giovedì 29 settembre 2016

FINA WORLD LEAGUE: FINA Men’s World League back to 30 metres

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The start of a new international water polo Olympic cycle. Not long after the cheers and excitement of the 2016 Olympic Games sights are now shifting towards a new international season, traditionally kicked off by the European group stage of the FINA Water Polo World League. FINA performed the draw on Wednesday at its office in Lausanne, Switzerland. Without Montenegro, Hungary and Spain the teams will be starting the action on November 15, likely using the occasion to test some younger players who are supposed to make the ‘jump’ to the senior national team en route to the 2020 Olympics. Reigning champion Serbia, winner of the last 4 editions, is the favourite in group A, despite the fact that head coach Dejan Savic will surely come up with some ‘new’ names.
Croatia meets Greece in perhaps the greatest duel for the group’s top spot in this preliminary stage, in group B. Italy can also be considered heavy favourite in group C. The group winners will secure a spot in the Super Final, to be played in June. More importantly, though, as the test phase is over, FINA announced that the field of play for the men will be back to 30 metres, reverting to the picture before the last two editions, where it was cut to a length of just 25 metres as part of a set of new rules, tested by the aquatics world’s governing body.
The field of participants in the women’s tournament is somewhat smaller, but has more top teams present, with only Europe’s number 4, and runners-up of last year’s World League, Spain absent this edition. Group A is highly competitive with Russia, Greece and the Netherlands. In group B the battle for the top spot can be expected to be fought by Italy and Hungary with France as an outsider, further building its team.
FINA Water Polo World League 2016-2017

Europe Group Stage

Group A: Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Serbia
Group B: Netherlands, Croatia, Greece, France
Group C: Georgia, Italy, Turkey (to be confirmed), Russia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – round 1
Slovakia vs. Germany
Romania vs. Serbia
Croatia vs. Greece
Netherlands vs. France
Italy vs. Turkey
Georgia vs. Russia

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – round 2
Romania vs. Slovakia
Germany vs. Serbia
Greece vs. Netherlands
France vs. Croatia
Georgia vs. Turkey
Russia vs. Italy

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – round 3
Germany vs. Romania
Slovakia vs. Serbia
Netherlands vs. Croatia
Greece vs. France
Italy vs. Georgia
Turkey vs. Russia

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – round 4
Germany vs. Slovakia
Serbia vs. Romania
Greece vs. Croatia
France vs. Netherlands
Turkey vs. Italy
Russia vs. Georgia

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – round 5
Slovakia vs. Romania
Serbia vs. Germany
Netherlands vs. Greece
Croatia vs. France
Turkey vs. Georgia
Italy vs. Russia

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – round 6
Romania vs. Germany
Serbia vs. Slovakia
Croatia vs. Netherlands
France vs. Greece
Georgia vs. Italy
Russia vs. Turkey

Group winners qualify for World League Super Final (June 20-25, 2017) – location to be decided.
Prize Money Distribution:
Preliminary Rounds
– Teams not qualified 15’000.- USD
Super Final
– 1st Place 100’000.- USD
–  2nd Place 70’000.- USD
–  3rd Place 50’000.- USD
–  4th Place 35’000.- USD
–  5th Place 30’000.- USD
–  6th Place 25’000.- USD
–  7th Place 20’000.- USD
–  8th Place 15’000.- USD

TOTAL 345‘000.- USD
Group A: Russia, Greece, Netherlands
Group B: Italy, Hungary, France.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – round 1
Greece vs. Netherlands
France vs. Hungary

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 – round 2
Netherlands vs. Russia
Italy vs. France

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – round 3
Greece vs. Russia
Hungary vs. Italy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 – round 4
Netherlands vs. Greece
Hungary vs. France

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – round 5
Russia vs. Netherlands
France vs. Italy

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – round 6
Russia vs. Greece
Italy vs. Hungary

Group winners + 3rd best team (points total) qualify for World League Super Final (June 6-11, 2017) – location to be decided.

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