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30/03/2016 12:30
CEV unveils new format for Champions League
News from the CEV

Luxembourg, March 30, 2016. The 2017 edition of Europe’s elite competition, the CEV Volleyball Champions League, will coincide with yet another milestone in European Volleyball history. The CEV Board of Administration agreed earlier this month upon a revised competition format which opens participation to each national champion and as a result the 2017 edition will be spreading a real Volleyball fever across the whole of Europe.

It was decided to revise the format of the CEV Volleyball Champions League and the participation criteria some 16 years after Europe’s elite competition was first introduced following in the footsteps of the CEV Champions Cup.

The format

The 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League is split down as follows:

-    A 1st, 2nd and 3rd Round open to all National Federations and consisting of home and away matches; the number of teams competing at this stage will depend on the eventual registrations; teams losing in these rounds will be moved to the draw of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Cup, but other than this there is no further interconnection among the three European Cups. Should more than eight losers be required to move, an additional round will be played in the CEV Volleyball Cup. Within a specific round ‘byes’ will be awarded to the higher-ranked teams but after this it will be an open draw to determine the various ties
-    A 4th Round including 12 seeded teams per gender plus eight and four qualifying through the previous rounds in the men’s and women’s competition, respectively; at this stage of the competition, teams will be divided into pools of four each to play a double round robin
-    A Playoff Phase including Playoffs 12 and Playoffs 6 for the men and Playoffs 6 only for the women, to be contested as home and away matches that will determine the teams joining the organisers of the Final Four tournaments
-    The format of the Final Four remains unchanged, with the only exception being the possibility for two teams from the same country to be able to contest the gold medal match (i.e. they won’t have to cross their ways in the semis as up to now)

The composition  

The 12 teams per gender seeded directly in the 4th Round are determined as per the latest European Cups’ Ranking List (which is available right here and considers results from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons) according to the following clauses:

-    Two teams for the National Federations ranked 1 to 4
-    One team for the National Federations ranked 5 to 8

All ranked 9 and above National Federations are entitled to register their 2016 national champion as long as they fulfil all set requirements.

The Drawing of Lots – Save the date!

The Drawing of Lots for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Rounds will be taking place on June 9 in Rome with the Italian capital set to host the 2017 edition of the European Volleyball Gala.
Teams qualified for the 4th Round can be drawn in the same Pool as other teams from their country.

The Drawing of Lots for the Playoff Phase is planned to be held on March 3, 2017 following completion of the 4th Round.

A tentative calendar for the 2017 European Cup season is available here.

The impact

The revised format of the CEV Volleyball Champions League reflects the vision of the CEV leadership under President Aleksandar Boričić and is expected to help achieve a number of strategic goals, such as:

-    Open participation to all National Federations
-    Promote the competition across the whole of Europe
-    Ensure more matches with teams of a similar level
-    Provide fans and media alike with exciting, closely fought matches
-    Create a unique atmosphere that everyone will be wanting to be a part of

On top of this, the requirements and standards will be raised from round to round, thus increasing the interest of the fans and making the competition more attractive for potential sponsors and partners.

The outcome resulting from this major re-shuffle will be continuously reviewed by the CEV before plans are drafted for the 2018 season.

It’s history in the making and the new CEV Volleyball Champions League is going to be a must-follow for all Volleyball fans from every corner of Europe and from overseas as well!

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