The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has partnered with the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) to revamp the former’s Huntington Beach Open event in California.
This year’s edition of the tournament is due to run from May 2-6 and will double up as an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event. The AVP is the premier beach volleyball tour in the United States.
The partnership, which is also supported by USA Volleyball, is designed to provide new opportunities for beach volleyball and its athletes. The agreement is ultimately designed to create a stronger team of American beach volleyball players for the Olympic Games.
This year’s Huntington Beach Open will serve as a hybrid of the FIVB’s 4-Star format and an adaptation of the AVP double-elimination format. Along with the double-elimination structure, the event, for the first time in FIVB history, will feature an open qualification process for all countries registered.
Nations from around the world will compete, with US stars such as Jake Gibb and April Ross, along with Brazilian players Agatha Bednarczuk and Bruno Schmidt, set to feature.
Donald Sun, managing partner of the AVP, said: “World class beach volleyball competition and entertainment is the core of our business and we are excited to partner with the FIVB in Huntington Beach like never before. We anticipate the event to be bigger than ever and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with the FIVB for many years to come.”
FIVB president Ary Graça added: “Our partnership with the AVP at the FIVB Huntington Beach Open is a great opportunity to continue to grow beach volleyball in the United States, a key market for the sport. Athletes and fans can look forward to a spectacular event in California at the beginning of May and the FIVB will continue to work with the AVP and USA Volleyball to bring beach volleyball to an ever-growing audience worldwide.”