December 3, 2013 (ISN) – A new expanded “ground-breaking” structure for the FIVB’s premier annual men’s volleyball event was announced at the World League Council annual meeting at the FIVB (international volleyball federation) head office in Lausanne, Switzerland, this weekend. FIVB Volleyball World League 2014 is expanding from 18 countries to 28 for the first time.
Canada will be the top-ranked team (11th) in Pool C – facing Belgium (37), Australia (14) and Finland (30).
“We are very excited again to join the World League next summer,” said Canada’s men’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “The new format will prove very competitive again, and will also help us prepare for the world championship in September, which is our main objective this summer. We will have the chance to play six matches at home, which is always a great motivation for our team.”
In 2013, the Canadian team won its pool, advancing to the playoffs and winning an exciting battle against the top-ranked Russian team, ultimately finishing fifth overall. The Canadian team’s performance resulted in a seven-place gain in the world rankings – from 18th to 11th.
As in 2013, the matches will be nationally broadcast giving Canadian volleyball fans a chance to see their men’s team in action live at home and abroad.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S Graça Filho said to the 28 federations, including Canadian representatives, at the meeting: “This new direction is all about growing volleyball and providing opportunities for federations to play.”
He continued: “It is very clear for me, the future is today and we are doing something different. This is the new era and I would like to congratulate the new countries who are involved, who now have an opportunity to play on the world stage.”
The 28 teams have been split into seven pools. The full structure can be viewed at www.fivb.org
During the Intercontinental round, which will end in June, Canada will play a home-and-away series against the other teams in its pool, and the World League playoffs are scheduled to take place within the first two weeks of July.
More information on the games to be held in Canada will be released in early 2014.