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FIVB Volleyball World Championship

FIVB Volleyball World Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
31px 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship
Sport Volleyball
Founded 1949
CEO 23x15px Ary Graça
Inaugural season 1949
No. of teams 24 (Finals)
Continent International (FIVB)
Most recent champion(s) M: 23x15px Poland (2nd title)
W: 23x15px United States (1st title)
Most titles M: 23x15px Russia (6 titles)
W: 23x15px Russia (7 titles)
Official website FIVB Volleyball World Championships

The FIVB Volleyball World Championship is an international men's and women's indoor volleyball competition. It is the oldest and most important of all the international events organised by the FIVB and must not be confused with the World Cup, World Grand Champions Cup, or the World League/World Grand Prix.

History

Origins

The history of the World Championship goes back to the beginnings of volleyball as a professional, high level sport. One of the first concrete measures taken by the FIVB after its foundation in 1947 was the establishment of an international competition involving teams from more than one continent. In 1949, the first edition was played in Prague, Czechoslovakia. At that point, the tournament was men's only and still restricted to Europe.

Three years later, a women's version was introduced; the events were synchronized and expanded to include nations from Asia, and began to be held in 4-year cycles. By the following edition, there were also teams from South, Central and North America.

Since volleyball was to be added to the Olympic Program in 1964, the 4-cycles were advanced in 2 years after the fourth edition (1960), so that the World Championship may alternate with the Summer Olympics. As of 1970, teams from Africa also took part in the competition, and the original goal of having members from all five continental confederations in the games was achieved.

The number of teams involved in the games has changed significantly over the years. Following volleyball's increase in popularity, they raised steadily to over 20 in the 1970s and part of the 1980s, were then cut short to 16 in the 1990s, and finally set up in 24 after 2002. Today, the World Championship is the most comprehensive of all events organized by the FIVB, and arguably the second most important, surpassed in prestige only by the Olympic Games.

Until 1974, the host nation of the tournament organized both the men's and the women's events, with the single exception of the 1966/1967 games, which took place in different years. Since 1978, this practice has been only occasionally observed, for instance, in 1998 and in the 2006 edition, which was held, as the former was, in Japan.

Winners (men)

The history of the World Championship clearly demonstrates how volleyball was originally dominated by European nations.

The first two editions were won by the Soviet Union. In 1956, twice runner-up Czechoslovakia took the gold. There followed two more consecutive wins for the Soviet Union, in both cases over Czechoslovakia. The United States men's national volleyball team, led by captain Eugene Selznick, won the 1960 and 1966 Volleyball World Championships.[1][2] The Czechs won a gold medal in the 1966 edition.

In 1970, East Germany prevailed over Bulgaria for their first and only title. In 1974, the Soviet Union threatened to take the lead once more, but ended up being defeated by Poland at the final. Nevertheless, they would confirm their leadership by winning, for the third time, two editions in a row.

1986 saw the first relevant confrontation between United States, the rising major force of the decade, and the traditional leader Soviet Union after the Olympic boycotts of 1980 and 1984. As would be the case two years later at the Seoul Games, the issue was settled in favour of the Americans led by Karch Kiraly and Steve Timmons. Italy completely dominated the competition in the 1990s, winning all the editions that took place in this decade (1990, 1994, 1998), led by such players as Lorenzo Bernardi and Andrea Giani.

In the 2000s, Brazil became the leading force in the sport, winning three consecutive editions (2002, 2006 and 2010), the first of which in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the same stage where the Brazilians had been runner-ups in 1982. In 2014, Poland, playing in home, defeated Brazil in 4 sets at the final achieving their second gold medal and preventing what would be a historical fourth title in a row.

As of 2014, 18 editions of the men's Volleyball World Championship have been played: 14 went to European teams, and four to American teams (once to United States and three times to Brazil).

Winners (women)

If the titles of the women's World Championship are evenly distributed between Europe and Asia, the situation is quite different when nations are taken into account. Except for Italy's single—and for many, unexpected—victory in 2002, the only winners so far have been the Russia (5 times as Soviet Union), Japan, China and Cuba.

The Soviets made a most impressive start by winning the first three editions of the tournament: 1952, 1956, 1960. They were halfway to making it four, since the following edition was to be played in Moscow. Former runners-up Japan, nevertheless, was the champions in 1962 and interrupted the winning streak, repeating the performance in 1967, when the Soviet Union national team did not participate.

The teams faced each other again in 1970, and this time the Soviet Union beat their opponents to collect the gold. In the following edition, Japan took revenge and defeated the Soviet Union in straight sets. Then something extraordinary happened: the world watched astonished as a young Cuban squad left behind the two longtime rivals and secured the first important volleyball title for a continent other than Europe or Asia.

The early 1980s saw the rise of a new Asian force: led by superstar Lang Ping, China stamped its mark on the World Championship's history by winning two editions in a row (1982 and 1986). They also made it to the finals in 1990, but were overpowered by the Soviet Union in its last participation at the competition.

Cuba's 1978 title finally fructified in an aggressive style of play that virtually dominated the 1990s. Led by powerplayers Regla Torres, Mireya Luis and Regla Bell, the Caribbeans won the 1994 and 1998 editions of the World Championship, beating newbies as well as tradition rivals such as Russia and China.

In spite of being appointed as favourite in 2002, China lost at the semifinals to a rising Italy, which would eventually win the final against United States

In 2006, favourite Brazil couldn't stop Russia and lost the gold medal match in a shocking final tie-breaker.

In 2010, Russia once again defeated Brazil in a 5th-set tie-breaker.

Competition formula

The competition formula of the FIVB World Championship has been constantly changed to fit the different number of teams that participate in each edition. The following rules usually apply:

  • Twenty-four teams participate in each event.
  • Qualification procedures for the World Championship are long and strenuous, lasting over two years.
  • Host nations are always pre-qualified.
  • The number of spots available per confederation is determined by the FIVB: Europe has usually the highest, and Africa or South America the lowest.
  • To participate in the event, a team must survive a number of qualification tournaments depending on its position in the FIVB World Rankings. Low-ranked teams may have to engage in up to three tournaments to be granted a berth; high-ranked teams typically play only one.
  • The competition is divided in at least two phases: a preliminary round and a final round. Depending on the number of participating teams, one or more intermediary rounds may also be required.
  • In the preliminary round, teams are organized in pools. Each team plays one match against all other teams in its pool.
  • When all the matches of the preliminary round have been played, the top n teams in each pool qualify for the following round(s), and the remaining ones leave the competition. The value of n depends on the number of participating teams and the format that will be employed in the finals.
  • The FIVB has tried various different formats for the final round(s). For some years now (2004), there seems to be a consensus that at least semifinals and finals must be played according to the Olympic format.
  • Quarterfinals may consist of groups of teams playing against each other, or of direct confrontation; in the latter case additional intermediary rounds might be required to reduce the number of surviving teams to eight.
  • The tournament implements very tight line-up restrictions: only twelve players are allowed, and no replacement is permitted, even in case of injuries.

Results

Men

Year Host
(Final)
Final 3rd place match Number of teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1949
Details
23x15px Czechoslovakia
(Prague)
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
30x27px
Bulgaria
Round-robin 30x27px
Romania
10
1952
Details
23x15px Soviet Union
(Moscow)
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
30x27px
Bulgaria
Round-robin 30x27px
Romania
11
1956
Details
23x15px France
(Paris)
30x27px
Czechoslovakia
Round-robin 30x27px
Romania
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Poland
20
1960
Details
23x15px Brazil
(Rio de Janeiro)
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
30x27px
Romania
Round-robin 30x27px
Poland
14
1962
Details
23x15px Soviet Union
(Moscow)
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
30x27px
Romania
Round-robin 30x27px
Bulgaria
21
1966
Details
23x15px Czechoslovakia
(Prague)
30x27px
Czechoslovakia
Round-robin 30x27px
Romania
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
East Germany
22
1970
Details
23x15px Bulgaria
(Sofia)
30x27px
East Germany
Round-robin 30x27px
Bulgaria
Template:Country data JPN Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
24
1974
Details
23x15px Mexico
(Mexico City)
30x27px
Poland
Round-robin 30x27px
Soviet Union
Template:Country data JPN Round-robin 30x27px
East Germany
24
1978
Details
23x15px Italy
(Rome)
30x27px
Soviet Union
3–0 30x27px
Italy
30x27px
Cuba
3–1 Template:Country data KOR 24
1982
Details
23x15px Argentina
(Buenos Aires)
30x27px
Soviet Union
3–0 30x27px
Brazil
30x27px
Argentina
3–0 Template:Country data JPN 24
1986
Details
23x15px France
(Paris)
30x27px
United States
3–1 30x27px
Soviet Union
30x27px
Bulgaria
3–0 30x27px
Brazil
16
1990
Details
23x15px Brazil
(Rio de Janeiro)
30x27px
Italy
3–1 30x27px
Cuba
30x27px
Soviet Union
3–0 30x27px
Brazil
16
1994
Details
23x15px Greece
(Piraeus)
30x27px
Italy
3–1 30x27px
Netherlands
30x27px
United States
3–1 30x27px
Cuba
16
1998
Details
Template:Country data JPN
(Tokyo)
30x27px
Italy
3–0 30x27px
Yugoslavia
30x27px
Cuba
3–1 30x27px
Brazil
24
2002
Details
23x15px Argentina
(Buenos Aires)
30x27px
Brazil
3–2 30x27px
Russia
30x27px
France
3–0 30x27px
Yugoslavia
24
2006
Details
Template:Country data JPN
(Tokyo)
30x27px
Brazil
3–0 30x27px
Poland
30x27px
Bulgaria
3–1 30x27px
Serbia and Montenegro
24
2010
Details
23x15px Italy
(Rome)
30x27px
Brazil
3–0 30x27px
Cuba
30x27px
Serbia
3–1 30x27px
Italy
24
2014
Details
23x15px Poland
(Katowice)
30x27px
Poland
3–1 30x27px
Brazil
30x27px
Germany
3–0 30x27px
France
24
2018
Details
TBA TBA

Men's hosts

Hosts Nations (Year(s))
2 23x15px Soviet Union (1952, 1962)
23x15px Czechoslovakia (1949, 1966)
23x15px France (1956, 1986)
23x15px Brazil (1960, 1990)
23x15px Argentina (1982, 2002)
Template:Country data Japan (1998, 2006)
23x15px Italy (1978, 2010)
1 23x15px Bulgaria (1970)
23x15px Mexico (1974)
23x15px Greece (1994)
23x15px Poland (2014)

Women

Year Host Final 3rd place match Number of teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1952
Details
23x15px
Soviet Union
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Poland
30x27px
Czechoslovakia
Round-robin 30x27px
Bulgaria
8
1956
Details
23x15px
France
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin 30x27px
Romania
30x27px
Poland
Round-robin 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
17
1960
Details
23x15px
Brazil
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin Template:Country data JPN 30x27px
Czechoslovakia
Round-robin 30x27px
Poland
10
1962
Details
23x15px
Soviet Union
Template:Country data JPN Round-robin 30x27px
Soviet Union
30x27px
Poland
Round-robin 30x27px
Bulgaria
14
1967
Details
Template:Country data JPN
Japan
Template:Country data JPN Round-robin 30x27px
United States
Template:Country data KOR Round-robin 30x27px
Peru
4
1970
Details
23x15px
Bulgaria
30x27px
Soviet Union
Round-robin Template:Country data JPN Template:Country data PRK Round-robin 30x27px
Hungary
16
1974
Details
23x15px
Mexico
Template:Country data JPN Round-robin 30x27px
Soviet Union
Template:Country data KOR Round-robin 30x27px
East Germany
23
1978
Details
23x15px
Soviet Union
30x27px
Cuba
3–0 Template:Country data JPN 30x27px
Soviet Union
3–1 Template:Country data KOR 23
1982
Details
23x15px
Peru
30x27px
China
3–0 30x27px
Peru
30x27px
United States
3–1 Template:Country data JPN 23
1986
Details
23x15px
Czechoslovakia
30x27px
China
3–1 30x27px
Cuba
30x27px
Peru
3–1 30x27px
East Germany
16
1990
Details
23x15px
China
30x27px
Soviet Union
3–1 30x27px
China
30x27px
United States
3–1 30x27px
Cuba
16
1994
Details
23x15px
Brazil
30x27px
Cuba
3–0 30x27px
Brazil
30x27px
Russia
3–1 Template:Country data KOR 16
1998
Details
Template:Country data JPN
Japan
30x27px
Cuba
3–0 30x27px
China
30x27px
Russia
3–1 30x27px
Brazil
16
2002
Details
23x15px
Germany
30x27px
Italy
3–2 30x27px
United States
30x27px
Russia
3–1 30x27px
China
24
2006
Details
Template:Country data JPN
Japan
30x27px
Russia
3–2 30x27px
Brazil
30x27px
Serbia and Montenegro
3–0 30x27px
Italy
24
2010
Details
Template:Country data JPN
Japan
30x27px
Russia
3–2 30x27px
Brazil
Template:Country data JPN 3–2 30x27px
United States
24
2014
Details
23x15px
Italy
30x27px
United States
3–1 30x27px
China
30x27px
Brazil
3–2 30x27px
Italy
24
2018
Details
Template:Country data JPN
Japan
TBA

Women's hosts

Hosts Nations (Year(s))
5 Template:Country data Japan (1967, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2018)
3 23x15px Soviet Union (1952, 1962, 1978)
2 23x15px Brazil (1960, 1994)
1 23x15px France (1956)
23x15px Bulgaria (1970)
23x15px Mexico (1974)
23x15px Peru (1982)
23x15px Czechoslovakia (1986)
23x15px China (1990)
23x15px Germany (2002)
23x15px Italy (2014)

Medals summary

Men

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 23x15px Russia * 6 3 3 12
2 23x15px Brazil 3 2 0 5
3 23x15px Italy 3 1 0 4
4 23x15px Czech Republic ^ 2 4 0 6
5 23x15px Poland 2 1 0 3
6 23x15px Germany # 1 0 1 2
23x15px United States 1 0 1 2
8 23x15px Cuba 0 2 2 4
23x15px Romania 0 2 2 4
10 23x15px Bulgaria 0 1 4 5
11 23x15px Serbia & 0 1 1 2
12 23x15px Netherlands 0 1 0 1
13 Template:Country data JPN 0 0 2 2
14 23x15px Argentina 0 0 1 1
23x15px France 0 0 1 1
Total 18 18 18 54

Women

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 23x15px Russia * 7 2 4 13
2 Template:Country data JPN 3 3 1 7
3 23x15px Cuba 3 1 0 4
4 23x15px China 2 3 0 5
5 23x15px United States 1 2 2 5
6 23x15px Italy 1 0 0 1
7 23x15px Brazil 0 3 1 4
8 23x15px Poland 0 1 2 3
9 23x15px Peru 0 1 1 2
10 23x15px Romania 0 1 0 1
11 23x15px Czech Republic ^ 0 0 2 2
Template:Country data KOR 0 0 2 2
13 Template:Country data PRK 0 0 1 1
23x15px Serbia & 0 0 1 1
Total 17 17 17 51
* = FIVB considers Russia (Since 1993) as the inheritor of the records of Soviet Union (1948–1991) and CIS (1992).
^ = FIVB considers Czech Republic (Since 1994) as the inheritor of the records of Czechoslovakia (1948–1993).
# = After German reunification, West Germany (1949–1990) was renamed Germany (Since 1991) and they absorbed East Germany (1949–1990) with the records.
& = FIVB considers Serbia (Since 2007) as the inheritor of the records of SFR Yugoslavia (1948–1991), FR Yugoslavia (1992–2002) and Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006).

See also

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References

  1. ^ "Eugene Selznick". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ Misty May-Treanor, Jill Lieber Steeg (2010). Misty: Digging Deep in Volleyball and Life. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 

External links