Major International Event Coming to Long Beach

May 21, 2013, 8:38 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail:
USAV Facebook - @USA_Volleyball @USAV Beach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 21, 2013) – Beach volleyball in the United States will get more than 20 hours of programming on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports Network this summer when the first FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam event on U.S. soil in over 10 years and a newly created beach event collide July 22-28 at Long Beach, Calif., to form one major weekend of activity on the sand.

Jennifer Fopma, left, blocks against Jennifer Kessy in Shanghai
  Jennifer Fopma, left, blocks against Jennifer Kessy at the FIVB
  Shanghai Grand Slam in April.

The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, recognized by USA Volleyball, will be run in conjunction with the FIVB event.

The Grand Slam tournament is the first in the United States since 2003, and will include the inaugural ASICS World Series Cup, a special competition that will feature the top U.S. men’s and women’s teams competing against the best teams from around the world. There will also be a beach music festival held in conjunction with the volleyball competitions.

“USA Volleyball is very pleased that an FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Event will be returning to the United States for the first time since 2003,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “The partnership that has been forged between the FIVB, Management Plus Enterprises and NBC Sports Group creates a dynamic showcase for beach volleyball to a global audience.”

Coverage begins Thursday, July 25 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with women’s Grand Slam quarterfinal competitions, and will continue through the weekend. The World Series Cup Women’s Finals will air Saturday, July 27 at 4 p.m. ET on NBC, with the Men’s Finals airing Sunday, July 28 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. In addition to programming on NBC and NBC Sports Network, Universal Sports Network will also provide more than 13 hours of coverage of the event.

“This event is important because it is an opportunity for our pro beach volleyball players to gain exposure by playing in the United States,” said USA Volleyball Director of Beach Programs Ali Wood Lamberson. “Younger athletes will have the opportunity to watch the best pro beach volleyball players compete either in person or on television.”

NBC Sports Group, the FIVB, USA Volleyball and Management Plus Enterprises are partnering on the event, which will offer more than $500,000 in total prize money.

“I know that as an athlete, I loved competing in front of my family and friends,” said Sean Scott, a former beach volleyball professional who won the last two Manhattan Beach Opens. “After a lot of time on the road this season, our athletes will be excited and proud to play in the United States.”

The Grand Slam will be the 10th FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour double-gender event in the USA, which includes the FIVB World Championships in Los Angeles in 1997 and the 2003 event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Carson, Calif.

This year’s FIVB World Tour Grand Slams is using a pool format. Long Beach will begin with a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play, where pools of four will play three matches each, with a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams (the top three from each pool).

Women will begin play on Monday, July 22 and conclude with medal matches on Saturday, July 27. The men’s action will start on Tuesday, July 23, culminating with the men’s medal matches on Sunday, July 28.