More than 80 elite beach volleyballers have begun an international face off at Mount Maunganui's main beach.

The New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open will be held this weekend, hosting New Zealand's finest plus some from Vanuatu.

The top teams will earn the right to represent New Zealand on the Asian Beach Volleyball Tour.

This weekend's action begins with the qualification tournament this afternoon, followed by pool play tommorrow and the playoffs on Sunday.

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Semifinals are from 10.30am and finals scheduled for 2.30 and 3.30pm. There will be grandstand seating around the centre court which is free for the public.