The popular King of the Court training game is taking the big stage in a new FIVB tournament series set to begin in September, a few weeks after the World Tour Finals.
The four-event series dubbed the King of the Court Crown Series will have a total purse of $450,000 with locations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Hawaii and California.
The tournament, which is a joint effort of the FIVB, Sportworx and in the American locations, the AVP, will be a sanctioned, pro-level competition, although points will not count toward FIVB tallies.
A trial event was played in Utrecht, Netherlands in June 2017.
“For us, the King of the Court trial event in Utrecht was the highlight of 2017,” said Dutch former world champions and Olympic bronze medallists, Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer. “It is a mix of sport and show and is much harder and more tactical to play than regular beach volleyball.”
Unlike a traditional beach volleyball tournament, the King of the Court format pits multiple teams against one another at the same time in an abbreviated schedule.
Here’s how it works, in a nutshell.
- Five teams (respectively four and three) teams battle it out in rotational matches with one team eliminated per match
- There is a challenger’s side and a King’s side.
- Challenger’s serve and points can ONLY be scored at the King’s side.
- If the Kings win a rally, they get a point and stay on that side
- If they lose a rally, they are back into the challenger’s line and the challenger’s take their spot on the king’s side.
- In Round 1, the clock is set to 20 minutes,
- with the team with the least amount of points at the buzzer being eliminated
- In Round 2, the clock is set to 16 minutes, with the team with the least amount of points at the buzzer being eliminated
- In the finals, the clock is set to 20 minutes and the first team to 15 points or the team with the most points at the final buzzer wins
The four stops on the tour are:
- Sept. 7 – Utrecht, Netherlands
- Sept. 8 – Belgium
- Sept. 14-16 – Honolulu, Hawaii – Fort deRussy, Waikiki
- Sept. 22-23, 2018 – Huntington Beach, California – Huntington Beach Pier
Each location is invitation only. The European stops will be men’s only events with 15 teams apiece, while the top stops in the USA will be double-gender events. Fifteen men’s and 15 women’s teams will compete in Waikiki in conjunction with the AVP Hawaii Invitational, while 20 teams of each gender will fight it out on Huntington Beach.
One of the announced competitors is American Casey Patterson.
“I’m excited that the King of the Court Crown Series is coming together and that I will be a part of these four amazing events,” Patterson said. “King of the Court is fast, spectacular and great entertainment.”
Here are a few more items of clarification in format
- Always 3 matches per group – first 5 teams, then down to 4 and down to 3
- 5-teams-matches last 20 minutes, lowest score is out
- 4-teams-matches last 16 minutes, lowest score is out
- 3-teams-matches are first to 15 points wins or highest score after 20 minutes
3 Rounds (Group Phase – Semifinals – Finals)
• 3 groups with 5 teams = 15 teams in total
• Top 3 of all 3 groups + highest scoring 4th from 2nd match (4-teams-matches) advance to semifinals
• Eliminating 5 of the 15 teams
• 2 semifinals with 5 teams each = 10 teams
• Again 3 matches per semifinal
• Eliminating 5 of the 10 teams – top 2 of each semifinal + highest-scoring 3rd from both semifinals advance to finals
• 5 teams, 3 matches
• Eliminating lowest-scoring teams in first 2 matches – going to 3 teams in final match
• First to 15 points wins or highest score after 20 minutes wins