PRESS RELEASE 02.10.2003


World Cup groups announced

October 02, 2003 - The groups for the 2003 Women's and Men's World Cups have been announced inline with specific competition regulations ahead of the drawing of the match schedule, which takes place in Tokyo on Friday.

The 12 teams in the men's and women's competitions have been split to play in two groups in a round-robin format before an exchange midway through the competition allows each team to play each other.

In the women's competition, which runs from November 1-15, USA, hosts Japan, Italy, Korea, Argentina and Egypt will start in Pool A while China, Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Poland and Turkey will play in Pool B.

The World Cup match schedule, of which will be revealed on Friday at the Drawing of Lots in Tokyo (11:00 local time), includes four rounds over 11 days (one game per team per day) with round 1 (three days) of the women's competition taking place in Tokyo for Pool A and Kagoshima for Pool B.

Pool A moves to Nagoya for Round 2 (two days), while Pool B heads to Sendai. Round 3 (three days) sees Sapparo host Pool A while Pool B takes in Toyama. The final round (three days), which completes the round-robin series sees both Pools play in Osaka.

Points are accumulated during the whole tournament, and the final ranking is determined by the total points gained where a win equals 2 points and a loss returns 1.

In the men's competition Brazil, Italy, France, Venezuela, Korea and Tunisia start in Pool A while Serbia and Montenegro, Japan, USA, China, Canada and Egypt are in Pool B.

The men's tournament takes place in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagano, Hamamatsu, Fukuoka, Okayama and Tokyo during its four rounds of which the match schedule will also be confirmed on Friday in Tokyo.