FIVB World League pools set for 2013

 Tournament increases from 16-18 teams, Canada in pool C

LAUSANNE, Switzerland  – The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World League Council confirmed the structure of the 2013 edition of the FIVB’s premier annual men’s event at its meeting at the FIVB head office in Lausanne this weekend with the competition increasing from 16 to 18 teams split into three pools of six.

Pools A and B are determined using the serpentine system based on the world rankings as of August 13, 2012. Pool C will feature teams ranked as the next best four in the world rankings after the 12 teams in Pool A and B plus two additional teams, which will be confirmed by the FIVB Executive Committee during its end of year meeting on December 15.

Canada, ranked 18th in the world, is in pool C with number-22 South Korea, number-31 Finland, the 41st ranked Netherlands and two countries still to be determined.

The Canadians returned to World League play last season for the first time in five years and automatically qualified for 2013 finishing 12th overall with three wins and nine losses.  The highlight for Canada was its victory over world number-one Brazil in the opening round in Toronto before more than 8,000 fans.  Canada also beat Finland twice in tournament play.

In the A pool last year’s winners Poland, will play Olympic silver medallists and nine-time World League champions Brazil, 2012 World League runners up USA and 2012 World League and Olympic Games fourth placed team Bulgaria along with Argentina and France.

The second pool features Olympic champions Russia, eight-time World League winners Italy, last year’s World League bronze medallists Cuba, Serbia, Germany and World League debutants Iran.

The top three world ranked teams in each pool will play three matches at home and two away with the bottom three world ranked teams playing twice at home and three times away.

The Intercontinental Round is expected to start on May 31 with each pool playing over five weekends before the Finals take place from July 16-21. The precise calendar will be confirmed at a later date. Eight teams will qualify for the World League Finals featuring the top three teams from Pools A and B, plus the winner of Pool C and the host country. The confirmation of the host country of the World League Finals is expected by the end of January.

The Canadian venue for the World League matches will be announced next year.

More information: www.volleyball.ca