November 7, 2018 4:16 pm

Winnipeg named as host for 2019 NORCECA Men’s Volleyball Championship

Manitoba's female volleyball team plays in front of a packed crowd at the Investors Group Athletic Centre as they try to go to 5-0 vs B.C. at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

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The top men’s volleyball players on this side of the planet will all descend upon Winnipeg next fall.

The city has been awarded the 2019 NORCECA Men’s Continental Volleyball Championship. The event is held every two years and typically features the top men’s players from eight countries from North and Central America.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to host the 2019 NORCECA Men’s Championship here in Manitoba next September,” Volleyball Manitoba executive director John Blacher said in a media release.

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“Winnipeg was the home of the national indoor team programs for many years, and it’s now been over a decade since we’ve hosted any international men’s volleyball events.”

The tournament was first contested in 1969 and has been held in Canada only four times previously. The last time Canada played host was in 2013 in Langley, B.C. Winnipeg also had the event in 2005.

“Our city has proven that we excel at hosting national and international sporting competitions,”  Economic Development Winnipeg President Dayna Spiring said.

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The 26th edition of the tournament will be a stepping stone to the Olympics with continental points up for grabs. The top four ranked teams from the tourney will advance to the Olympic qualifier the following January for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

All the matches will be held at the University of Winnipeg’s Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium.

“A new generation of young volleyball enthusiasts will now get a chance to witness the sport played live at the highest level,” Blacher said.

The United States won the last time the tournament was held in 2017 where Canada’s senior national men’s team had a third place finish. Canada won the gold medal in 2015.

The event will run from Sept. 2-7, 2019.

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