One week to go! Toronto hosts World League tournament May 18-20

 TORONTO (May 11, 2012)– On the heels of a great performance so far at the Olympic qualifying tournament in California, the Canadian men will begin their World League challenge on Friday May 18 at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.

Canada is making a return to the World League for the first time since 2007 after a sensational 2011 campaign in which they beat Slovakia and Puerto Rico to qualify.  The World League offers the biggest cash prizes in the sport.

Tickets can be purchased before the event or can be obtained at the door.  For more information visit http://www.volleyball.ca/content/world-league-2012-0 or contact Volleybal Canada at (613) 748-5681 ext. 233.

Canada, ranked 18th in the world, opens the tournament May 18 at 4 p.m., against Finland.  Next up is world number-one Brazil on Saturday at 4 p.m., which will be carried live coast-to-coast on CBC Television.  Another big opponent awaits the Canadians on Sunday May 20 against world number-four Poland live on Rogers Sportsnet One at 8 p.m.

Rogers Sportsnet One will also broadcast the Canada-Finland match on tape delay at 11 p.m., Friday evening.

A total of 16 countries divided into four pools compete in the World League.  Each country hosts a round of World League play.  The four pool winners and the two-best second place teams will compete in the World League Finals July 4-8 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Canada is currently battling for a spot in the Olympic Games at the NORCEA qualifying tournament in Long Beach.  The Canadian team has performed brilliantly so far beating the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and world number-five Cuba in the round robin.  Tonight they face Puerto Rico in the semifinal and, if they win, advance to the final Saturday.  The tournament winner gets the ticket to London.

At the same time as the World League, the Canadian Open Championships at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto is expected to attract about 10,000 players, coaches and officials from across Canada with national titles in various age groups on the line for men and women.  It is the largest volleyball event in Canadian history.

Background

FIVB World League: Canada will compete in the 16-country World League tournament for the first time since 2007. The prestigious tournament, in its 23rd year, takes place every summer, reaching all corners of the planet, offering worldwide TV coverage and the biggest cash prizes in the sport.  The Canadian stop is set for May 18-20 at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Canadian Open: Between May 17th and May 22nd, 2012, Volleyball Canada will host 10 000 athletes in Toronto for the 2012 Canadian Open Volleyball Championships. The tournament will attract teams from across Canada with more than 20,000 spectators and participants travelling to the Direct Energy Centre in the heart of Toronto.