Lausanne, April 16, 2008 – The FIVB has confirmed the structure of the drawing of lots that will determine the composition of the Preliminary Round Pools in the Beijing Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Tournaments.
A "serpentine system" will be followed in the draw in Gstaad, Switzerland, on Saturday, July 26, to determine the exact seeding in the Pools of the 24 Men's teams and 24 Women's teams that will compete in Beijing.
In both tournaments there will be six Pools (A, B, C, D, E, F), each containing four teams. Firstly, from the top six seeded teams in the FIVB Beach Volleyball Olympic ranking (featuring a maximum two teams per country), the No. 1 seed will be placed in Pool A, the No. 2 seed in Pool B and so on to the No. 6 seed being placed in Pool F.
However, if host country China has one of the top six seeded teams, that team will automatically become the No. 1 seed and be placed in Pool A, while if the top Chinese team is ranked from seventh to 24th that team will become the No. 6 seed and be placed in Pool F. Any eventual second Chinese pair will maintain its seed and it will be drawn accordingly.
The final composition of the Pools will be as follows:
Draw between Seed #10 - #12
Draw between Seed #7 - #9
Draw between Seed #13 - #18
Draw between Seed #19 - #24
There will be a meeting the evening after the drawing of lots to determine the match and television schedule of the first two days of the Preliminary Rounds.
In order to respect the universality principle of the Olympic Games:
· A team to be eligible will have to take part in at least eight Olympic Qualification Tournaments.
· A maximum of two teams per country is allowed among the 24 teams.
· One of the 24 places is granted to a team from host country China.
· In the event that a continent does not have any teams qualified, the 23rd place (and, if applicable, the 22nd place, etc.) of the Olympic Qualification ranking is granted to the highest-ranked eligible team from that continent.
Qualifying for the Beijing Games concludes with a SWATCH FIVB World Tour double gender event in the French Mediterranean port city of Marseille through July 15-20.
Qualification for the Olympics is decided by the number of points accumulated during nominated Olympic Qualification Tournaments that are the SWATCH FIVB World Championships and SWATCH FIVB World Tour (29 events for Men, 28 for Women) held worldwide from January 1, 2007, to July 20, 2008. A qualification tournament can also be one of the two annual CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Championship Finals in 2007 and 2008.
During these two seasons, teams are free to choose the Olympic Qualification Tournaments in which they wish to participate. From the total number of Olympic Qualification Tournaments in which they actually participate, only the points accumulated in their eight best performances are taken into account to determine their position in the FIVB Beach Volleyball Olympic ranking.
National Olympic Committees and National Federations are required to confirm the participation of their qualified teams in the Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournaments by sending an official FIVB Olympic Qualification Entry form via fax or email to BOCOG copying the FIVB and International Olympic Committee by Wednesday, July 23.
Ruedi Kunz, Director of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam that runs through July 21-27 and hosts the drawing of lots, promised the excitement of the Olympic draw will be complemented by some great Beach Volleyball and entertaining sideshows.
"The festival tent of the 'Menuhin Festival' ensures us a place for the gala with 2,000 spectators," said Kunz during a Press Conference held in Zurich last Friday honoured by the presence of Swatch CEO Mr. Reto J. Stöckli. "Besides the drawing of lots and television pictures of the past Olympics where Beach Volleyball was played, there will be entertainment with famous Swiss pop stars and a surprisingly classic comedy show.
"At the tournament itself we expect most of the Olympic teams because the athletes like our event in the mountains a lot. And with total Prize Money of USD 600,000 the teams can earn good money for their stay in Beijing.
"We will give everything to ensure a successful event and a perfect preparation for the Olympics for all teams," said Kunz.
The Beach Volleyball Tournament will be held in Chaoyang Park from August 9-22 in a 12,000-seater stadium.
The final event of the GKA Kite-Surf season saw sparks fly on the water as Prea delivered four days of perfect strapless freestyle conditions and sensational action last week.