Opens and a special Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Final in the United States.