FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD TOUR
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is the worldwide professional beach volleyball tour for both men and women, organised by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The World Tour was introduced for men in 1989 while the women first competed in 1992. Winning the World Tour is considered to be one of the highest honours in international beach volleyball, being surpassed only by the World Championships, and the Beach Volleyball tournament at the Summer Olympic Games.
The international professional tour was originally known as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Series and began in 1989 for men and 1992 for women. It was rebranded as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 1997. The World Tour was previously accompanied by FIVB Challenger and Satellite events, which served as a developmental circuit for up-and-coming players. The FIVB handed over the organizing of Challenger and Satellite events to the continental confederations in 2009.
Tournaments in the World Tour were previously categorized as either Grand Slams, Majors or Opens. This was replaced by the current star rating structure in 2017. Competing in the World Tour as well as other FIVB-recognized tournaments such as the Summer Olympics allows players to earn FIVB Ranking Points, with higher-star events being worth more points.
The current tournament structure was introduced in 2017 and is one of the many steps taken by the FIVB, under the leadership of President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, to modernize and streamline its competitions. The World Tour tournaments are ranked from 1 to 5 stars, with 5-star tournaments offering the most prize money and points. Competing in the World Tour as well as other FIVB-recognised tournaments such as the Summer Olympics allows players and teams to earn FIVB ranking points, with more points at stake at higher-star competitions. The World Tour concludes with the World Tour Finals at the end of each season.