Oct 9 (Reuters) – The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and Volleyball World have launched a new Beach Pro Tour to replace the Beach Volleyball World Tour from 2022, they said on Saturday.
The Beach Pro Tour, an annual international beach volleyball circuit, will feature the best-ranked athletes competing at three levels — Elite16, Challenge and Futures.
With at least 30 events for each level, the prize money will exceed $8 million for 2022 and increase each year.
The 12 inaugural events will be held next year in Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, China, Spain, Qatar, Australia, Latvia, the Czech Republic. Other venues will be announced at a later date.
“The Beach Pro Tour will elevate beach volleyball and our athletes to new heights,” Finn Taylor, chief executive officer of Volleyball World, told a news conference.
“These events are designed to combine the best of beach volleyball and a unique beach party atmosphere to keep our fans engaged for hours.”
Volleyball World, which was created following an investment deal with CVC Capital Partners to broaden the appeal of the sport, works with FIVB and targets partnerships with leagues and federations around the world.
The Elite16 will be the top level of the Tour for both men and women. The competition will feature four pools of four teams each followed by a single-elimination bracket, over four days of action.
The Challenge, with 24 teams each for men and women in the main draw, will be a feeder to the top tier, while the Futures level event will have 16 teams each for men and women.
The Futures event is aimed at allowing cities to develop the sport in their countries and build up the strength of their youth teams.
The Tour will culminate in the Finals, where the 10 best men’s and women’s teams will face off.
Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris
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