Understanding the Olympic Beach Volleyball Rankings

This past year has been tremendous for beach volleyball all around. It has become the 90th championship to be officially sponsored by the NCAA, with founding members including University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University (FIU), Florida State University, Georgia State University, Louisiana State University (LSU), University of South Carolina and Tulane University. Beach volleyball is also becoming an official high school sport in Florida under the Sunshine State Athletic Conference and the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. This only means great things for the growth of our sport and the future of the National Volleyball League, with its headquarters based in Port St. Lucie, FL.

There are so many other accomplishments we’ve seen over the past year, but right now we all have one thing on our mind: The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. As a leading league of the sport, it is our job to help generate buzz around this exciting time and properly educate our fans!

On June 13, 2016 the final list of Olympic beach volleyball teams will be determined. Understanding the ranking system is actually very simple once you break down the individual elements. Let’s get prepared for the 2016 Olympic Season with these general facts.

Raquel Ferreira

Raquel Ferreira

Current standings

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Men

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Women

Here is what you need to know:

16 Teams

The top 16 teams per gender will qualify, but there are some inclusions and exclusions.

  • A country can only have a maximum of two teams. The letter “Q”, that appears to the right of a team in the standings, denotes that the team is currently excluded because there are already two other teams above them in the standings.
  • One spot is reserved for the 2015 world champions – the Brazilians have that for both genders. The letter “W”, that appears to the right of the team, denotes the World Champions.
  • The host country automatically gets one spot, which is somewhat irrelevant this time around because the Brazilians already have the world champions and the top ranked team. The letter “H”, that appears to the right of the team, denotes the host country inclusion.

Point System

The total of the best 12 FIVB finishes as a team from January 2015 through June 12, 2016. The number of points available from each event is based on the prize money. Finishes in events with bigger prize money are worth more points. This is typical for professional beach volleyball.

Additional Twists

Though it may seem as though the teams are earning a place for themselves, they are NOT guaranteed the spot. They are actually earning a “quota place” for their country. In theory, a country could elect to choose a different player (or players) provided they had played at least 12 events. This is unusual, but it allows a country to replace an injured player.

So, those are the basics. Stay tuned as the NVL will be following the progress of games leading up to August! #SoulOfBeachVolleyball