CEV unveils new format for Champions League
Following a CEV Board of Administration decision earlier this month, the 2017 edition of Europe’s elite competition, the CEV Volleyball Champions League, will feature a revised competition format which opens participation to each national champion.
The revised format comes 16 years after Europe’s elite competition was first introduced, following in the footsteps of the CEV Champions Cup.
The 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League is split up as follows:
– A 1st, 2nd and 3rd Round open to all national federations and consisting of home and away matches. The number of teams competing at this stage will depend on registrations. Teams losing in these rounds will be moved to the 2017 CEV Volleyball Cup draw, but there will be no further interconnection between the three European Cups. Should more than eight losers need to move, an additional round will be played in the CEV Volleyball Cup. Within a specific round, ‘byes’ will be awarded to the higher-ranked teams, but after this it will be an open draw to determine the various ties.
– A 4th Round including 12 seeded teams per gender plus eight and four qualifying through the previous rounds in the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively; at this stage of the competition, teams will be divided into pools of four each to play a double round robin.
– A Playoff Phase including Playoffs 12 and Playoffs 6 for the men and Playoffs 6 only for the women, to be contested as home and away matches that will determine the teams joining the organisers of the Final Four tournaments.
– The format of the Final Four remains unchanged, with the only exception being the possibility for two teams from the same country being able to contest the gold medal match (i.e. they will no longer have to cross ways in the semis).
The 12 teams per gender seeded directly in the 4th Round are determined as per the latest European Cups’ Ranking List (which is available here and considers results from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons) in accordance with the following criteria:
– Two teams for the national federations ranked 1 to 4
– One team for the national federations ranked 5 to 8
National federations ranked 9 and above are entitled to register their 2016 national champion as long as they fulfil competition requirements.