Japan will host the quadrennial FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship from September 29 to October 20. The 18th edition of the tournament, which began in 1952, will take place in various cities throughout the country.
A total of 24 teams will compete for the title following continental qualifications. The host country being automatically qualified for the quadrennial event, which leaves 23 vacancies open for other countries of the world.
The qualification process started in May 2016 and will last until 2018. As per FIVB sports regulations, the number of spots awarded by the FIVB for each confederation. The competition will see five teams from Asia (including hosts), two from Africa, eight from Europe, two from South America and seven (including defending champions USA) from the North, Central America and Caribbean. The participating teams will compete against each other in 103 matches that will take place over 15 days.
The 24 teams have been divided into four pools of six teams playing in a Round Robin system with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round. The 16 teams will be split into two pools of eight (first and second from Pool A and B, third and fourth from Pool C and D in one group, third and fourth from Pool A and B, third and fourth from Pool C and D in one group, third and fourth from Pool A and B and first and second from Pool C and D in the other).
The top three teams in each of the two second round pools will advance to the third and final round. The four winners will be placed in the two pools with the second and third-placed teams drawn. The round will consist of a Round Robin system with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the semifinals. A 5th rank match will take place on the same day as semifinals. The 103rd and last match of the tournament will be the final.