Aydin, Turkey, May 16, 2018 - When the Aydin Open begins here Thursday with qualifying for men and women, the event will mark the first of nine events incorporated from the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) schedule into the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the 2017-2018 season.
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With the merger in place, the $10,000 Aydin Open is now the 11th of 22 one-star events on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar that began last October in France and concludes August with the FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany. Men's and women's qualifying for the Aydin Open begins Thursday followed by Main Draw play Friday through Sunday. The Aydin Open will be the 10th one-star event for men this season and the ninth for women.
With the merger being announced in late February, other CEV events being incorporated into the FIVB World Tour schedule are Alanya, Turkey (May 31-June 3), Baden, Austria (June 14-17), Manavgat, Turkey (June 20-23), Anapa, Russia (July 5-8), Porec, Croatia (July 5-8), Samsun, Turkey (July 26-29), Ljubljana, Slovenia (August 3-5), and Vaduz, Liechtenstein (August 8-12)
With the CEV satellite stops becoming one-star FIVB World Tour tournaments, the events will now be open to international athletes from around the world. The move between the two governing bodies not only creates more playing opportunities for international players but is crucially also beneficial to players as one and two-star events will count towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games once the Olympic Qualification period starts. As they join forces, the FIVB and CEV establish a structure of events, which can foster the long-term growth of beach volleyball in Europe.
Commenting on the venture at the February 26 announcement, FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° said: “The FIVB and the CEV have come together to further integrate the international beach volleyball calendar and provide benefits to both athletes and event promoters. Our goal is to continue to grow the sport and the combination of our efforts will help us to achieve that goal.
“The FIVB continues to explore opportunities to enhance the sport and attract new audiences to beach volleyball. This landmark agreement will play a key role in that respect.”
CEV President and FIVB 2nd Executive Vice-President Aleksandar Boricic said: “With the incorporation of beach volleyball events organized in Europe in the World Tour structure, the FIVB and CEV are adding another milestone to their successful cooperation as they share the same vision and commitment to growing the sport at all levels. Only a couple of weeks ago, our organizations joined forces to showcase snow volleyball at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang to an audience including many of the world’s leading media and high-ranking members of the Olympic family.
“This time, we strengthen our collaboration even further in order to provide more opportunities for beach volleyball players to compete on the international stage and for national federations and promoters to help us develop the sport. This step reinforces our intention to work as a team and to contribute to a sustainable and long-term growth of beach volleyball in Europe, while inspiring the younger generations to take up this game.”