World champions Melissa Humana-Paredes (right) and Sarah Pavan will be one of the teams to look out for
Rome, Italy, August 30, 2019 - The 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals will have a different format than the previous editions of the men's and women's international beach volleyball tournament as the Foro Italico hosts the last event on the 2018-2019 calendar from September 4-8.
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With the previous editions being held in the United States (Fort Lauderdale 2015), Canada (Toronto 2016) and Germany (Hamburg 2017 and 2018) featuring only 10-12 teams per gender, the 2019 FIVB World Tour Finals in the Italian capital have attracted 63 men's and 55 women's teams from 28 countries.
Olympic qualification process
With a total prize purse of $600,000, the 2019 FIVB World Tour Finals also serve as a qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The winning men's and women's teams will be awarded 1,200 Tokyo qualifying points.
"Being the only World Tour Finals during the 2020 Olympic qualification period, the Rome competition will allocate points counting towards the Tokyo ranking," said FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Yu Cao. "The format has been adjusted to align with a 5-star event to allow more teams to compete at this additional qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
Cao added that "the previous four editions of the World Tour Finals were non-points events. The inaugural tournament in 2015 at Fort Lauderdale in the United States did not count towards Olympic qualification since it was a competition limited to the top-ranked teams."
The 2019 FIVB World Tour Finals are the third of three events this season with 1,200 points being awarded to the winning teams. The other two 1,200-point events were played in Switzerland (Gstaad) and Austria (Vienna). A second place in the FIVB World Tour Finals nets 1,080 points for a team, with 960 points for third, 840 for fourth, 720 for fifth, 600 for ninth, 480 for 17th, 360 for 25th, 240 for 33rd and 60 for 41st.
With 24 teams per gender competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 15 berths (maximum two teams per country) will be awarded to the top-ranked teams on the FIVB World Tour at the end of the qualification period, with a pair's best 12 events counting towards qualifying. To date, a total of 45 men's and 45 women's qualifying events have been held since September 1, 2018 with the qualification period running until June 15, 2020.Quick links: Provisional Olympic Ranking - MenProvisional Olympic Ranking - Women
Norway's Christian Sorum (left) with Anders Mol, Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan, and Russian Oleg Stoyanovkiy at the A1 Major Vienna media conference on July 30.
The second and third Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths will be awarded next month at a qualifying event in China were 16 pairs per gender (maximum one per country) will be competing in Haiyang starting September 18 with the finals on September 22.
With host Japan receiving one spot per gender, the final five berths will be determined via the Continental Cup pathway for the African, Asian, European, NORCECA and South American confederations.
With the World Tour returning to the Italian capital for the first time next week since 2013, competition begins on Wednesday with qualifying where eight pairs per gender will advance to the opening main draw pool play rounds on Thursday at the Foro Italico.
With 32 teams per gender competing in the main draw, the winners of the eight pools of four will advance to the second round of elimination bracket play with a bye. The second- and third-place finishers in each group compete in the first-round elimination with the fourth pair in each group placing 25th.
The men's and women's Rounds of 24 and 16 will be played on Friday leading to the quarter- and semifinal matches on September 7. The medal matches for both genders will be played in the late afternoon early evening on September 8 with the winning teams capturing the $40,000 first-place prizes.