The FIVB announced yesterday the groups for the 2014 Men’s World Championships being hosted in Poland August 30th-September 21st. The World Championships will feature 24 of the world’s top teams from all five continental zones divided into four groups of six teams.
NORCECA and the CAVB (Africa) are the final two federations two determine their representatives, as the CEV (Europe), CSV (South American), and AVC (Asian) have filled in 16 of 24 spots.
Canada’s shot at qualifying will come May 16th-19th at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga when they will take on Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, and Panama with the winner punching a ticket to Poland.
If Canada wins, we will most likely be slotted in as NORCECA 3, as the FIVB will most likely follow the current FIVB and NORCECA rankings to determine the placement going into the tournament, instead of recent results. But keeping up with current results rather than simply looking at the rankings is really a tough thing to do, so we’ll give them a break.
If this is the case, Canada will join Russia, Bulgaria, China, as well as the second-ranked representative from Africa, and the fifth representative from NORCECA.
This, however, could be a very good group for Canada to fall into. While seeing both Russia and Bulgaria in the same pool can be daunting, the African representative will be either Tunisia or Egypt, and the final team from NORCECA will probably fall to a battle between Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb when I say I’m confident with our odds in any of those matches to buffer any potential lesson-learning losses. On the flip side of things, with the Maple Leaf growing reputation as being a giant killer, these could potentially be other Canadian breakthroughs.
Of course, they have to get there first, and the best way of making sure that they do is buying a ticket and watch the boys break some Canadian stereotypes and beat down on some teams in the qualifier, I know I can’t wait for it.