Action-packed weekend includes FIVB U23 debut, Grand Champions Cup qualifier
On Friday, the quarterfinals begin for the final Asian men’s spot in the FIVB Men’s Grand Champions Cup. Thailand and Japan will battle first, followed by Iran v Libya, Australia v Korea, and China v India. The winning team will join Japan (hosts), Brazil, Russia, USA and the team selected by the FIVB/JVA/NTA in Men’s Grand Champions Cup in November.
Also on Friday, Europe’s second round qualifiers for the 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championships continue. The first, second and third placed teams at the end of the single round robin on Sunday will make it to the third and last stage of the qualification process for the 2014 Men’s World Championship that is scheduled for early January.
Saturday is the big day for the underage women, when the first-ever FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 Championship Open begin in Mexico. The event provides an important opportunity for the young players from the national teams, who are future stars and will potentially be competing with their national teams at the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Turkey and the USA are all participating in the premier women’s event. The tournaments will also serve as a test for two rules: the sets will be played to 21 points instead of the customary 25, and there will be an interval of 15 seconds between the referee’s whistle and the serve.
The underage men will begin their competition on Sunday in Brazil. The Men’s U23 World Championship Open will also test the same rules as the women’s tournament.
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia and Venezuela will be participating in the tournament, which ends Oct. 13.
The FIVB Volleyball U23 World Championships Open for men and women also provides another opportunity for age-group players to participate in an international tournament with the goal of reducing the gap between age-group and senior level volleyball.
Follow all of this weekend’s action on FIVB’s social media channels: