FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix

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FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
FIVB WGP logo.png
Sport Volleyball
Founded 1993
No. of teams 12 in Group 1
12 in Group 2
8 in Group 3
Continent International (FIVB)
Most recent
champion(s)
 Brazil (11th title)
Most titles  Brazil (11 titles)

The FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix is a women's volleyball competition. Created in 1993, the tournament is annual. The men's version of the competition is called World League. 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]

Old FIVB World Grand Prix logo

World Grand Prix was created in 1993 as part of the FIVB's marketing strategy to promote the sport of volleyball by establishing annual international competitions. It was modelled after the World League, a successful event for men that had been introduced three years before.

The Grand Prix made women's volleyball very popular in East Asia. As of 2004, the competition is maintained mainly with the support of Asian investors. The early competitions and the finals were usually held in East Asia, because the volleyball market in East Asia is large and has a large audience (such as Hong Kong). Later, some competitions were held in Europe and the United States, for example, the 2003 finals was held for the first time in Italy, and 2015 finals was held in the United States.

The budget for prize money has been growing steadily since 1993, but at a rather slow pace. The figures have reached $1.295 million in 2004 - meager when compared to the World League's $13 million.

Although the status of the the Grand Prix is less than the other three international competitions, the prize money and popularity is far better. Because it is purely commercial competition, so the winner of the Grand Prix championship is generally not considered a world champion. But the Grand Prix has created stars for female volleyball players, and thus contributed to the promotion of the sport of female volleyball in the world.

The predominance of Asian sponsors determined the first major break with the World League's formula. Most of the cities that host preliminary round matches are located in Asia. A host country may or may not have a national volleyball team involved in the competition. A second break was introduced in recent years: in some continents, teams must qualify to participate in the competition.

Winners[edit]

The history of Grand Prix's previous winners is a clear indication of how women's volleyball has been dominated, since the early 1990s, by four teams: Cuba, Brazil, Russia and China. Along with five-times winner USA, they are the only ones to hold a title at this competition as of 2005.

In 1993, the Cubans padded their already impressive record of a gold medal in the 1992 Olympic Games by winning the first edition of the Grand Prix. They were also running for the gold in 1994, but were defeated by an underranked Brazil: at that time, the Brazilians had never been able to catch a single medal in any major women's volleyball competition.

In the following years, Brazil proved beyond any doubt that their time as underdogs was over. It lost the finals in 1995 to USA, but came back in 1996 for a second Grand Prix title, winning all the matches that made up the Final Four round in five sets.

The Brazilians withdrew from the competition in 1997, and the winners were Russia. But they were back in 1998 for another gold. Russia took revenge in 1999, and defeated Brazil in straight sets to win their second Grand Prix title.

Russia's win in 2002 made them, like Brazil, three-time winners. But the South Americans untied the score by conquering the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and, afterwards, also 2013, 2014 and 2016 editions of the tournament. The winners in 2000, 2001 and 2003 were Cuba, USA and China, respectively. Netherlands won their first trophy in 2007. USA won four gold medals in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

Competition formula[edit]

The Grand Prix's competition formula has proved less stable than the World League's. In the following years, major changes are likely to be introduced in an attempt to make women's volleyball more attractive to the audience. Some of the rules that are still in practice as of 2004 are:

  • The Grand Prix has qualification procedures. They are not the same in every continent: teams may have to play a specific qualification tournament, or may qualify based on the FIVB World Rankings.
  • The competition is divided in at least two phases: a preliminary round, with a system of rotating host cities; and one or more final rounds, with one or more host nations.
  • The preliminary round is divided in weeks. Each week, the participating teams are organized in pools, and each team plays one match against all other teams in its pool.
  • All games in a pool take place over a weekend in the same city. The cities are mostly located in Asia. Pools may be hosted in countries which are not actually involved in the competition.
  • When all matches of the preliminary round have been played, the top n teams (overall standings) 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, but it is usually five or six.
  • If involved in the competition, host nation(s) automatically qualify for the final round(s).
  • The 2013 Gran Prix has seen a record number of 20 teams taking part in the competition. The first 5 plus organisers Japan qualify to the finals.[1]
  • The FIVB has tried different formats for the final round(s). Originally, it was a round-robin "Top Four" system in which four teams played against each other and the winner was determined by number of wins, set average, point average, direct confrontation. For some years now (2004), the most commonly used is a mixed format: quarter-finalists are organized in two pools, and the top two teams in each pool play semi-finals and finals according to the Olympic format.
  • In the preliminary round, a team is usually given the right to work with a list of eighteen players, from which the coach builds the twelve-player line-up that will be employed in a particular weekend. For the final round(s), only twelve players are allowed.

Hosts[edit]

List of hosts by number of final round championships hosted.

Times hosted Host Year(s)
8  China 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017
6  Japan 1997, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014
3  Hong Kong 1993, 1998, 2002
3  Italy 2003, 2004, 2006
2  Macau 2001, 2011
1  Philippines 2000
1  Thailand 2016
1  United States 2015

Appearance[edit]

China and Japan are the only teams that participated in all editions of the World Grand Prix.

  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 Grand Prix
National team Intercontinental Round Final Round[N 1]
App. First Last App. First Last
 China 25 1993 2017 24 1993 2017
 Japan 25 1993 2017 13 1993 2015
 Brazil 24 1993 2017 23 1993 2017
 United States 24 1993 2017 12 1995 2017
 Cuba 22 1993 2016 13 1993 2012
 Russia 21 1993 2017 16 1993 2016
 Italy 19 1994 2017 12 1999 2017
 Germany 18 1993 2017 4 2001 2009
 South Korea 18 1993 2017 4 1993 2003
 Thailand 15 2002 2017 3 2011 2016
 Dominican Republic 14 2004 2017
 Netherlands 14 1994 2017 6 2003 2017
 Poland 14 2004 2017 2 2007 2010
 Kazakhstan 8 2007 2017
 Puerto Rico 8 2009 2017
 Argentina 7 2011 2017
 Serbia 7 2011 2017 3 2011 2017
 Turkey 7 2008 2017 2 2012 2014
 Peru 6 1994 2017
 Algeria 5 2013 2017
 Bulgaria 5 2013 2017
 Canada 5 2003 2017
 Czech Republic 5 2013 2017
 Australia 4 2014 2017
 Belgium 4 2014 2017 1 2014 2014
 Chinese Taipei 4 1994 2012
 Croatia 4 2014 2017
 Mexico 4 2014 2017
 Colombia 3 2015 2017
 Kenya 3 2014 2016
 Azerbaijan 1 2006 2006
 Cameroon 1 2017 2017
 France 1 2017 2017
 Hungary 1 2017 2017
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 2017 2017
 Venezuela 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
1993 Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Cuba
3–0
China

Russia
3–1
Brazil
8 / 6
1994 China
Shanghai

Brazil
Round-robin
Cuba

China
Round-robin
Japan
12 / 4
1995 China
Shanghai

United States
Round-robin
Brazil

Cuba
Round-robin
China
8 / 4
1996 China
Shanghai

Brazil
Round-robin
Cuba

Russia
Round-robin
China
8 / 4
1997 Japan
Kobe

Russia
Round-robin
Cuba

South Korea
Round-robin
Japan
8 / 4
1998 Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Brazil
3–0
Russia

Cuba
3–1
China
8 / 4
1999 China
Yuxi

Russia
3–0
Brazil

China
3–1
Italy
8 / 4
2000 Philippines
Quezon City

Cuba
3–1
Russia

Brazil
3–1
China
8 / 4
2001 Macau
Macau

United States
3–1
China

Russia
3–0
Cuba
8 / 8
2002 Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Russia
3–1
China

Germany
3–1
Brazil
8 / 4
2003 Italy
Andria

China
Round-robin
Russia

United States
Round-robin
Netherlands
12 / 6
2004 Italy
Reggio Calabria

Brazil
3–1
Italy

United States
3–0
Cuba
12 / 6
2005 Japan
Sendai

Brazil
Round-robin
Italy

China
Round-robin
Cuba
12 / 6
2006 Italy
Reggio Calabria

Brazil
3–1
Russia

Italy
3–2
Cuba
12 / 6
2007 China
Ningbo

Netherlands
Round-robin
China

Italy
Round-robin
Russia
12 / 6
2008 Japan
Yokohama

Brazil
Round-robin
Cuba

Italy
Round-robin
United States
12 / 6
2009 Japan
Tokyo

Brazil
Round-robin
Russia

Germany
Round-robin
Netherlands
12 / 6
2010 China
Ningbo

United States
Round-robin
Brazil

Italy
Round-robin
China
12 / 6
2011 Macau
Macau

United States
3–0
Brazil

Serbia
3–0
Russia
16 / 8
2012 China
Ningbo

United States
Round-robin
Brazil

Turkey
Round-robin
Thailand
16 / 6
2013 Japan
Sapporo

Brazil
Round-robin
China

Serbia
Round-robin
Japan
20 / 6
2014 Japan
Tokyo

Brazil
Round-robin
Japan

Russia
Round-robin
Turkey
28 / 6
2015 United States
Omaha

United States
Round-robin
Russia

Brazil
Round-robin
China
28 / 6
2016 Thailand
Bangkok

Brazil
3–2
United States

Netherlands
3–2
Russia
28 / 6
2017 China
Nanjing
32 / 6

Medal summary[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Brazil 11 5 2 18
2  United States 6 1 2 9
3  Russia 3 6 4 13
4  Cuba 2 4 2 8
5  China 1 5 3 9
6  Netherlands 1 0 1 2
7  Italy 0 2 4 6
8  Japan 0 1 0 1
9  Germany 0 0 2 2
 Serbia 0 0 2 2
11  Turkey 0 0 1 1
 South Korea 0 0 1 1
Total 24 24 24 72

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.

References[edit]

External links[edit]