By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – The 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship will kick off in Japan on Saturday.
Japan will host the world’s best 24 teams in six different cities during the tournament between Sept. 29-Oct. 20.
In the first round, 24 teams have been divided into four pools of six teams playing in a round-robin system with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round. The 16 teams in the second round will be split into two pools of eight.
In each of the two second-round pools, each team will play only against the four rivals they haven’t faced in the first round.
The top three teams from each second-round pool will progress to the third round, where two round-robin pools of three teams will determine the four semifinalists.
USA won the inaugural Volleyball Nations League in 2018 after beating Turkey 3-2 in the final.
Turkey will compete in Group B with China, Italy, Bulgaria, Canada and Cuba.
The four groups are as follows:
Group A: Argentina, Cameroon, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands
Group B: Turkey, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cuba and Italy
Group C: Azerbaijan, Korea, Russia, Thailand, Trinidad&Tobago, the U.S.
Group D: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Serbia