Home » FIVB drastically changes format for 2018 World League and Grand Prix, Italy remain member of elite!

FIVB drastically changes format for 2018 World League and Grand Prix, Italy remain member of elite!

by WoV
source: voleyplus.com; Photo: worldleague.2017.fivb.com

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has already established a format for the 2018 World League and World Grand Prix although this year’s editions of both tournaments are not over yet. As a matter of fact, the Grand Prix for this year did not even start (begins on July 7).



As “Voley Plus” revealed, the FIVB will drastically change the format of the competition for both annual tournaments in 2018 compared to years back!

Starting from next season, the FIVB World League and the FIVB World Grand Prix will have only one Group (no more Groups 1, 2 and 3) of 16 national teams. It is clear that Italian Men’s NT, who lost the right to play Group 1 in 2018 as being last placed in this year’s Preliminary Round according to current regulations, will benefit the most from this. Two years ago, the governing body of the international volleyball increased the number of teams in Group 1 from 8 to 12 so, Russia avoided relegation from the elite.

The (unofficial) list of the teams that will compete in the 2018 FIVB World League might come as a surprise for many: France, Brazil, Serbia, Russia, Canada, United States, Poland, Bulgaria, Argentina, Iran, Italy (11 teams from current Group 1 – no Belgium), Australia, Japan, China, Korea (4 teams from Group 2 despite the Final Four has not been held yet) and Germany (one team from Group 3 – not the winners Estonia).

As for the FIVB World Grand Prix, this is the list of the teams that will compete in 2018: Serbia, Turkey, Russia, The Netherlands, Japan, China, United States, Brazil, Italy, Thailand, Belgium (11 teams from current Group 1 – no Dominican Republic), Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Korea and Argentina (5 teams from Group 2).

In addition, the FIVB will change the playing system of both tournaments. It is planned for each team to be the host at some point and each team will face all the rivals at least once in five Weeks of Preliminary Round (instead of three Weeks, as it is now).

Recall what are the new rules that FIVB plans to implement this year.


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0 comment

some guy June 19, 2017 - 5:33 pm

I hope this news is not real.

Otherwise, this is just sad and pathetic from the FIVB.

Remember when they had ‘9 Goals’?

Helping Hand June 19, 2017 - 5:42 pm

Is the FIVB stupid? They have been doing a lot wrong lately…

antiFIVB June 20, 2017 - 12:54 pm

Re: @Helping Hand

FIVB is stupid since they re-elected the old man as a president for a double mandate (???) and not by vote, but by acclamation (???).
He is delirious about the success of volleyball, while the gyms are almost empty at inter-country events! A volleyball reform is urgent.

synlerak June 19, 2017 - 5:43 pm

So unfair. It is now even more obvious than ever before that the FIVB limits oppurtunities for countries with smaller volleyball budgets. Newcomers in Group 1: China, Korea, Japan and Australia? Those are obviously big countries, 2 of the 4 finalists of Group 2 are not even included (Slovenia and The Netherlands) and the smallest country in this group, Belgium has to devaluate even tough they came so close to the final 6.

And Estonia just got ROBBED from their promotion to group 2 to a countrie which didn’t prove it yet that they are worthy but have a much bigger budget.

I didn’t care much about the fact that a almost similar change was made back in 2015 (by letting Russia in but introducing 4 new countries in group 1), that made the competition even more interesting. But this is simply cheating (corruption maybe?), it completely destroys the competitive spirit of the WL. It’s like FIVB suddenly wants this competition to die…

Antônio Pacheco June 19, 2017 - 7:14 pm

It’s is really sad. Shame on you FIVB. Shame on you ITALIA.

Steven June 19, 2017 - 7:34 pm

I love having the 3 groups. FIVB should just keep things as they are, no chances please.

Kovic June 19, 2017 - 7:42 pm

If this is true, then consider this my last year watching the games. What this does is pretty much says that every year for the next 7years we’re going to watch the SAME teams BATTLE it out for the trophy. How about other countries, they deserve a shot too. This isnt the way, ironically all happens just as Italy was about to be relegated…..coincidence, don’t think so.

Ariel June 19, 2017 - 8:32 pm

I hope this is nit true. The main vantage of the new eorld league formula, eith the 3 groups, is that it gives small countries an opportunity to play at international level. Countried like Estonia, Kazakhstan or Montenegro for example, eho cannot qualify to olympics or the world championship.
Brazil, Italy, Usa, Russia etc these countries are more concerned with the important competitions, olympics and world championships. Theregore the world league is not that important for .
Corrupt Ary Graça continues to be a disgrace for volleyball.

synlerak June 19, 2017 - 10:02 pm

The point is: Give the countries and their prestations the final result they deserve. Italy ended last in group 2, let them regulate, Estonia won group 3, let them promovate. If you are going to expand the size of group 1 by adding 4 more countries then just bring in the 4 finalists of group 2 (Australia, Netherlands, Slovenia and Japan) and certainly not regulating Belgium because of their smaller budget. Keep Germany in group 3 because they didn’t do anything to achieve such promovation (going from group 3 to 1 in one year is simply impossible too).

I just hope that Estonia gets the right to move to group 2 anyway and that they’re not going to be excluded because of their budgetary limitations too. But The Netherlands and Slovenia all just were blatantly put in the cold, as for Belgium. What’s going to be next? Will Qatar in 2019 be promovated to group 1 too and then directly given the hosting of the finals (with all respect to the country itself)?

Wikon June 19, 2017 - 10:36 pm

Big big shame! Belgium became 7th in the first group and will be excluded?? What a bullshit, eliminatie italy ..

victor July 23, 2017 - 10:42 pm

Re: @Wikon
idon’t like this rule but the girls of Belgium who finish last stay so it’s sad for the men but …..

Yavbou fan June 20, 2017 - 2:54 am

As much as i love Italy this ‘will be change’ is inexcusable. I hope other NTs will not tolerate this. #boycottWL2018

dee jae69 June 20, 2017 - 5:33 am

i knew it FIVB will change the format to save ITALY like they done with RUSSIA. for sure if italy got relegated to group 2 it will hurt the ITALIAN SERIES A1 if argentina or iran finished last for sure they won’t change the format they are simple BIAS

dario June 20, 2017 - 2:54 pm

Re: @dee jae69 you know nothing, weeks of rumors about this reform, the real winners with this reform are China and Japan, like always they play at the top of world volley only bacause of their money.

zentro29 June 20, 2017 - 5:37 am

I don’t think Italy has something to do with this. This rumor has been going since last week during the 2nd round. The rumor actually came from the Iran Volleyball Federation and their President is a board(?) member of World League.

synlerak June 20, 2017 - 10:12 am

Re: @zentro29 actually, Belgian headcoach Vital Heynen actually talked about it before the start of the WL. He got a question from a newsreporter about it and they somehow knew already that this system-change will be more ‘money-based’ and that because of this that Belgium might be the unfortunate victim.

See: http://www.topvolleybelgium.be/2017/06/waarom-zouden-we-de-final-6-niet-kunnen-bereiken/
(it’s in Dutch so you might not understand it very well…)

John Doek June 20, 2017 - 7:34 am

Many fans from all over the world have followed this WL especially due to the fact that their NTs participated. Now this is over. Anyway WL 3 groups format has showed how distorted is ranking system. Big “players” are seemed to be in panic. But they have money and impact. They feel to be elite, and do not want to be endangered.
Who remember the result of last year Group 2? See wiki. Japan, which I as a volleyball team admire, was in similar situation as Italy now. Which country became “volluntary victim”?- Cuba if I am not mistaken. Who cared? (They players are good only for luring into foreign top NTs, are not?. ).
This new proposal is the reflection on a desperate situation, FIVB got in, because indications existed before on other issues… But frankly – do national volleyball federations behave diffently in many countries?

Eddy June 20, 2017 - 7:48 am

This has nothing to do with volleyball only with money

Anton July 23, 2017 - 10:14 am

Re: @Eddy

I am agree with you and with comments about Italy ,Russia and other big will be every time helped and nobody care of course if a small- example- Bulgaria and Iran are last, nobody will care about it.

FFIVB is following a profitable route of following what big sponsors want- a lot of mpney and long term profits. entry in everyone big market Indonesia is the next??/

A format of FIVB is very wrong since years. Much better is to use 8 Groups 4 Groups with 8 Teams and 1st and 2nd to build Final 8&Eight/, later 2 Groups from 4 and 1st and 2nd go in Final 4 etc.

This way a ibig teams must beat uncomfortable Estonia, Belgium and to get qualified without any help!

dario June 20, 2017 - 2:48 pm

you really think they made this change yesterday to save Italy? please it’s very stupid, there are probably months of talks before. Asian sponsor buys the partecipation of Japan and China, that will partecipate for sure at the world leagues for the next 7 years.

Nariman g June 20, 2017 - 3:32 pm

I’m from so It’s not much bad for my country but why the heck Counties like Korea , Japan and China can play in top level of the world but not Belgium?!! Because​they have money?I hope other teams boycott the games I’m not gonna watch it anyways…

synlerak June 21, 2017 - 11:08 am

Hey WorldofVolley,

When will you start interviewing some players, coaches or other prominent volleyballfigures about these ridiculous ideas/changes of the FIVB in the volleyballrules and World League? I’d like to hear them.

Ngueuche bruno June 21, 2017 - 11:39 am

This is just sad sad news for the world of volleyball. A competition which was created in the first place to promote the Family spirit of volleyball by allowing smaller volleyball nations to take part in ONE big event in the international volleyball calendar has now been taken away.Call it fraud, corruption or the need to save Italy or Japan, I don’t know. But what I know is the current of recent reforms from the FIVB to try and promote and Improve volleyball on a marketing level is going south. Where is this sports heading to. I for one will love to watch all the big guns lock horns next year. But I enjoyed seeing Belgium make live hard for the bigger nations. I watched Finland play volleyball for the first time because of the world League.Now it’s gone. Hope they are right on whatever they are seeing ahead. Are they not making enough money from Groups 1 and 2??????

Smaal countries June 29, 2017 - 4:16 pm

If this is true story the decision has been build up in cabinets. For volleyball this plan is disaster. Today´s format, where almost all the important volley countries has been participating has been one of the biggest positive signs for our game. This old generation, decision makers behind the curtain´s, who don´t understand volley at all and are driving only their own advantage´s are chancing the rules without needed skills. If this is going to be truth this is one of the biggest mistakes of all time and leading our sports to dark medieval times.

Synderen_ July 13, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Why would they do this? Please wake up. You are slowly killing Volleyball with this.

And who do you think will win moving forward? of course it will always be the top teams. It is so unfair for newcomers to even compete then and gain wins. If one deserves to move up to Group 1 status then so be it, they have done their job to strengthen their team. Same with being demoted to Group 2, bounce back and show that you deserve to be included again in the top Group.

What they should do is to support more those teams aside from Group 1.

FIVB is slowly becoming FIFA, corruption is knocking on its doors and greed and pride are overwhelming them.

Sem July 18, 2017 - 4:06 pm

Why bother playing at all, if everything can be arranged with money behind the table? Since money is all that matters, the players will likely get screenplays what tricks to show off so that the games will look best on TV, minding to reach the score negotiated in advance by the betting mafia 😉

Abigail July 19, 2017 - 7:04 am

It’s not good for countries like mine Peru because Grand Prix allows small teams have competitions with countries we don’t play every year like europeans or asians. I think its good have 3 groups every team can show what they are and have oportunities to show to the world,

victor July 23, 2017 - 10:20 pm

It’s stupid ; the best thing is to keep differents groups with possibility to go up or down the next season depending on the results. With this way every team of each group is motivated. I’m french but for instance Canada or Peru or Kazakhstan has improved her play versus teams like Germany or Czech Republic .For instance if you say that the two last teams of group 1 go down and the two of group 2 go up idem for group 2 and 3 it’s sport

victor July 23, 2017 - 10:37 pm

Moreover a lot of competitions take place in Asia and there is nobody in the arenas . Women world club championship , World gran prix…..and for instance european teams like azerbaijan who is already qualified to WC 2018 (beating netherlands 3-0) dosn’t play the gran prix !!! And Why Argentina and not Peru or Canada ?

Yuan July 23, 2017 - 11:41 pm

Re: @victor
The arenas in Thailand, China and Korea were full this weekend.

Rachel Sander August 19, 2017 - 5:52 pm

5 consecutive weeks?! You realize these men have families, right?


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