The most accomplished player in the history of beach volleyball, Kerri Walsh-Jennings, has been relegated to the 3rd seed in Pool A with new partner Nicole Branagh. ArchivePhoto via Stefan Moertl/ Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series/ Red Bull Content Pool
The FIVB, the world governing body for volleyball, has announced the pool breakouts for the 2017 World Beach Championships in Vienna, Austria.
The tournament will begin with a single round-robin in 4-team pools. The top 2 teams in each of the 12 pools will automatically advance to the round of 32, single-elimination bracket. So too will the top 4 3rd-place teams from pool play, based on match points, set-point ratios, and/or rally-point ratios.
The rest of the 3rd-place teams will go to a “Lucky Loser” round, where the 8 remaining teams will play a single head-to-head match to round out the 32.
Teams will be re-seeded for the elimination bracket, with pool winners earning seeds 1-12, pool runners-up taking seeds 13-24, and 3rd-place pool finishers (including “lucky losers”)earning seeds 25-32.
The 11th edition of this event will run from July 28th-August 6th, with $1 million in prize money available. That includes $60,000 to the winners of each tournament ($30,000 per player, in each gender). The women’s championship match will be August 5th while the men will be August 6th.
Because of partner changes post-Olympics, there are some players who are playing out of unusual positions. Kerri Walsh-Jennings, the most accomplished beach volleyball player in history, will play as the #25 seed, and 3rd-level team in Pool A. That’s because she’s now playing with Nicole Branagh after splitting with long-time partner April Ross, and teams are seeded based on their combined individual points – Branagh had far fewer than Walsh-Jennings, so on average, they’re middle-of-the-pack.
That’s bad news for Germany’s Bieneck/Schneider – who are sandwiched in between them and the top seeds from Brazil Larissa/Talita.
Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com.
Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder.
Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …