FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup

FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
2015 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup
Sport Volleyball
Founded 1973
Inaugural season 1973
CEO Ary Graça
No. of teams 12
Continent International (FIVB)
Most recent
champion(s)
 China (4th title)
Most titles  China
 Cuba (4 titles each)
Official website FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup

The FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup is an international volleyball competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), the sport's global governing body. Initially the tournament was played in the year following the Olympic Games, but since 1991 the World Cup has been awarded in the year preceding the Olympic Games. The current champion is China, which won its fourth title at the 2015 tournament.

The current format of the competition involves 12 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation Japan, competing in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about two weeks. The World Cup acts as the first qualification event for the following year's Olympic Games with the top two teams qualifying.

The 12 World Cup tournaments have been won by five different national teams. China and Cuba have won four times each. The other World Cup winners are Italy with two titles; and Japan and Russia as (Soviet Union), with one title each.

This tournament should not be confused with the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship.

History

Origins

The World Cup was created in 1965 with the purpose of partially filling the gap between the two most important volleyball tournaments, the Olympic Games and the World Championship, which take place in alternating 4-year cycles. The establishment of a third international competition would leave only one in every four years with no major events. The World Cup has a smaller entry than the World Championship, with at most 12 teams.

The World Cup was to be held in the year following the Olympic Games. The first two tournaments were for men's volleyball only; in 1973, a women's tournament was also introduced. Originally, each tournament had a different host, but in 1977 the competition was transferred to Japan on a permanent basis.

In the 1990s, the installment of annual international events such as the World League and the Grand Prix made the original motivations for the creation of the World Cup obsolete. Instead of letting a consolidated event disappear for lack of interest, the FIVB decided to change its format in 1991: it would be held in the year preceding, and not following, the Olympic Games; and it would be considered a first international Olympic qualification tournament, granting the winner a direct berth in the games.

This move saved the competition. The possibility of securing an early berth for the Olympic Games, thus avoiding extraneous and in some cases tight continental qualification procedures, became a consistent motivation for the national federations to participate in the World Cup. In 1995, the number of Olympic spots granted at the competition was increased to three, as it remained until 2011. In 2015 the number of spots was only two again.

Winners

The Women's World Cup has had not one great winner, like its counterpart for men's volleyball, but two: China and Cuba.

The first edition of the tournament was won by the Soviet Union. Japan, the runner-up of 1973, took the gold in 1977. With the help of superstar player Lang Ping, China won the following two editions, in 1981 and 1985.

Then Cuba stepped forward to begin its amazing World Cup career, winning its first title in 1989. With the tournament now as an Olympic qualifier, there followed three more consecutive victories, in 1991, 1995 and 1999.

China came back in 2003 with a remarkably offensive team to win its third title.

Italy won the 2007 edition with an outstanding record of eleven wins in eleven games and only two sets left to the opponents (both lost against Serbia). Italy took a second win in a row in 2011, getting the better hand on United States and China. In 2015, China regained the title.

Competition formula

The World Cup is the most stable from all competition formulas employed by the FIVB. The following rules apply:

  • The competition takes place in Japan.
  • Twelve teams participate in each event: ten qualified, two per invitation.
    • Japan is always pre-qualified as host nation.
    • The winner of the FIVB World Championship in the previous year is automatically granted a spot.
    • The champion and runner-up of each continental tournament of that year is granted a spot.
    • Since the 1999 edition, only teams not yet qualified for the following Olympic Games can compete in the World Cup; hence hosts of the following year's Olympic Games are not allowed to compete.
  • The competition is divided in exactly two phases (called "legs").
    • Teams are divided in two pools.
      • At the first leg, each team plays one match against all other teams in its pool.
    • At the second leg, each team plays one match against all the teams in the other pool.
    • Matches take place continuously through two weeks, with one-day breaks every two or three days. Each day, six matches are played.
    • Final standings are calculated by usual volleyball criteria: match points, numbers of matches won, sets ratio (the total number of sets won divided by the total number of sets lost), points ratio, direct confrontation.
  • Top two teams in overall standings, regardless of pools, qualify for the following Olympic Games.
  • The tournament implements very tight line-up restrictions: only twelve players are allowed, and no replacement is permitted, even in the case of injuries.

Results summary

Year Host Final 3rd place match Teams
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1973
Details

Uruguay

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Japan

South Korea
Round-robin
Peru
10
1977
Details

Japan

Japan
Round-robin
Cuba

South Korea
Round-robin
China
8
1981
Details

Japan

China
Round-robin
Japan

Soviet Union
Round-robin
United States
8
1985
Details

Japan

China
Round-robin
Cuba

Soviet Union
Round-robin
Japan
8
1989
Details

Japan

Cuba
Round-robin
Soviet Union

China
Round-robin
Japan
8
1991
Details

Japan

Cuba
Round-robin
China

Soviet Union
Round-robin
United States
12
1995
Details

Japan

Cuba
Round-robin
Brazil

China
Round-robin
Croatia
12
1999
Details

Japan

Cuba
Round-robin
Russia

Brazil
Round-robin
South Korea
12
2003
Details

Japan

China
Round-robin
Brazil

United States
Round-robin
Italy
12
2007
Details

Japan

Italy
Round-robin
Brazil

United States
Round-robin
Cuba
12
2011
Details

Japan

Italy
Round-robin
United States

China
Round-robin
Japan
12
2015
Details

Japan

China
Round-robin
Serbia

United States
Round-robin
Russia
12
2019
Details
Round-robin Round-robin 12

Medals summary

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Cuba4206
2 China4138
3 Italy2002
4 Russia[upper-alpha 1]1236
5 Japan1203
6 Brazil0314
7 United States0134
8 Serbia0101
9 South Korea0022
Total12121236

Participating nations

Legend
  • 1st – Champions
  • 2nd – Runners-up
  • 3rd – Third place
  • 4th – Fourth place
  •    – Did not enter / Did not qualify
  •    – Hosts
  • = – More than one team tied for that rank
  • Q – Qualified for forthcoming tournament
Team[1]
1973
(10)

1977
(8)

1981
(8)

1985
(8)

1989
(8)

1991
(12)

1995
(12)

1999
(12)

2003
(12)

2007
(12)

2011
(12)

2015
(12)
Total
 Algeria11th12th2
 Argentina8th11th11th10th8th5
 Brazil9th8th6th8th2nd3rd2nd2nd5th9
 Bulgaria7th1
 Canada7th8th10th9th4
 China4th1st1st3rd2nd3rd5th1st3rd1st10
 CroatiaPart of  Yugoslavia4th8th2
 Cuba5th2nd6th2nd1st1st1st1st6th4th9th11
 Dominican Republic10th9th8th7th4
 Egypt12th12th2
 GermanySee  East Germany9th6th2
 Hungary6th1
 Italy7th4th1st1st4
 Japan2nd1st2nd4th4th7th6th6th5th7th4th5th12
 Kenya12th11th12th12th10th5
 Netherlands8th1
 Peru4th5th5th5th5th10th10th11th11th9
 Poland8th6th2
 RussiaSee  Soviet Union2nd4th2
 SerbiaSee  YugoslaviaSee  SCG5th7th2nd3
 South Korea3rd3rd5th7th7th6th5th4th9th8th9th6th12
 Spain11th1
 Thailand10th1
 Tunisia8th12th2
 Turkey7th1
 United States6th7th4th4th7th9th3rd3rd2nd3rd10
 Uruguay10th1
Discontinued nations
 East Germany6thSee  Germany1
 Soviet Union1st8th3rd3rd2nd3rdSee  Russia6

MVP by edition

See also

Notes

  1. FIVB considers Russia (Since 1993) as the inheritor of the records of Soviet Union (1948–1991) and CIS (1992).

References

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