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Volleyball: Women’s Grand Prix follows men’s lead by expanding to 28 teams

Japan (pictured in red) and China (in blue), along with Korea and Thailand, are among the 12 teams who will compete in the top tier of next year’s expanded World Grand Prix. Photo: FIVB.

Japan (pictured in red) and China (in blue), along with Korea and Thailand, are among the 12 teams who will compete in the top tier of next year’s expanded World Grand Prix. Photo: FIVB.

December 3, 2013: The FIVB World Grand Prix, the leading annual women’s volleyball competition, has followed in the footsteps of the men’s FIVB World League and will expand to 28 countries for the first time next year.

 

One day after the World League Council approved the expansion of the World League to 28 teams, the World Grand Prix Council followed suit during its annual meeting at the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, increasing the number of competing teams by eight.

 

Asia’s major teams – World No. 3 Japan, China (5), Korea (10) and Thailand (12) – are among the top 12 teams that will compete in Pools A to I. Defending champions Brazil (1), USA (2), Italy (4), Russia (6), Serbia (7), Dominican Republic (8), Germany (9) and Turkey (11) are the other eight teams in the top tier.

 

Pools J to O feature eight teams: Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, Cuba and Belgium. Pools P to S also include eight teams: Kenya, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Bulgaria and Australia.

 

The distribution was based on world ranking except for Belgium and Cuba, who qualified via continental qualification tournaments, and Australia, who participate as part of the Oceania development programme.

 

Pools A to I will begin on August 1 and will play round-robin across three weeks of Preliminary Round action (see schedule below). The six-team Finals from August 20-24 will feature the top four from the Preliminary Round, the host nation and the winner of the Final Four from Pools J to O.

 

Pools J to O will contest three weeks of Preliminary Round action, starting from from July 25, before the top three teams and the host nation contest the Final Four from August 15-17. Pools P to S will feature two weeks of Preliminary Round action, also starting on July 25, before the top three and the hosts contest a separate Final Four from August 15-17.

 

The last-ranked team in Pools A to I after the Preliminary Round could be relegated if the winner of Pools J to O can meet the FIVB’s promotion requirements.

 

The World Grand Prix featured eight teams in its debut 1993 season and from 1995 to 2002, and had 12 teams in 1994 and from 2003 to 2010. The 2011 and 2012 editions involved 16 teams before expanding to 20 last year.

 

2014 FIVB World Grand Prix – Pools A-I (top 12 teams)

August 1-3:

Pool A (TBC) – USA (2), JPN (3), TUR (11), RUS (6)

Pool B (Korea) – GER (9), THA (12), SRB (7), KOR (10)

Pool C (Italy) – CHN (5), ITA (4), DOM (8), BRA (1)

 

August 8-10:

Pool D (Brazil) – USA (2), BRA (1), KOR (10), RUS (6)

Pool E (Turkey) – GER (9), TUR (11), SRB (7), DOM (8)

Pool F (Hong Kong) – CHN (5), ITA (4), THA (12), JPN (3)

 

August 15-17:

Pool G (Thailand) – USA (2), THA (12), DOM (8), BRA (1)

Pool H (Russia) – GER (9), ITA (4), TUR (11), RUS (6)

Pool I (Macau) – CHN (5), JPN (3), SRB (7), KOR (10)

Note: Numbers in brackets denote world ranking

 

Group hosts for Pools J-O

Jul 25-27:        Pool J (Peru), Pool K (Puerto Rico)

Aug 1-3:          Pool L (Belgium), Pool M (Peru)

Aug 8-10:        Pool N (Argentina), Pool O (Netherlands)

Aug 15-17:      Final Four (Poland)

 

Group hosts for Pools P-S

Jul 25-27:        Pool P (Kazakhstan), Pool Q (Mexico)

Aug 1-3:          Pool R (Czech Republic), Pool S (Croatia)

Aug 15-17:      Final Four (Bulgaria)

 

Source: FIVB

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