FIVB Sets Pools in Expanded 2013 World Grand Prix

By Bill Kauffman | Dec. 02, 2012, 7:54 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 2, 2012) – The FIVB announced Sunday during the World Grand Prix Council Meeting that it will expand the FIVB World Grand Prix from 16 teams to a record 20 teams starting in 2013. The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team has captured the last three titles of the annual premier international volleyball tournament.

The 2013 event, which runs Aug. 2 to Sept. 1, will consist of three preliminary round weekends with five groups of four teams each. During the opening weekend, the U.S. will face two-time reigning Olympic Games champion Brazil, reigning FIVB World Champion Russia and Poland in Group A held Aug. 2-4. Team USA resumes action Aug. 9-11 in Group F against Serbia, Netherlands and a team to be determined from South Africa. The Americans conclude the preliminary round Aug. 16-18 in Group M against Czech Republic, Japan and Bulgaria.

The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round will return to Japan for the first time since 2009 and take place in Sapporo from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1. Host Japan and the top five finishers in the preliminary round will advance to the six-team FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round. Japan has hosted the World Grand Prix Final Round four times in the past with Sapporo being a fifth host city after Tokyo in 2009, Yokohama in 2008, Sendai in 2005 and Kobe in 1997.

Teams qualify for the FIVB World Grand Prix either through continental or tournament berths, FIVB appointments or automatic qualifications. The U.S., Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico were the top four NORCECA finishers in the 2012 Pan American Cup, while Brazil and Argentina qualified for South America from the Pan American Cup. Czech Republic, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and Serbia qualified from the European League, while Thailand and Kazakhstan advanced to the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix from the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup.

Japan, China and Poland all qualified automatically for the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix. FIVB appointments to the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix include 2011 FIVB World Cup champion Italy, Russia as the reigning FIVB World Championship winner, 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix bronze medalist Turkey and Germany. One spot into the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix remains to be decided from the African Confederation.

A detailed schedule with host cities for each preliminary round group will be announced in the near future, according to a FIVB press release.

The World Grand Prix featured eight teams in its debut season of 1993 and from 1995 to 2002, while 12 teams were in action in 1994 and from 2003 to 2010. Sixteen teams have been involved in the 2011 and 2012 editions.

FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Weekends

Aug. 2-4
Group A: USA (WR1), Brazil (WR2), Russia (WR6), Poland (WR15)
Group B: Dominican Republic (WR8), Serbia (WR9), Puerto Rico (WR19), Czech Republic (WR15)
Group C: Japan (WR3), Thailand (WR12), Turkey (WR7), Africa TBA
Group D: China (WR5), Cuba (WR13), The Netherlands (WR22), Bulgaria (WR44)
Group E: Italy (WR4), Germany (WR10), Argentina (WR18), Kazakhstan (WR32)

Aug. 9-11
Group F: USA (WR1), Serbia (WR9), The Netherlands (WR22), Africa TBA
Group G: Brazil (WR2), Dominican Republic (WR8), Puerto Rico (WR19), Bulgaria (WR44)
Group H: Japan (WR3), Germany (WR10), Poland (WR15), Kazakhstan (WR32)
Group I: China (WR5), Turkey (WR7), Argentina (WR18), Czech Republic (WR15)
Group J: Russia (WR6), Italy (WR4), Thailand (WR12), Cuba (WR13)

Aug. 16-18
Group K: Brazil (WR2), Cuba (WR13), The Netherlands (WR22), Kazakhstan (WR32)
Group L: Russia (WR6), Thailand (WR12), Germany (WR10), Puerto Rico (WR19)
Group M: USA (WR1), Czech Republic (WR15), Japan (WR3), Bulgaria (WR44)
Group N: China (WR5), Serbia (WR9), Poland (WR15), Argentina (WR18)
Group O: Italy (WR4), Turkey (WR7), Dominican Republic (WR8), Africa TBA

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round
Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 – Sapporo, Japan