News-Sports.net - Dec 20,2010 - Anapa/Moscow, Russia - Usually there is not much information about Beach Volleyball during the off season. However, the last days of November brought this sport back to the attention of many media and fans across Russia as rumors were spreading around that the number of international tournaments to be played next year in this country is going to increase.
These rumors were actually associated to the “Russian Winter”, an indoor event which was held for the first time in the sports complex known as “VolleyGrad” this past February. As the tournament celebrates its second edition, this will turn into a CEV Satellite event, being only the second indoor competition to be granted this status after the real premiere to be celebrated in early January in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands. That means that there won’t be only prize money at stake there, but also some valuable points for the CEV and FIVB rankings.
With the real potential of indoor events still to be understood and evaluated, the second edition of the “Russian Winter” will run through February 23 to 27 in Anapa. The Main Draw will feature 12 teams for both the men’s and women’s competition, with 16 more duos set to register for the qualifications. Out of 12 teams set to play in the Main Draw, 6 will be placed automatically there, including two representatives of the hosting country, two will receive a wild card from the organizers and the four remaining slots will be occupied by those duos that will make it through the qualification.
A prize money of 6’000 € will be at stake for both genders and the winners will leave Anapa with a check of 1’500 €. As far as CEV ranking points are concerned, the best duos will get 100, while the second and third ranked teams will bag 90 and 60 respectively. The winners will also get 20 points for the FIVB rankings, with 18 and 16 to be allocated to the silver and bronze medalists.
Last year Poland’s Kadziola/Szalankiewicz and Russia’s Bratkova/Ukolova topped the final standings of the competition. With the entry lists still to be defined, it is almost sure that the event will be attended by many players that are regularly starring on the World Tour.
The competition will be organized at “Volley Grad”, a splendid sports complex that was recently built by the Volleyball Federation of Russia in the village of Vityazevo, near the seaside resort of Anapa. “Volley Grad” is actively used to stage training camps for Russia’s national teams as well as for clubs. Last year “Volley Grad” successfully hosted one leg of the Russian national tour, plus the final of the Russian Beach Volleyball Championships and the Open Cup, starring also teams from the countries affiliated to the Eastern European Volleyball Zonal Association (EEVZA). The stands of the indoor court have a capacity of 800 seats.