The 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup will be played from September 8 to September 23 in Japan. The tournament is a qualification process for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The top two teams will qualify for the Olympics, and join Brazil as they have already secured a berth as the host country.
The FIVB Volleyball World Cup began with signing a contract between Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and Japan Volleyball Association (JVA) for hosting the tournament on 31 January 2013. In this event, Fuji TV had the right to broadcast the tournament. Moreover, the FIVB released the qualification process of the tournament:
- Host country
- 2014 World champions
- 2 teams per continental confederation considered by World ranking, continental ranking, or continental championship
But, on 10 March 2015, the FIVB announced a change of the continental events following each continental confederation's agreement.
- AVC used the World ranking as of 1 January 2015.
- CAVB used the African Championship.
- CEV used the European ranking as of 1 January 2015.
- CSV held a qualification tournament.
- NORCECA used the 2015 NORCECA Champion Cup (Final Four).
- Olympics places
Only the winners and runners-up of the competition could secure the berths in the 2016 Olympics games. It was different from last edition which three medalists teams joined the Olympics games.
- Qualification format
The 2015 World Cup changed the format of the competition following the information above. There were not 2 wild card teams like 2011 edition. One of these spots belonged to the World champions, the other one belonged to the 2nd place of a continental event (2011 edition gave tickets to 4 of 5 continents, but 2015 edition gave tickets to all 5 continents).
- Competition format
Competition rounds decreased from 4 in 2011 to 3. Combining rounds 1 (3 days) and 2 (2 days) in 2011 to 1 round of 5 days. The hosts also reduced the venues from 8 to 6.
- Pool ranking criteria
In 2011 edition, match points was the first criterion, but 2015 changed it to number of matches won. All criteria are showed in section Pool standing procedure.
- Net touch
In this edition, players can not touch the whole net and antennas, not just the white band like in 2011 edition.
All 14 players (maximum 12 regular players and maximum 2 liberos) can play in every match and be named in score sheets.
- Individual awards
Individual awards were given to players by positions, unlike previous editions when awards were given to players by volleyball skills.
- Attribution of points
FIVB approved the proposal that in case the team hosting the Olympic Games participated in a previous World Cup then they would keep the World Ranking points gained at the previous World Cup.
It was the first time in the competition when there was a challenge referee. In each match, there was a referee who controlled the challenge system.
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