World Grand Prix 2014 Finals host cities unveiled
Ariake Colllesium was a sell out when Japan hosted Korea in the FIVB World Grand Prix 2011 Preliminary Round|
Lausanne, Switzerland, March 7, 2014 – The host cities of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals have been confirmed with Tokyo, Japan hosting Group 1, Kozalin, Poland staging Group 2 and the Group 3 Finals being held in Samokov, Bulgaria.
The FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014, which will be staged from July 25 to August 24, will feature 28 teams for the first time in its history, split into three groups, which will culminate in their own Finals. Groups 2 (Pools J to O) and 3 (Pools P to S) will start their Preliminary Round action on July 25 followed by Group 1 (Pools A to I) on August 1. After three weekends of Preliminary Round action, the Groups will enter Finals mode with Group 2 taking place in the Kaozalin Sports Hall from August 15 and 16, Group 3 being staged in Arena Somokov from August 15 to 17 and Group 1 taking place from August 20 to 24 in the 10,000 capacity Ariake Collesium, which has hosted World Grand Prix and World League matches over the last seven years.
Following in the footsteps of the FIVB Volleyball World League, the number of countries competing in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix has increased from 18 in 2013 to 28 in 2014.
The 28 teams have been split into three groups based on world ranking (with the exceptions of Belgium and Cuba, who had qualified via continental qualification tournaments, and Australia who participate as part of the Oceania development program). A Drawing of Lots was conducted on December 2, allocating teams into the respective pools (by group) based on a predetermined formula.
Group 1 (Pools A to I) features 12 teams including defending champions, London 2012 Olympic winners and world No. 1 Brazil, USA, Japan, China, Russia, Italy, Serbia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Korea, Turkey and Thailand.
Group 2 (Pools J to O) includes eight teams - Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, Cuba and Belgium.
Group 3 (Pools P to S) also includes eight teams - Kenya, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Bulgaria and Australia.
The Group 1 Finals will feature six teams – the four best in the Preliminary Round ranking, the Finals host Japan and the winner of the Final Four from Group 2.
The Group 2 Final Four will consist of the three best from the Preliminary Round ranking and the host of the Final Four Poland. The last ranked team after the Preliminary Round from Group 1 could be relegated if the winner of Group 2 can meet the promotion requirements set by the FIVB.
Group 3 will feature two weeks of Preliminary Round action before four teams will participate in the Final Four, which will include the three best from the Preliminary Round ranking and the hosts Bulgaria.
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 Group 1 Pools
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 Group 2 Pools
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014 Group 3 Pools