Lausanne, Switzerland, September 14, 2016 – An increase in number of teams from 28 to 32 and record prize money of $600,000 are “key elements in the development of our sport,” FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° told the FIVB World Grand Prix Council meeting at its annual meeting the International Volleyball Federation headquarters in Lausanne on Wednesday.
The Council reviewed a successful 2016 edition of the FIVB's top annual competition for women's national teams, capped by a spectacular Finals in Bangkok but the two key decisions about more teams and increased prize money to the winner from $200,000 to $600,000 has set the tone for an exciting future for the event.Quick link:World Grand Prix 2016Photo galleries
"The World Grand Prix now features 32 teams. This is real development, this gives a real chance for many more countries around the world to participate in our sport," said President Graça. "You take a look at Group 2 of the competition where it features two from Asia, two from NORCECA, two from South America and one from Africa in addition to the five teams from Europe, this is growth and development.
"The increase in prize money, following some key decisions which all participants have had to make today, is just reward for the athletes and today we have managed to take a significant step for the benefit of the stars of our sport."The World Grand Prix Council was unanimous in its support for the changes made to the number of teams and prize money
President Graça reminded the members of the World Grand Prix Council that their efforts were essential to the future development of the competition. "You must talk to local authorities, sponsors and television channels to ensure the successful future of the World Grand Prix," he said. "Let's keep growing our sport all around the world."Fans packed the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok for the Group 1 Finals in 2016
The 2016 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, which was hosted by 20 cities around the world, attracted a growing number of spectators, despite being played earlier in the year to give teams time to prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Most of the matches were also streamed live on the FIVB's YouTube channel for the first time, bringing the tournament to an even wider audience worldwide.
The 2017 edition of the World Grand Prix will feature 32 teams, four more than from 2014 to 2016 when 28 countries participated. The World Grand Prix featured eight teams in its debut season of 1993 and from 1995 to 2002, while 12 teams were in action in 1994 and from 2003 to 2010. Sixteen teams were involved in the 2011 and 2012 editions and 20 in 2013.
The FIVB Volleyball World League has also expanded rapidly in recent years. The tournament began with just eight countries in 1990. In 1991 the number of teams had risen to 10, while 12 nations competed from 1992-2000 and 2004-05. The field featured 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012. 2013 saw 18 different countries compete, with that increasing to 28 in 2014 and 32 in 2015 before reaching the new high of 36 for 2016 and 2017.