With the unveiling of the exciting line-ups for all four age-group FIVB Volleyball World Championships this year, the dates and places of the drawing of lots for three of them were also announced. The pools for the U21 men’s, the U19 men's and the U19 women’s events will take shape next Friday, March 31, in Lausanne, Switzerland and the drawing ceremony will be streamed live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel. The draw for the U21 women’s tournament will take place in Mexico City on May 12.
Get ready for age-group World Championship draws next Friday
Watch the U21 men’s and U19 women’s draws live on YouTube
Published 06:36, 25 Mar 2023
U21 Men’s World Championship
The 22nd edition of the U21 Men’s World Championship will be hosted by the Bahraini capital Manama from July 7 through 16, with defending 2021 champions Italy leading a strong line-up of 16 participating teams. Of course, the southern European stronghold will be represented by another generation of players, but judging by the way they swept last year’s CEV U20 European Championship crown, led by Alessandro Bovolenta, who was named Most Valuable Player of the continental tournament, one can expect them to be at least as strong as 2021 U21 World Championship MVP Alessandro Michieletto and his teammates.
Poland, who earned bronze at the 2021 edition in Italy and Bulgaria, will be represented in Bahrain by the squad that triumphed at the 2021 U19 World Championship with Tytus Nowik, who claimed the MVP nomination. The other two medallists of the U19 tournament in Tehran two years ago will also be present – Bulgaria with Cucine Lube Civitanova’s rising star outside hitter Aleksandar Nikolov, and Iran with talented middle Yousef Kazemi.
Europe will also be represented by Belgium and Czechia, while India and Thailand will join Iran and Bahrain among the Asian participants. The second most decorated team (after Russia) in the history of the competition, four-time champions and 14-time medallists Brazil, along with Argentina, will be the “usual suspects” from South America. Egypt and Tunisia will represent Africa, while the United States, Mexico and Canada will be the NORCECA participants.
U19 Women’s World Championship
In comparison to previous editions, the FIVB adjusted the age requirements for the youth women’s World Championships from U18 to U19 in order to align them with the equivalent men’s competition for the 18th edition, which will be hosted by two countries for the first time as it takes place in Osijek, Croatia and Szeged, Hungary from August 1 through 11. This means that some of the players who starred at the last edition in Mexico two years ago will be eligible to participate again.
The number of participating teams for this event has also increased from 20 to 24 to facilitate co-hosting. Italy, who won silver at the 2021 edition, will return in 2023 in quest for their third title with a squad likely to include some of the young hopefuls who topped the podium at the 2022 CEV U17 European Championship, like MVP and Best Setter Safa Allaoui. In addition to Croatia, Hungary and Italy, Europe will be represented by Turkiye, Germany, Serbia, Poland and Bulgaria.
2021 bronze medallists USA will lead the NORCECA representation, which also includes the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada. Four-time champions China, the country with the most titles in the history of the competition, will be one of four Asian teams at the 2023 tournament, along with Japan, Korea and Thailand, while 10-time medallists Brazil, the nation with the most podiums, will headline the South American delegation, which will also include Argentina, Chile and Peru. Africa will have three teams in Osijek and Szeged – Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria.
U21 Women’s World Championship
The age requirements for the junior women’s World Championships have also been adjusted by a year up and the new category as of this year will be U21. This means that someone like talented Serbian middle blocker Hena Kurtagic, who earned U20 silver and spots on both the U20 and the U18 Dream Teams in 2021, or another U20 Dream Teamer, outside Jolien Knollema of the Netherlands, will be able to compete again, as the 22nd FIVB Women’s U21 World Championship takes place in the Mexican cities of Leon and Aguascalientes from August 17 through 26, 2023.
So will Italy’s opposite Giulia Viscioni, outside Julia Ituma and libero Emma Barbero, all silver medallists from the Dream Team of the U18 World Championship in 2021 (also in Mexico), who can return to the Latin American country to defend the title their compatriots claimed at the U20 event two years ago. Poland and Turkiye will join Italy, Serbia and the Netherlands as the European representatives among the 16 to compete in Mexico. The host country team will be one of four NORCECA squads at the tournament, along with Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the United States, whose line-up is likely to feature 2021 U18 Dream Teamer Mckenna Wucherer.
Six-time champions and 13-time medallists Brazil will be joined by Argentina in representing South America, while three-time champions and 12-time medallists China, alongside Japan and Thailand, will be the Asian teams in Leon and Aguascalientes. Egypt and Tunisia, on the other hand, will defend Africa’s honour at the U21 World Championship.
U19 Men’s World Championship
The 18th edition of the U19 Men’s World Championship will be staged in San Juan, Argentina from August 2 through 11 with 20 participating teams, including 2021 silver medallists Bulgaria and bronze medallists Iran.
Italy are expected to play a key role at this tournament as well as their roster is likely to feature a number of 2022 U18 European champions, including MVP Tommaso Barotto. Slovenia, on the other hand, can rely on Luka Marovt, the best scorer of that continental championship. France, Serbia and Belgium will be the other three European teams competing in San Juan, while Iran will be joined by Japan, India and Korea as the Asian representatives.
Hosts Argentina will welcome three more South American teams – Columbia, Chile and the most decorated nation in the history of the U19 World Championships, six-time title-holders Brazil. USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica will represent NORCECA, while Nigeria and Egypt will be the African teams at the tournament.