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26/10/2016 13:42
Pools set for second stage of 2018 World Champs qualification
2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championships - Men & Women

Luxembourg, October 26, 2016. As many as 36 men’s and 36 women’s teams will be involved in the second stage of the European qualification process for the 2018 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Championships. The Drawing of Lots for the much anticipated second qualifying round coming up in May and June next year was held on Wednesday at the CEV headquarters in Luxembourg, thus composing the six pools per gender – each one featuring six teams playing a single round robin whose eventual winners will move on straight to the global Volleyball showpiece taking place in 2018 in Italy / Bulgaria (Men) and Japan (Women).

Men’s pools

The second stage of the European qualification for the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship will be taking place from May 23 to 28, and the composition of the six pools reads as follows:

Pool A: France (org.), Germany, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iceland
Pool B: Netherlands (org.), Slovakia, Greece, Austria, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova
Pool C: Slovenia (org.), Belgium, Portugal, Latvia, Israel, Georgia  
Pool D: Estonia (org.), Russia, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary, Kosovo
Pool E: Croatia (org.), Serbia, Belarus, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway
Pool F: Czech Republic (org.), Finland, Spain, Sweden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland      

Women’s pools

As for the women’s competition, the participating teams will take to the court from May 30 to June 4, 2017. The six second-round pools are composed as follows:

Pool A: Croatia (org.), Russia, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Georgia
Pool B: Poland (org.), Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, Iceland
Pool C: Bulgaria (org.), Turkey, Romania, Switzerland, Montenegro, Kosovo
Pool D: Belgium (org.), Italy, Belarus, Spain, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pool E: Azerbaijan (org.), Netherlands, Israel, Ukraine, Denmark, Norway    
Pool F: Portugal (org.), Germany, France, Finland, Slovenia, Estonia     

The women’s second-round tournament Pool B in Poland will be taking place one week earlier (i.e. from May 23 to 28) in order to avoid a clash with the Games of the Small States of Europe taking place in late May / early June 2017 in San Marino where the national teams of Cyprus and Iceland are set to compete.

DOL procedure

The six organisers per gender were drawn as heads of series in one of the six pools (from left to right, A-B-C-D-E-F). The remaining participating teams were grouped in five sub-groups – each one including six teams – according to the CEV National Team Ranking as of May 2016 – i.e. when National Federations registered for participation in the World Championship qualification – and drawn accordingly into one of the six pools (from left to right, A-B-C-D-E-F).

Third round

The European qualification leading to the 2018 Worlds will come to an end in August next year with the third and last stage featuring the six runners-up from the second qualifying round. The men will be playing a single round robin tournament from August 15 to 20 with the eventual winner qualifying for the World Championship to complete the European contingent that already includes hosts Italy and Bulgaria as well as 2014 gold medallists Poland (pictured above). The women’s third round qualifier will take place from August 22 to 27 – with the eventual winners and runners-up booking a ticket to Japan together with the six second-round winners.

Further information including venues and a detailed competition programme will be released in due course.

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