The race for qualification for The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is on! As of 1 September 2018, points gained on the FIVB World Tour will go towards qualification for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. With the Beach Volleyball Major Series tournament offering more ranking points than any other event – a massive 1,200 points to the winning team – Singapore is playing a significant role in many teams’ hopes and dreams of playing in Tokyo 2020. Now if you’ve wondered how the beach elite actually qualifies for the Olympics, wonder no more – because we have the answers for you. 


When is the Tokyo Olympics happening? 

The 32nd edition of the Olympics will take place between 24 July and 9 August with over 200 nations expected to compete across 33 sports in the Japanese capital. It will be the 7th time beach volleyball will feature in the Olympics, having made its debut in the Atlanta Games in 1996.


Who are the reigning champions in beach volleyball? 

Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst won women’s gold in Rio in 2016, while the men’s title went to Brazil's Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.


Kira retired in 2019 while Laura took 2018 off to give birth to baby Teo, and partnered with Maggie Kozuch on her return. Alison and Bruno went their separate ways and then teamed up with Álvaro Filho and Evandro Gonçalves respectively.


Who else has won beach volleyball medals at the Olympics? 

Click here for a full rundown of the gold, silver and bronze medalists.


How many teams will compete at the beach volleyball Olympics? 

48 teams (that’s 96 individual players in total) from five continents will be heading to Tokyo 2020. 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams will compete for the Olympic title.


Who qualifies and how? 

As hosts, Japan is assured of two places (one men’s team, one women’s team). The decision of exactly which team gets the ticket lies with the Japanese Volleyball Federation – the teams they select must meet the minimum entry guidelines outlined below. That leaves 46 spots up for grabs.


And how are those places decided? 

The top 15 highest men’s and 15 highest women’s teams in the Olympic Rankings as of 15 June 2020 will earn a ticket to Tokyo. These teams’ points are based on their performances at the World Championships, on the FIVB World Tour and Continental Tour Finals, with teams earning points for their finishes in these tournaments. Teams must have participated in a minimum of 12 tournaments between 1 September 2018 and 14 June 2020.


How many teams can each nation send to the Olympics? 

In the interest and spirit of the competition, countries can only send a maximum of two teams per gender to Tokyo. This is known as the country quota.