The FIVB has announced that international beach volleyball action will return with the World Tour 4-star Katara Beach Volleyball Cup double gender event in Doha, Qatar on March 8-12, 2021.
The 4-star event will mark the start of the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and feature some of the world’s top-ranked beach volleyball players competing for a total prize-money of USD300,000.
The event will also serve as an Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 qualification tournament with 400 Olympic ranking points on offer for the eventual champions of the Katara Cup. It will be the first top-tier beach volleyball event to return to the calendar after the outbreak of the global health crisis.
The FIVB and Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) have worked in close co-operation to develop strict health protocols that will be implemented at the competition to ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved. In particular, the entire competition, including all competition venues, training facilities and the hotel, will be held in a bio-secure bubble.
Athletes will also have to be tested both prior to travelling and upon arrival, before being escorted to the tournament bubble. While Qatar does currently have a quarantine period in place for visitors, participating athletes and officials will be granted special entry permission if the aforementioned protocols are respected.
Hosts Qatar already have a proven track record when it comes to staging safe and secure international sports events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, the QVA will organise a World Tour 1-star men’s event on 22-26 February at the Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy in Al Gharafa Sports Club, Doha, where the planned health protocols will be tested further.
Last year’s edition of the 4-star Katara Cup men’s event held in Doha was the final big beach volleyball competition before the calendar was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.