FIVB Volleyball World League

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FIVB Volleyball World League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League
FIVB WL logo.png
Sport Volleyball
Founded 1990
No. of teams 12 in Group 1
12 in Group 2
12 in Group 3
Continent International (FIVB)
Most recent
champion(s)
 Serbia (1st title)
Most titles  Brazil (9 titles)

The FIVB Volleyball World League is an international men's volleyball competition. Created in 1990, it is the longest and richest of all the international events organized by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The tournament is annual. The women's version of the competition is called FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix. This event should not be confused with the other international volleyball competitions, the World Championship, the World Cup and the World Grand Champions Cup.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

First FIVB World League logo
Second FIVB World League logo

The World League was created in 1990 as part of the intensive marketing programme that would become a distinctive mark of the FIVB's activities near the end of the century. The idea was to promote the sport of volleyball by establishing an annual competition that would appeal to audiences all over the world.

At that point, international competitions involving top volleyball teams (e.g., the Olympic Games, the World Championship) took place only in 4-year cycles, and were usually confined to a host city or nation. By contrast, the World League was designed to be played on a one-year basis, with a system of rotating cities that allowed every team to host a number of matches in the preliminary round. Further restrictions on participation, such as mandatory local broadcasting, ensured massive TV & media coverage.

The FIVB's strategy eventually proved visionary: at the turn of the century, the World League was fully consolidated as a major international volleyball event. Generous rewards in cash - from 1990 to 2004, the total sum spent on prize money jumped from $1 million to $13 million - compensated in the eyes of the national federations for the competition's relative lack of tradition and prestige.

Following the success of the World League, the FIVB launched a sister project in 1993 for women's volleyball, the Grand Prix. It was very effective in East Asia, where this type of event has become tremendously popular, but its results in a worldwide scale still remain timid.

Winners[edit]

In the 1990s, the Italians dominated the World League, winning the first three tournaments in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Playing at home, Brazil, at the time the Olympic champions, managed to take the gold in 1993, but Italy regained the title in 1994 and 1995.

In 1996, foreshadowing what would happen just a couple of months later at the Atlanta Olympic Games, the Netherlands beat them in an extremely tight five-set match, before Italy once again won the gold in 1997. In 1998, the winners were Cuba, while in 1999 and 2000 Italy won again.

As can be seen, Italy were clearly the dominant team in the first decade of the World League: from 1990 to 2000, the World League was played 11 times, and Italy took gold eight times, while the remaining three titles were won by three different teams.

Italy's supremacy in the World League began to wane in 2001, when Brazil won a second gold medal, beating the Italians in three straight sets. With further titles each year from 2003 to 2007, and winning another titles in 2009 and 2010, the Brazilians were the preeminent at the start of the 21st century, being also World and Olympic Champions. The interruptions to Brazil's dominance came in 2002, when Russia took the title, and in 2008, with the United States winning gold and gaining positive momentum going into the Beijing Olympics.

Competition formula[edit]

The FIVB is constantly adapting the World League's competition formula to improve competitiveness and to make the games more attractive to the audience. Nevertheless, a few basic rules and restrictions will probably remain unchanged in the following years.

  • Teams who participate must provide local media coverage and live TV broadcasting.
  • The competition is divided in at least two phases: a preliminary round (usually called "Intercontinental Round"), with a system of rotating host cities; and one or more final rounds, with one or more host nations.
  • In the preliminary round, teams are organized in pools. Each team plays a total of four matches against all other teams in its pool, two at home, two as visitors. Each pair of matches is played over a weekend.
  • When all the matches of the preliminary round have been played, the top n teams in each pool qualify for the final 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.
  • Host nation(s) automatically qualify for the final round(s).
  • The FIVB has tried various formats for the final round(s): Top Six, Top Four, Quarter-Semi-finals (Olympic format). For some years now (2004), the most commonly used is a mixed format: quarterfinalists are organized in two pools, and the top two teams in each pool play semifinals and finals according to the Olympic format.
  • In the preliminary round, a team is usually given the right to work with a list of nineteen players, from which the coach builds the fourteen-player line-up included two liberos (if the team include only one libero in the roster, their max roster number is limited to 12) that will be employed in a particular weekend. For the final round(s), only fourteen players included two liberos are allowed.

Hosts[edit]

List of hosts by number of final round championships hosted.

Times hosted Host Year(s)
6  Italy 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2004, 2014
5  Brazil 1993, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2015
4  Poland 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016
3  Argentina 1999, 2010, 2013
2  Netherlands 1996, 2000
2  Russia 1997, 2006
2  Serbia 2005, 2009
1  Japan 1990
1  Spain 2003
1  Bulgaria 2012

Appearance[edit]

Brazil and Italy are the only teams that participated in all editions of the World League.

  Team is currently allocated in Group 1
  Team is currently allocated in Group 2
  Team is currently allocated in Group 3
  Team is currently inactive in the World League
National team Intercontinental Round Final Round[N 1]
App. First Last App. First Last
 Brazil 28 1990 2017 24 1990 2016
 Italy 28 1990 2017 22 1990 2016
 Cuba 26 1991 2016 15 1991 2012
 Russia[N 2] 26 1990 2017 21 1990 2014
 Japan 24 1990 2017 1 2008 2008
 France 22 1990 2017 6 2001 2016
 Netherlands 21 1990 2017 10 1990 2002
 Bulgaria 20 1994 2017 10 1994 2013
 Poland 20 1998 2017 9 2001 2016
 Serbia[N 3] 20 1997 2017 12 2000 2016
 United States 20 1990 2017 10 1992 2016
 Argentina 19 1996 2017 5 1999 2013
 South Korea 19 1991 2017 1 1995 1995
 China 18 1990 2017 1 1996 1996
 Spain 15 1995 2017 3 1999 2003
 Portugal 14 1999 2017
 Finland 13 1993 2017
 Germany 13 1992 2017 1 2012 2012
 Greece 13 1993 2017 1 2003 2003
 Canada 11 1991 2017 1 2013 2013
 Venezuela 9 2001 2017
 Egypt 7 2006 2017
 Australia 5 1999 2017 1 2014 2014
 Czech Republic 5 2003 2017 1 2003 2003
 Iran 5 2013 2017 1 2014 2014
 Belgium 4 2014 2017
 Mexico 4 2014 2017
 Puerto Rico 4 2011 2016
 Slovakia 4 2014 2017
 Tunisia 4 2014 2017
 Turkey 4 2014 2017
 Kazakhstan 3 2015 2017
 Montenegro 3 2015 2017
 Chinese Taipei 2 2016 2017
 Qatar 2 2016 2017
 Slovenia 2 2016 2017
 Austria 1 2017 2017
 Estonia 1 2017 2017
Table current through the 2017 edition.

Results[edit]

Year Final host Final 3rd place match Teams
IR / FR
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1990 Japan
Osaka

Italy
3–0
Netherlands

Brazil
3–1
Soviet Union
8 / 4
1991 Italy
Milan

Italy
3–0
Cuba

Soviet Union
3–1
Netherlands
10 / 4
1992 Italy
Genoa

Italy
3–1
Cuba

United States
3–1
Netherlands
12 / 4
1993 Brazil
São Paulo

Brazil
3–0
Russia

Italy
3–0
Cuba
12 / 4
1994 Italy
Milan

Italy
3–0
Cuba

Brazil
3–2
Bulgaria
12 / 6
1995 Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Italy
3–1
Brazil

Cuba
3–2
Russia
12 / 6
1996 Netherlands
Rotterdam

Netherlands
3–2
Italy

Russia
3–2
Cuba
11 / 6
1997 Russia
Moscow

Italy
3–0
Cuba

Russia
3–0
Netherlands
12 / 6
1998 Italy
Milan

Cuba
Round-robin
Russia

Netherlands
Round-robin
Italy
12 / 4
1999 Argentina
Mar del Plata

Italy
3–1
Cuba

Brazil
3–1
Russia
12 / 6
2000 Netherlands
Rotterdam

Italy
3–2
Russia

Brazil
3–0
Yugoslavia
12 / 6
2001 Poland
Katowice

Brazil
3–0
Italy

Russia
3–0
Yugoslavia
16 / 8
2002 Brazil
Belo Horizonte

Russia
3–1
Brazil

Yugoslavia
3–1
Italy
16 / 8
2003 Spain
Madrid

Brazil
3–2
Serbia and Montenegro

Italy
3–1
Czech Republic
16 / 8
2004 Italy
Rome

Brazil
3–1
Italy

Serbia and Montenegro
3–0
Bulgaria
12 / 4
2005 Serbia and Montenegro
Belgrade

Brazil
3–1
Serbia and Montenegro

Cuba
3–2
Poland
12 / 4
2006 Russia
Moscow

Brazil
3–2
France

Russia
3–0
Bulgaria
16 / 6
2007 Poland
Katowice

Brazil
3–1
Russia

United States
3–1
Poland
16 / 6
2008 Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

United States
3–1
Serbia

Russia
3–1
Brazil
16 / 6
2009 Serbia
Belgrade

Brazil
3–2
Serbia

Russia
3–0
Cuba
16 / 6
2010 Argentina
Córdoba

Brazil
3–1
Russia

Serbia
3–2
Cuba
16 / 6
2011 Poland
Gdańsk

Russia
3–2
Brazil

Poland
3–0
Argentina
16 / 8
2012 Bulgaria
Sofia

Poland
3–0
United States

Cuba
3–2
Bulgaria
16 / 6
2013 Argentina
Mar del Plata

Russia
3–0
Brazil

Italy
3–2
Bulgaria
18 / 6
2014 Italy
Florence

United States
3–1
Brazil

Italy
3–0
Iran
28 / 6
2015 Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

France
3–0
Serbia

United States
3–0
Poland
32 / 6
2016 Poland
Kraków

Serbia
3–0
Brazil

France
3–0
Italy
36 / 6
2017 36 / 6

Medal summary[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Brazil 9 6 4 19
2  Italy 8 3 4 15
3  Russia[N 4] 3 5 7 15
4  United States 2 1 3 6
5  Cuba 1 5 3 9
 Serbia[N 5] 1 5 3 9
7  France 1 1 1 3
 Netherlands 1 1 1 3
9  Poland 1 0 1 2
Total 27 27 27 81

MVP by edition[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Since Group system was introduced in 2014, statistics of only Group 1 Final Round are included, as this is the medal round.
  2. ^ Russia's total includes appearances as  Soviet Union and  CIS.
  3. ^ Serbia's total includes appearances as Federal Republic of Yugoslavia FR Yugoslavia and  Serbia and Montenegro.
  4. ^ FIVB considers Russia (Since 1993) as the inheritor of the records of  Soviet Union (1948–1991) and  CIS (1992).
  5. ^ FIVB considers Serbia (Since 2007) as the inheritor of the records of  Yugoslavia (1948–1991), Federal Republic of Yugoslavia FR Yugoslavia (1992–2002) and  Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006).

References[edit]

External links[edit]