FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2018 – when, where, tournament format

Wednesday, 05 Sep 2018
Lawrence Fernandez - Editor - @lancefernandez

The United States senior women’s volleyball team will look to defend its title at the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship. This will be the 18th edition of the said tournament and it will be held in Japan for a record fifth time.

When and where will the 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championships be held?

The competition will run from September 29 to October 20 in six cities all over the Land of the Rising Sun. The first-round matches will be held from the 29th of September to the 4th of October with Pool A playing at the Yokohama Arena. Meanwhile, Pool B will compete at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center and Pool C will compete at the Kobe Green Arena in Kobe.

Sixteen teams will make it to the second round which will be played from the 7th to 11th of October. Teams that will make Pool E will compete at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya while Pool F will battle at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium. From 16, the field will be trimmed to six for round three. The two pools of three teams each, Pools G and H, will play at Nippon Gaishi.

After which, the semifinals will be played on October 19 while the medal matches will be on the 20th. These games will be played at the Yokohama Arena.

FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships 2018 tournament format

After a series of tournaments organized by the five FIVB confederations (Asian Volleyball Confederation, Confédération Européenne de Volleyball, Confederación Sudamericana de Voleibol, Confédération Africaine de Volleyball, and the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation), 22 of the 24 participating teams have qualified for the Volleyball Women’s World Championship. Japan got an automatic bid as host while the United States had an outright slot as defending champions.

The 24 teams are divided into four pools that will compete in the first round. The top seven teams in the world plus the hosts are divided via Serpentine System to each of the four pools. Meanwhile, the groupings of the remaining 16 nations were drawn to ensure that each pool will not have more than three teams from the same confederation.

That being said, here are the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship participating teams group according to pool. The numbers in parenthesis denote world ranking.

Pool A – Japan (hosts), Netherlands (8), Argentina (11), Germany (13), Cameroon (18), Mexico (26)
Pool B – China (1), Italy (7), Turkey (12), Bulgaria (17), Canada (19), Cuba (25)
Pool C – United States (2), Russia (5), South Korea (10), Thailand (16), Azerbaijan (24), Trinidad and Tobago (34)
Pool D – Serbia (3), Brazil (4), Dominican Republic (9), Puerto Rico (13), Kazakhstan (21), Kenya (33)

Each team will face the other squads in their pool once and the top four teams in per pool will advance to the second round. The rankings per pool will be determined by the number of wins. If two or more teams have the same number of wins, the tie will be broken via the number of points acquired. Winning a match in three or four sets will give the winner three points. But if it goes to a fifth set, the winner gets only two points while the loser gets one.

If they are still tied, the set quotient (number of sets won over number of sets lost) and the points quotient (number of points scored over number of points given) will be determine the rankings. If these are still identical, the win-over-the-other rule will take place.

The remaining 16 teams will participate in round two and be grouped into two pools as such:

Pool E – Pool A 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th plus Pool D 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Pool F – Pool B 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th plus Pool C 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

Each team from the previous Pool A will play the remaining teams from the previous Pool D once and vice versa. The same goes for the previous Pools B and C. The top three finishers per pool will move to the third round. The same tiebreaker rules apply from the first to the second round as well.

The third round is composed of two pools, each comprised of the top three teams from Pools E and F. A draw will be done for the second and third placers per pool to determine if they will play under Pool G or Pool H. After competing in another single round robin, the top two teams per pool will move to the semifinals.

For the right to move into the finals, the top finisher in Pool G will face the runner-up in Pool H. Likewise, the top team in Pool H will face the second-best in Pool G for a shot at the gold medal. The losers of both semifinal matches will compete in the bronze medal game. Meanwhile, the winner between the two semifinal victors will be hailed world champions.

Despite missing out on a medal, there is still merit to finishing high for each place corresponds to a number of points that can help determine the world rankings.

Click here to know how to watch the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship 2018.