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FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship

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FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship
SportVolleyball
Founded1949
Inaugural season1949
CEOBrazil Ary Graça
No. of teams24 (Finals)
ContinentInternational (FIVB)
Most recent
champion(s)
 Poland (3rd title)
Most titles Soviet Union (6 titles)
Official websiteFIVB Volleyball World Championships

The FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship is an international volleyball competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), the sport's global governing body. The initial gap between championships was variable, but since 1962 they have been awarded every four years. The current champion is Poland, which won its third title at the 2018 tournament defending the championship title.

The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, which is often called the World Championship Finals. 24 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation(s), compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month.

The 19 World Championship tournaments have been won by seven different national teams. Russia (as Soviet Union) have won six times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Championship winners are Brazil, Italy, and Poland, with three titles each; Czech Republic (as Czechoslovakia) with two titles; Germany (as East Germany), and United States, with one title each.

The 2018 World Championship was co-hosted by Italy and Bulgaria.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The history of the World Championship goes back to the beginnings of volleyball as a professional, high level sport. One of the first concrete measures taken by the FIVB after its foundation in 1947 was the establishment of an international competition involving teams from more than one continent. In 1949, the first edition was played in Prague, Czechoslovakia. At that point, the tournament was still restricted to Europe.

Three years later, the event was expanded to include nations from Asia, and began to be held in 4-year cycles. By the following edition, there were also teams from South, Central and North America.

Since volleyball was to be added to the Olympic Program in 1964, the 4-cycles were advanced in 2 years after the fourth edition (1960), so that the World Championship may alternate with the Summer Olympic Games. As of 1970, teams from Africa also took part in the competition, and the original goal of having members from all five continental confederations in the games was achieved.

The number of teams involved in the games has changed significantly over the years. Following volleyball's increase in popularity, they raised steadily to over 20 in the 1970s and part of the 1980s, were then cut short to 16 in the 1990s, and finally set up in 24 after 2002. Today, the World Championship is the most comprehensive of all events organized by the FIVB, and arguably the most important, alongside the Olympic Games.[1]

Until 1974, the host nation of the tournament organized both the men's and the women's events, with the single exception of the 1966/1967 games, which took place in different years. Since 1978, this practice has been only occasionally observed, for instance, in 1998 and in the 2006 edition, which was held, as the former was, in Japan.

Winners[edit]

The history of the World Championship clearly demonstrates how volleyball was originally dominated by European nations.

The first two editions were won by the Soviet Union. In 1956, twice runner-up Czechoslovakia took the gold. There followed two more consecutive wins for the Soviet Union, in both cases over Czechoslovakia. The Czechs won a gold medal in the 1966 edition.

In 1970, East Germany prevailed over Bulgaria for their first and only title. In 1974, the Soviet Union threatened to take the lead once more, but ended up being defeated by Poland at the final. Nevertheless, they would confirm their leadership by winning, for the third time, two editions in a row.

1986 saw the first relevant confrontation between United States, the rising major force of the decade, and the traditional leader Soviet Union after the Olympic boycotts of 1980 and 1984. As would be the case two years later at the Seoul Olympic Games, the issue was settled in favour of the Americans led by Karch Kiraly and Steve Timmons. Italy completely dominated the competition in the 1990s, winning all the editions that took place in this decade (1990, 1994, 1998), led by such players as Lorenzo Bernardi and Andrea Giani.

In the 2000s, Brazil became the leading force in the sport, winning three consecutive editions (2002, 2006 and 2010), the first of which in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the same stage where the Brazilians had been runners-up in 1982. In 2014, Poland, playing in home, defeated Brazil in 4 sets at the final achieving their second gold medal and preventing what would be a historical fourth title in a row. In 2018, Poland won second title in a row, once again defeating Brazil at the final.

As of 2018, 19 editions of the men's Volleyball World Championship have been played: 15 went to European teams, and four to American teams (three times to Brazil and once to United States).

Competition formula[edit]

The competition formula of the FIVB World Championship has been constantly changed to fit the different number of teams that participate in each edition. The following rules usually apply:

  • Twenty-four teams participate in each event.
  • Qualification procedures for the World Championship are long and strenuous, lasting over two years.
  • Host nations are always pre-qualified.
  • The number of spots available per confederation is determined by the FIVB: Europe has usually the highest, and Africa or South America the lowest.
  • To participate in the event, a team must survive a number of qualification tournaments depending on its position in the FIVB World Rankings. Low-ranked teams may have to engage in up to three tournaments to be granted a berth; high-ranked teams typically play only one.
  • The competition is divided in at least two phases: a preliminary round and a final round. Depending on the number of participating teams, one or more intermediary rounds may also be required.
  • In the preliminary round, teams are organized in pools. Each team plays one match against all other teams in its pool.
  • When all the matches of the preliminary round have been played, the top n teams in each pool qualify for the following round(s), and the remaining ones leave the competition. The value of n depends on the number of participating teams and the format that will be employed in the finals.
  • The FIVB has tried various different formats for the final round(s). For some years now (2004), there seems to be a consensus that at least semifinals and finals must be played according to the Olympic format.
  • Quarterfinals may consist of groups of teams playing against each other, or of direct confrontation; in the latter case additional intermediary rounds might be required to reduce the number of surviving teams to eight.
  • The tournament implements very tight line-up restrictions: only twelve players are allowed, and no replacement is permitted, even in case of injuries.

Results summary[edit]

Year Host Final 3rd place match Teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1949
Details
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–1)

Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
Round-robin
(3–1)

Romania
10
1952
Details
Soviet Union
Soviet Union

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–0)

Czechoslovakia

Bulgaria
Round-robin
(3–1)

Romania
11
1956
Details
France
France

Czechoslovakia
Round-robin
(3–2)

Romania

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–1)

Poland
24
1960
Details
Brazil
Brazil

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–0)

Czechoslovakia

Romania
Round-robin
(3–1)

Poland
14
1962
Details
Soviet Union
Soviet Union

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–0)

Czechoslovakia

Romania
Round-robin
(2–3)

Bulgaria
21
1966
Details
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia
Round-robin
(3–1)

Romania

Soviet Union
Round-robin
(3–0)

East Germany
22
1970
Details
Bulgaria
Bulgaria

East Germany
Round-robin
(3–2)

Bulgaria

Japan
Round-robin
(3–0)

Czechoslovakia
24
1974
Details
Mexico
Mexico

Poland
Round-robin
(3–2)

Soviet Union

Japan
Round-robin
(3–1)

East Germany
24
1978
Details
Italy
Italy

Soviet Union
3–0
Italy

Cuba
3–1
South Korea
24
1982
Details
Argentina
Argentina

Soviet Union
3–0
Brazil

Argentina
3–0
Japan
24
1986
Details
France
France

United States
3–1
Soviet Union

Bulgaria
3–0
Brazil
16
1990
Details
Brazil
Brazil

Italy
3–1
Cuba

Soviet Union
3–0
Brazil
16
1994
Details
Greece
Greece

Italy
3–1
Netherlands

United States
3–1
Cuba
16
1998
Details
Japan
Japan

Italy
3–0
FR Yugoslavia

Cuba
3–1
Brazil
24
2002
Details
Argentina
Argentina

Brazil
3–2
Russia

France
3–0
FR Yugoslavia
24
2006
Details
Japan
Japan

Brazil
3–0
Poland

Bulgaria
3–1
Serbia and Montenegro
24
2010
Details
Italy
Italy

Brazil
3–0
Cuba

Serbia
3–1
Italy
24
2014
Details
Poland
Poland

Poland
3–1
Brazil

Germany
3–0
France
24
2018
Details
Bulgaria Italy
Bulgaria / Italy

Poland
3–0
Brazil

United States
3–1
Serbia
24
2022
Details
Russia
Russia
24

Hosts[edit]

List of hosts by number of championships hosted.

Times hosted Nations Years
3  Italy 1978, 2010, 2018*
2  Argentina 1982, 2002
 Brazil 1960, 1990
 Bulgaria 1970, 2018*
 Czechoslovakia 1949, 1966
 France 1956, 1986
 Japan 1998, 2006
 Soviet Union 1952, 1962
1  Greece 1994
 Mexico 1974
 Poland 2014
 Russia 2022
* = co-hosts.

Medals summary[edit]

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Soviet Union62311
2 Brazil3306
3 Italy3104
 Poland3104
5 Czechoslovakia2406
6 United States1023
7 East Germany1001
8 Cuba0224
 Romania0224
10 Bulgaria0145
11 FR Yugoslavia0101
 Netherlands0101
 Russia0101
14 Japan0022
15 Argentina0011
 France0011
 Germany0011
 Serbia0011
Totals (18 nations)19191957

MVP by edition[edit]

Most successful players[edit]

Boldface denotes active volleyball players and highest medal count among all players (including these who not included in these tables) per type.

Multiple gold medalists[edit]

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Marco Bracci  Italy 1990 1998 3 3
"Dante" Amaral  Brazil 2002 2010 3 3
Ferdinando De Giorgi  Italy 1990 1998 3 3
Andrea Gardini  Italy 1990 1998 3 3
Andrea Giani  Italy 1990 1998 3 3
Gilberto Godoy Filho ("Giba")  Brazil 2002 2010 3 3
Rodrigo Santana ("Rodrigão")  Brazil 2002 2010 3 3
8 Josef Musil  Czechoslovakia 1952 1966 2 3 5
9 Bohumil Golián  Czechoslovakia 1956 1966 2 2 4
Vyacheslav Zaytsev  Soviet Union 1974 1986 2 2 4

Multiple medalists[edit]

The table shows those who have won at least 4 medals in total at the World Championships.

Rank Player Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Josef Musil  Czechoslovakia 1952 1966 2 3 5
2 Bohumil Golián  Czechoslovakia 1956 1966 2 2 4
Vyacheslav Zaytsev  Soviet Union 1974 1986 2 2 4
4 Jaromír Paldus  Czechoslovakia 1949 1960 1 3 4
5 Gheorghe Corbeanu  Romania 1956 1966 2 2 4
Eduard Derzsei  Romania 1956 1966 2 2 4
Horaţiu Nicolau  Romania 1956 1966 2 2 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Competition introduction.
  2. ^ Volleywood. "List of MVP by edition - Women's World Championship". Volleywood.net.

External links[edit]