World League men’s volleyball schedule finalized

 Quebec City and Mississauga to host matches in Canada

OTTAWA (February 20, 2013) – The 2013 World League men’s volleyball season will get underway in Canada on the first weekend of June with a match between the hosts and the Netherlands as the FIVB confirmed dates for this summer’s prestigious tournament.

Canada, ranked 18th in the world is in Pool C with Egypt (WR12), Japan (WR19), South Korea (WR22), Finland (WR31), the Netherlands (WR41). Canada will host the Dutch for two matches May 31-June 2 in Quebec City, then Egypt June 7-9 and South Korea June 14-16, both weekends in Mississauga, Ont. The Canadians then travel to Finland for matches June 28-30 and Japan July 5-7.

The times, exact dates and venues for each of the matches in Canada along with ticket sales information will be determined in early March.

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.

Defending champions Poland will host nine-time World League winners Brazil in the opening weekend of Pool A from June 7 to 9.

First time winners Poland and world No. 1 and Olympic silver medallists Brazil last met in the World League Finals last year with Poland prevailing in five sets. They also played four times during the Intercontinental Round, with Poland winning on three occasions.

World No. 4 Poland will be looking to keep their place on the podium after taking the 2012 title 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) against USA in the final held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Other Pool A matches pits 2012 World League runners-up USA against Argentina while 2012 World League and Olympic Games fourth placed team Bulgaria travel to France.

Pool B, like Pool A, also starts on June 7 and sees Olympic champions Russia welcome Iran while 2012 bronze medallists Cuba will play Serbia and Germany travel to Italy.

This year’s edition of the World League sees the competition increase from 16 to 18 teams split into three pools of six. It is the first time the World League will feature 18 teams, having had 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012.

Pools A and B were determined using the serpentine system based on the world rankings as of August 13, 2012. Pool C features teams ranked as the next best four in the world rankings after the 12 teams in Pool A and B in addition to wildcards Japan and Egypt.

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.

Eight teams will qualify for the World League Finals featuring the top three teams from Pools A and B, plus the winners of Pool C and the host country.