Bulgaria made their FIVB World Championship debut in the inaugural edition of 1952, finishing fourth (amongst eight participants), which remains their best placing to date. Last time around, in 2014 in Italy, they finished 11th. This year, Bulgaria are making their 12th overall appearance in the competition.
Bulgaria's biggest success on the world stage was at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, when they won the bronze medal after beating Hungary 3-2 in the third-place playoff. A year later, Bulgaria claimed gold at the 1981 European Championship as hosts of the event, when they topped the round-robin competition with a critical 3-0 win over the Soviet Union in the deciding match. As well as this success, Bulgaria also have two European Championship bronze medals, from 1979 and 2001.
Bulgaria first joined the FIVB World Grand Prix in 2013, finishing ninth in their debut season which remains their best ranking in the competition.
Bulgaria will take part in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League for the first time in 2019 (to replace Argentina who were relegated in 2018), after winning the 2018 Challenger Cup on the back of their success in the 2018 European League. Can they maintain this form and cause a shock in Japan?