The new beach volleyball season is just around the corner!

Get ready for a new and exciting beach volleyball season! The Swatch World Tour is about to begin again, and with the Summer Olympics looming large on the horizon, all our FIVB Heroes will be doing their best to be on top form for London.

The 2012 Swatch World Tour will cover 12 women’s and men’s tournaments each (with the Agadir Open in Morocco still to be confirmed) and will award a total of more than US$6,000,000 in prizes. Kicking off with the Brasilia Open, FIVB Heroes Alison/Emanuel and Larissa/Juliana, champions of last year’s Swatch World Tour, are counting on the support from their home crowd to start into the international season on the right foot. The long road ahead won’t be an easy one for them though, as their fellow FIVB Heroes are not just incredible players, but willing to take their crown too! The reigning Olympic champions Roger/Dalhausser and May-Treanor/Walsh from the US are always forces to be reckoned with, but one can never count out other powerplayers like Brink/Reckermann (GER), Fijalek/Prudel (POL), Herrera/Gavira (SPA) or Xu/Wu (CHN) among the men and Xue/Zhang Xi (CHN), Kessy/Ross (USA), Talita/Antonelli (BRA), Cicolari/Menegati (ITA) or Goller/Ludwig (GER) among the women.

After the Opens in Sanya (women) and Myslowice (men), the focus of everyone’s attention will be on a series of Grand Slams to be played in Shanghai, Beijing, Moscow, Rome, Gstaad and Berlin, culminating in one of the players’ favourites in Klagenfurt, Austria right before the Olympics. The whole world will then be watching the planet’s biggest sports event in London from late July, so the World Tour will of course be taking a break. There are different ways to become one of the 24 teams from each gender that will be vying for beach volleyball gold in London. 16 slots are awarded according to the FIVB Olympic ranking (two per country), the rest are decided through a number of continental tournaments that are held throughout the year.

After the end of the Olympics on 9 August, beach volleyball of course remains on the agenda as the tour comes back with the Grand Slam in Stare Jabłonki, Poland. And if you want to check out the future stars of the sport, be sure to follow the Youth and Junior World Championship!

Exciting matches, big events and incredible players showing what they’ve got in courts all over the world…you definitely don’t want to miss out on what’s ahead!

Get more information about the Swatch World Tour here:  http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/Competitions/WorldTour/2012/