SAN JUAN, Argentina, August 1, 2023.- The 18th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship will take place in San Juan over the next 10 days. The northwestern Argentinean city is set to welcome the world’s best 20 youth national teams from Wednesday, August 2, through Friday, August 11.
Watch the Boys’ U19 World Championship live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel
The U19 World Championship will get underway at 11:00 local time (14:00 UTC) on Wednesday with two simultaneous matches on the two competition courts. India will take on France in a Pool B game, while Nigeria and Puerto Rico lock horns in a Pool C encounter.
The 20 participating teams were split into four single round-robin pools of five for the pool stage of the championship to be played over the first five competition days. Representing NORCECA are the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.
On each of the five days, the matches in Pool B (Bulgaria, France, India, Japan, Slovenia) and Pool C (Colombia, Iran, Korea, Nigeria, Puerto Rico) will be played with starting times 11:00 local (14:00 UTC) and 14:00 (17:00). The games in Pool D (Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Mexico) will start at 17:00 (20:00) and 20:00 (23:00), while those in Pool A (Argentina, Costa Rica, Egypt, Serbia, United States) will serve off at 18:00 (21:00) and 21:00 (00:00).
The top four teams from each pool will progress to the eighthfinals to start the direct elimination phase, during which each win means advancement to the upper tier of the next stage in the bracket and each loss means moving down to the lower tier of the next stage in the bracket until the final classification matches on August 11, which will fill up the places from first to sixteenth in the final standings.
The remaining four teams, those that finish fifth in their pools, will play a single round-robin to determine the final standings from 17th to 20th place.
The previous 17 editions of the youth boys’ world championships were held from 1989 to 2021. Argentina will host the event for the third time (2011, 2015) and are the first country to do so in the history of the competition. Mexico and Iran have welcomed the tournament twice each.
Brazil is the most decorated team in the competition, with six titles and a silver. However, they have not reached the podium since 2005. Iran also has seven medals (two gold, two silver and three bronze), while Russia has six, but three of them are gold. Italy, Poland and Serbia have also triumphed as youth world champions, twice each.
The most recent winners from 2021, Poland, however, will not be back to defend their title, but the other two medalists, runners-up Bulgaria and third-placed Iran, will compete in San Juan hoping for more honors, starting off as leaders of Pools B and C, respectively. Hosts Argentina, who are reigning South American youth champions from 2022, headline Pool A, while continental runners-up Brazil and current European youth champions Italy will go head to head in Pool D.
The list of past Most Valuable Player awardees in the history of the U19 World Championships starts with the first laureate in 1993 Gilberto Godoy Filho (Giba) of Brazil, Aleksandar Atanasijevic, Uros Kovacevic, Bartosz Kwolek and several others who went on to shine as top international stars in senior men’s volleyball.