The FIVB World League is the annual competition for men’s volleyball national teams that has been held since 1990.
See Chart of Total Team Prize Money for FIVB World League by Group on the following LINK.
The first competition had 8 teams, and had total prize of $1 million including individual awards.
Since the World League’s inception, teams have three ways to earn prize money. 1. By winning or losing a match, 2. By positioning in the pool, and, 3. By Final Round positioning.
With winning or losing a match, teams are awarded set amount for each match. In 1990, we have estimated it was around $6,000 for a win and $3,500 for a loss. By 2001, the FIVB had lowered these values to $4,800 and $1,800 respectively. By 2005, it had raised to $12,000 and $8,400 per a Polish Wikipedia page. The last confirmed information that we have per przegladsportowy.pl was for 2015, which stated that a win was worth $9,600 and loss was worth $4,800. It is not known if this same amount was applied to Group 2 and 3 as the World League has expanded. In our estimates, we had used the 2015 value for those Groups as well.
So, if you won all 12 matches in Group 1 Intercontinental Round play, your team would have made $115,200.
Next is your pool play finish. The FIVB had set certain amounts for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions. In 2002, a first-place finish would earn you $780,000, 2nd $770,000, 3rd $765,000 and 4th $760,000. By 2008, we estimated that the pool winner earned over $1 million and that is before the finals. However, this has dropped significantly with the 2012 season - $150,000 per sportowefakty.pl. and rose to $250,000 in 2015 per przegladsportowy.pl. With the change toward the FIVB World Grand Prix of having rotating Pools every weekend and prize money for your finish each weekend, we had estimated that the same thing is happening with the World League.
Lastly, the prize money from the Finals: for most of the history of the World League the Finals Champion takes home $1 million or more. However, currently the second-place teams take home $500,000, 3rd place $300,000 and 4th place $150,000. The 5th and 6th place teams take $75,000 each.
Getting back to the history, overall prize money had rose in 1994 to $6 million and 12 teams. A drop to 11 in 1996, took away $550,000 in prize money ($5,450,000).
In 2000, total prize money reached $10 million with only 12 teams. The following year (2001), the World League expanded to 16 for the first time and total prize money was $14.5 million. It stayed at that level through 2003.
In 2004, the World League shrank to 12 teams and prize money dropped to $13 million.
By 2006, the World League went back to 16 teams, but the prize money topped $20 million for the first time. Russia, China and the USA had returned at that time, so sponsorship and TV money may have increased. With Brazil winning the Finals over France, they became the first team be awarded over $2 million in one season. Nine of 16 teams earned over $1 million.
In 2007, prize money was about the same and 12 of the 16 teams earned over $1 million. In 2008 again the same level of prize money, and 12 of the 16 earned more than $1 million.
With the economic collapse in 2009, prize money did drop about 10% to $18.5 million. Surprisingly, even with economic difficulty prize money stayed at this level through 2011.
But with the 2012 season (pre-London), prize money was drastically reduced for to $5.7 million. The money for a team’s position the Intercontinental Round pools had greatly dropped by an estimated $1 million. Only one team, the champion, Poland, had more than $1 million in prize money.
2013 had an expansion to 18 teams, but prize money stayed the same.
For the 2014 season, the World League expanded to 28 teams in three groups. Group 1 had 8 teams, Group 2 had 12 teams and Group 3 had 8 teams. The FIVB Media Guide for the World League said that prize money had increased to $6.9 million. However, the FIVB did not give a breakdown of the prize money by level. Also, with the awards ceremonies for the Finals for Groups 2 and 3, there were no prize money boards displayed. In my numbers, I have estimated prize money for these Groups, by using match money and then subtracting the remaining money from Group 1 (Intercontinental Round and Finals). Our numbers may be off, but with little information provided for the lower Groups, it is an estimation.
In 2015, the World League expanded to 32 teams, with the expansion of Group 3 to 12 teams. Prize money had risen to $7.1 million. However, with the FIVB giving the Group 2 Champion a position in the Finals, France would be the first and only Group 2 team to win over $1 million by winning the Group 1 Finals. This shows in the Group Value chart page as to why Group 1 and Group 2 are so close.
The 2016 season, had a similar amount of prize money but a further expansion to 36, with now 12 teams in each of the three Groups.
What you must remember is that with the World League Finals, since 2006, each winning team is awarded $1 million. So, with that much money on the line, you must play at your best to take it home.
Credits: Jeremy Brahm (Inside Volleycountry)
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