The race for spots at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will highlight the first half of the year
After two successful seasons in 2022 and 2023, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour is soon to get its third one underway. As in the previous editions, the three levels of the Beach Pro Tour will spread beach volleyball fever all over the world, with plenty of opportunities for top-calibre players and aspiring athletes alike to join in on the action and test themselves against their opponents.
Just like the full 2023 season, the first half of the 2024 season, until 10 June, will continue to offer valuable points towards the race for Olympic tickets to Paris 2024, and just like in 2021, a tournament in Ostrava, Czechia, this time an Elite16 event, will be the last one to count towards the Olympic rankings. At the end of this, the 17 teams per gender to qualify for the Olympic Games in France will be known.
The unique venue in Czechia’s third largest city also hosted the 4-star tournament in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 2021, which saw a dramatic turn of events in the fight for places at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner Brooke Sweat lost their qualification match to the then new and relatively unknown Dutch pairing of Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon. That allowed another up-and-coming team, Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Cheng (then Claes), to book a last-minute ticket to Tokyo 2020 as the second qualified American pair, instead of Walsh and Sweat. That sensational win over Walsh and Sweat also set the beginning of Stam and Schoon’s incredible story that also led them to the Games in Tokyo.
Katja Stam spikes above Kerri Walsh’s block at Ostrava 2021 4-star tournament
While the full 2024 Beach Pro Tour calendar is being adapted to optimise the number of events and their geographical distribution, it is already clear that there will be at least eight Elite16 and eight Challenger tournaments.
The Finals will be held in Doha, Qatar again from 5 to 8 December, 2024. Doha will also host an Elite16 event in early March, keeping alive the tradition of hosting two events per season, which started with a Challenge tournament and the Finals in 2022, and an Elite16 stop and the Finals in 2023.
Later in March, Brazil will welcome two Challenge events. The Beach Pro Tour will pay a first visit to Recife, its first world-level competition since 1996, and will then return to Saquarema, which hosted the Beach Pro Tour in 2023 as well.