B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 19, 2010) – The FIVB has announced the pools for the 2011 World League men’s volleyball competition and has also announced a new format for the final round.
The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, ranked third in the world by the FIVB, will be joined in Pool A by No. 1 Brazil, No. 9 Poland and No. 16 Puerto Rico.
The 2011 World League is scheduled to begin on May 27 and will continue for six weekends until July 1. The final round will be July 6-10 in Gdansk, Poland.
The World League Intercontinental Round features 16 teams split into four pools playing two matches a week (each team plays the other teams in the pool one weekend at home and one weekend away), with the top two in each group qualifying for the Final Round.
Poland, the Final Round host, is guaranteed a place in the Final Round, meaning that if it finishes lower than second in its group, only the three best second-placed teams will advance.
In the past, only six teams have advanced to the Final Round.
"Such is the increased competition in the FIVB World League it is necessary to expand the World League showcase – the Final Round," FIVB World League council president Francesco Franchi said. "The Final Round is the culmination of six weekends of Intercontinental Round action and now with eight teams participating, it provides the exceptional finale to what is an exceptional tournament."
Host cities for the 2011 U.S. World League weekends have yet to be determined.
Puerto Rico will be competing in World League for the first time in 2011 after winning a qualification tournament this summer. The U.S. Men shared last shared a World League pool with Poland in 2006.
Brazil is the defending World League champion and has won World League every year since 2003, except for 2008 when the U.S. Men secured their first World League victory. Brazil has won World League nine times since the tournament was started in 1990.
2011 World League Intercontinental Round Pools
Pool A – Brazil, Poland, USA and Puerto Rico
Pool B – Russia, Bulgaria, Germany and Japan
Pool C – Serbia, Argentina, Finland and Egypt
Pool D – Cuba, Italy, France and Korea