Poland host Brazil as 2013 World League calendar confirmed
First time winners Poland and world No. 1 and Olympic silver medallists Brazil last met in the World League Finals last year with Poland prevailing in five sets. They also played four times during the Intercontinental Round, with Poland winning on three occasions.
World No. 4 Poland will be looking to keep their place on the podium after taking the 2012 title 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) against USA in the final held at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Other Pool A matches pits 2012 World League runners-up USA against Argentina while 2012 World League and Olympic Games fourth placed team Bulgaria travel to France.
The 2013 World League will actually start with Pool C action from May 31 to June 2 with Canada hosting the Netherlands, Korea taking on Japan and Egypt visiting Finland. Each of the three pools will play over six weekends before the Finals take place from July 16-21.
Pool B, like Pool A, also starts on June 7 and sees Olympic champions Russia welcome Iran while 2012 bronze medallists Cuba will play Serbia and Germany travel to Italy.
This year’s edition of the World League sees the competition increase 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.
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 returns after the 2012 edition experienced change due to the congested pre-Olympic Games calendar.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World League Council confirmed the structure of the 2013 edition at its meeting at the FIVB head office in Lausanne on December 1, 2012. Eight teams will qualify for the World League Finals featuring the top three teams from Pools A and B, plus the winners of Pool C and the host country.
The World League Finals will take place from July 16 to 21.