The 2007 World League annual volleyball tournament is coming to the United States. Along its three-week world tour, it will be making stops in Green Bay, Portland and Chicago.
Created in 1990, the World League is the longest and richest of all the international events organized by the FIVB. In 2006, $20 million in prize money was distributed among 16 participating teams from five continents.
The World League was created to promote volleyball by establishing a competition that would appeal to audiences all over the world. International competitions involving top volleyball teams (i.e., the Olympic Games, the World Championship) take place in four-year cycles, and were usually confined to a host city or nation. Conversely, the World League was designed to be played on a one-year basis, with a system of rotating cities that allowed every team to host a number of matches in the preliminary round.
Historically, Italy has been the dominant team in the World League, winning the gold eight times -- the most of any country. I became a big volleyball fan in college while following Loyola University���s nationally ranked men���s team, so I���m very excited to be able to check out the U.S. men���s national team compete against Italy, the second-ranked team in the world.
(Photo provided by Getty Images/Adam Pretty)