Beach Volleyball

The Road to Paris: Beach volleyball Olympic qualification explained


Article Tue, Jan 31 2023
Author: Guilherme Torres

Few things will be more important in international beach volleyball in the next 18 months than qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The race to be a part of sports’ greatest event is always fascinating and generates endless interesting storylines involving the top teams in the world. We will be following the Olympic qualification process from a European perspective throughout the entire period and will also present some articles that will help you understand how it works and introduce you to some of the stars of the sport that will be chasing something special in their Road to Paris.

The Paris 2024 beach volleyball tournament will feature 48 teams in total (Photo: Paris 2024)

As exciting and unpredictable as it can be, the Olympic qualification process in beach volleyball is often very complex as well. There are different ways to earn a spot in the Games, multiple events and rankings to follow and things can change quickly as the process unfolds.

To help you better understand how things will work between now and June 23, 2024, when the Olympic qualification period ends, and support the European teams in contention, we will answer the most important questions about it.

When will the Paris 2024 Olympics take place?

The 33rd edition of the Olympic Summer Games, Paris 2024 will be held from July 26 to August 11, 2024. The beach volleyball event will be played for nearly the entire duration of the event, with the sport’s calendar featuring matches from July 27 to August 10.

Where will the beach volleyball venue be located?

The location of the Beach Volleyball Olympic stadium is certainly one of the factors that will make of Paris 2024 a memorable edition of the Games for the sport. Appropriately named Eiffel Tower Stadium, the 12,860-spectator venue will be erected at the feet of the iconic French landmark, right by the popular Champ de Mars and the River Seine.

The Eiffel Tower stadium will be placed in a fantastic location in Paris (Photo: Paris 2024)

How many teams will compete in the beach volleyball tournament?

As has been the case since the first Olympic edition that featured beach volleyball, the Atlanta 1996 Games, 48 teams – 24 men and 24 women – will play in the Paris 2024 event.

How can teams qualify?

There are three different pathways for a team to earn a spot in the Paris 2024 Games. Before we explore each of them, however, it’s important to remember that as the host country, France has a team guaranteed in each gender, meaning that only 23 spots are actually up for grabs for men and women.

The most straightforward way to qualify for the Paris 2024 Games is by taking gold at the 2023 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, which will be held in Mexico from October 6-15. The winners in both genders will secure an Olympic berth.

Most of the qualified teams will book their tickets to Paris through the Olympic rankings. The rankings will be formed by the total points earned by teams considering their best 12 results in international and continental eligible tournaments played from January 1, 2023, to June 10, 2024. At the end of the deadline, the 17 best-ranked men’s and women’s teams will have a spot in the Games.

The third and final qualification pathway is the continental one. Each of the five continental confederations – CEV (Europe), AVC (Asia), CAVB (Africa), CSV (South America) and NORCECA (North and Central America and the Caribbean) – will host a Continental Olympic Qualification process, guaranteeing all of them are represented by at least one team per gender in the Games.

The continental confederations have some freedom to structure their qualification tournaments, but the final phase for all of them will take place from June 13-23, 2024. The CEV Beach Nations Cup will serve as Europe's continental qualification tournament (and we will explain in detail how it’s going to work in a future article).

So, to summarize, the 24 teams in each gender will qualify via host country (1), 2023 World Championship (1), Olympic Rankings (17) and Continental Qualification Tournament (5).

Is there anything else important to know?

Yes, there are three more points that are important to have in mind when following the Road to Paris.

1) A country can have only up to two teams per gender in the Games. That means that if a nation has more than two teams among the best 17 in the Olympic Rankings, only the two with the most points will earn the spots. In that case, the exceeding ones would be skipped in the rankings, being replaced by the next eligible ones from a different country.

2) A team can only qualify through one of the three qualification pathways. So the teams that win the 2023 World Championship will not be eligible to earn a spot via the Olympic Rankings or their Continental Tournament. If they finish among the top 17 teams in the Olympic Rankings, their berth will be allocated to the next eligible duo on the list.

3) Although teams secure the Olympic spots, these are actually awarded to their countries' National Olympic Committees, which can either make the decision of naming the teams that earned it to represent them at the Paris 2024 Games (which is the case with the vast majority of them) or selecting another duo through a process of their choosing – these teams, however, need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria set by the FIVB and IOC.