FIVB Men’s Volleyball World League and Women’s Grand Prix councils recently met at FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to determine next year’s schedule, pools and other organizational matters.
The World League Council confirmed that next year’s World League will adopt the same format as 2016, when a record 36 teams participated in the competition. The 36 teams have been split into three groups of 12 teams, and will play the preliminary round in a pool format over three weeks, before the best teams gather for the finals in each group.
The top teams from each group in 2016 were promoted for next year’s competition, while the bottom teams are relegated. The council confirmed that Canada will move up to Group 1 as the winner of 2016’s Group 2 tournament.
Canada will travel to Serbia, Bulgaria and Belgium in June 2017. The FIVB, however, does not award hosting responsibilities to new group members unless another country relinquishes its hosting weekend, which means Canada will not host World League in 2017.
“Volleyball Canada would have loved the opportunity to host, especially as interest in volleyball is at an all-time high after an exciting Olympic tournament in Rio,” said Alan Ahac, Volleyball Canada’s Director of International Events. “However, it’s still great for the men’s team to have the chance to play the best in the world in Group 1, and it will be broadcast in Canada for our home fans.”
The Women’s Grand Prix council meetings were also held in Switzerland.
“We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting Women’s Grand Prix for the first time in the tournament’s history,” said Ahac. Canada will host the Women’s Grand Prix weekend on July 21-23, 2017
The women’s team will relocate to Richmond, B.C. in January 2017 and is going through a re-building phase after missing out on Olympic qualification.
The World Grand Prix Council confirmed that the 2016 competition format will remain. The 32 teams have been split into three groups (12 teams in Group 1 and Groups 2 and eight teams in Group 3) and will play the Preliminary Round in a pool format over three weeks, before the best teams (four for Groups 2 & 3 and six for Group 1) gather for the finals in each Group.
Canada is in Group 2 and will host Germany, Peru and Kenya. “We will be determining the location and venue at a later date, and we are very excited to have this opportunity,” said Ahac.