This article was originally published on Maverick Hatch's website.
This isn’t going to be one of those ‘”it’s been so long, here’s what you missed” kind of posts – despite it being perfectly warranted considering the date of my last post – so I’m [not] sorry if that’s what some of you were looking for.
I’m currently in my favorite writing place, 35,000 ft. up with music playing and my legs stretched out in business class – likely to be my last business experience for a while, sadly saying goodbye to my Super Elite status this year & the free international upgrades that accompany it…
In a couple more hours I’ll land on the best coast and can’t wait to get my feet in the sand. Redmann and I (still going strong this season) decided to swing through Cali to get the usual outdoor reps heading into our first event – Cayman Islands! Yup! Should be another beaut. Although I’m a bit skeptical, the man usually in charge there, Carl Brenton, won’t be affiliated with the event this year sadly.
This year the FIVB brought back Country Quota – those of you who’ve been following the FIVB for longer than two seasons knows what this means. For those of you who don’t, sometimes there are more same-country teams than there are allowed berths into the tournament. This is where Country Quota comes into play…
FIVB Country Quota Process (CQ):
- Non-host countries get a maximum of 4 berths per gender into the tournament based on FIVB points – Qualifier/Main Draw (MD) combined (host countries get 6)
- Any teams can register for any FIVB, and once the MD & Qualification lists are set any necessary CQ matches are then determined
- FIVB allows only the top 6 registered same-country teams (again, based on FIVB points, and excluding any MD teams) to play in the CQ playoffs
- CQ is not considered part of the tournament; losers receive a “N/A” result on their FIVB player profile for that tournament, while winners move on to the single-elimination qualifier the next day (rarely CQ is played same day as Qualifier)
To help this along, I’ll provide an example using the Canadian men:
- We currently have two teams that gain direct MD berths – eliminating them from any CQ playoffs.
- This leaves 2 remaining tournament berths (remember, non-host countries get a MAX of 4 berths – but a countries top 6 teams qualify for CQ playoffs)
- There are currently 4 teams planning on attending FIVB who would start in the qualifier (6 including our two MD teams)
- This means if:
- 2 of those 4 Qualifier teams attend an event – no CQ is needed
- 3 of 4 attend – the highest-point team gets a bye, while the other team teams play for the final tournament berth.
- 4 of 4 go – two matches are played with the winners earning a spot in the Qualifier.
Why I wanted to explain the CQ process is because we will inevitably have to deal with it at some point this season, or at least I’m pretty sure we will. At the moment Red and I are Canada’s 4th ranked men’s team – by 42 points – meaning if just one more Canadian team attends an FIVB event we’re forced into a CQ playoff. By playing NORCECA we’ll take advantage of it’s generous point amounts (NORCECA podium = FIVB Open 5th/9th) and hopefully jump ahead of the 3rd Canadian team.
Either way, CQ or not, we would have chose to play Cayman as the points are good, the location is pristine, and with all the Canadian ex-pats there it feel like we’re playing at home. So for us, and many other international teams the FIVB season will start in Lucern, Switzerland mid-May. Following Lucern five more events roll back-to-back with just one off-week during that span.
Till then, it’s training in Cali and all the peace, serenity, and enjoyment that comes with being on the best coast (read: West Coast)
Good to be writing again.. Thanks for the read.