Lausanne, Switzerland, May 15, 2013 – The countdown to the start of the 2013 World League season has begun. In just two weeks, the opening match of the competition will be played in Finland when they host Portugal on Friday, May 31. A total of six pool C matches will take place on the opening weekend of May 31 to June 1, with Canada hosting The Netherlands in Quebec while Japan will visit Asian rivals Korea.
Team preparations have intensified over the past month, especially for Team Canada who are hoping to stamp their mark on this year’s World League season.
The Canadian national team is currently ranked 18th and returned to World League play last season for the first time in five years, automatically qualified for the 2013 finishing 12th overall. Bolstered by their win against French Team Montpellier, Team Canada is set to get some practice before the big event, with a World League tune-up match against Turkey at the squad’s national training centre, in Gatineau on May 15 and 16.
Last season, the Canadians returned to World League play for the first time in five years and automatically qualified for 2013 finishing 12th overall.
“There won’t be many unknowns this season,’’ said Ottawa international volleyball player Adam Simac. ‘’Last year we faced a lot of adversity but also had the joy of winning some big matches. It’ll be down to business for us and it’ll be an honour to again wear the Team Canada jersey.’’
The FIVB Volleyball World League Intercontinental Round runs from May 31 to July 14 with the World League Finals set to take place from July 16 to 21 at Mar del Plata in Argentina.
The World League has increased from 16 to 18 teams split into three pools of six. It is the first time the World League will feature 18 teams, having had 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012. The World League featured eight teams in its inaugural year in 1990, 10 in 1991 and then 12 from 1992-2000 and 2004-05.
Pools A and B were determined using the serpentine system based on the world rankings as of August 13, 2012. Pool C features teams ranked as the next best four in the world rankings after the 12 teams in Pool A and B in addition to wildcards Japan and Portugal. Portugal entered into the World League following Egypt's withdrawal from the competition earlier this year.
The top three world ranked teams in each pool will play three matches at home and two away with the bottom three world ranked teams playing twice at home and three times away. The customary World League format of two teams playing twice over the course of a weekend has returned after the 2012 edition experienced change due to the congested pre-Olympic Games calendar.
A full schedule of the World League 2012 Intercontinental League can be found here
Click here for more information on the World League
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