Polish Volleyball Federation
or shortly PZPS from Warsaw, Poland, has been established in 1928 – this year PZPS celebrates its 90th anniversary.
Poland boasts a strong Volleyball tradition and the country’s Man National Team has played an important role among the elite teams since its first appearance at the very first FIVB World Championship in 1949 in Czechoslovakia. The fourth place from that tournament was repeated in France (1956) and again in Brazil (1960). In the middle of the 1970s, the Polish squad claimed the absolute top position and dominated the international Volleyball scene for several years. Poland triumphed at the FIVB World Championship in Mexico in 1974 and succeeded again two years later at the Montreal Olympics, winning Olympic gold. Being one of the strongest and most innovative on the international stage, Poland had gone from strength to strength in recent years led by the core group of players consisting of the successful 1997 FIVB World Junior champions lineup headed respectively by world-wide known coaches Raul Lozano and Daniel Castellani. Their quarterfinal performance at the 2004 Olympic Games, which included a straight sets win over Serbia and Montenegro followed by a glorious era of success with silver medal in 2006 FIVB World Men Championships, gold medal in 2009 CEV European Men Championships rounded up by a respectable 10th place in the 2010 FIVB World League final standing summed up the quality of the Polish team.
Just as big achievements were to be celebrated with 2010 FIVB World Championships a sudden and unexpected set-back of the team’s performance was witnessed when it ended up 16th after a brief 2nd round struggle in the championship’s “death pool” as it became to be called.
Long awaited 2011 was to revive Polish prominence with newly hired one of the best coaches in the history of modern volleyball Andrea Anastasi who already proved his mastership by leading the Team to the bronze medal in the 2011 World League.
The good touch of Andrea Anastasi continued all the way to the European Championships where Poland simply ran over Russia ending up third which gave Poland second medal of the season. The line of success continued as the vision of Olympics lingered on the horizon and became the reality after bringing silver from the 2011 World Cup at the end of the season.
2012’s beginning seems not to have failed team’s performance it simply ran over its competitors in the World League winning 3 times over Brazil in 4 consecutive matches and finally mounting the 1st place of the podium in Sofia.
The good faith unfortunately did not continue in the most important event of the year as Poland strived hard in London and managed to end 5th. The Team was not able to revive from its misfortune also through 2013 neither reaching the World League Final nor qualifying for the Final Round of the European Championships. This resulted in resignation of the Head Coach Andrea Anastasi.
Despite all the rumors of surprise that lured across the volleyball World after nominating in 2014 a young and unexperienced coach Stephane Antiga to lead the team as the host of 2014 FIVB World Championships, Poland once again proved to be the Volleyland of the World both organizationally and sport-wise swiping-out all the superpowers off the stage claiming gold on home ground.
The beginning of 2015 was marked by very hard preparation especially that some of the 2014 champions have actually finished their career. Nevertheless Poland proved to be a dangerous and competitive opponent ending 4th in the World League Rio Final Six.
Their struggle for Rio ticket continued during 2015 World Cup where they were almost one step in the plane while losing only one match to Italy and ending as 3rd – the big runner ups.
In spite of tears of the lost chance their motivation doubled to fulfill the dream during Olympic Qualification Tournament to take place in Tokyo in May/June 2016.
Women national team of Poland have appeared in every edition of the FIVB World Grand Prix since 2004 reaching a high of sixth place in 2007 and 2010. In their bid for promotion from to Group 1, they made the final of Group 2 twice consecutively in 2015 and 2016, but lost on both counts to The Netherlands 3-0 and to the Dominican Republic 3-2.
The Poles were once one of the top teams in the world, however. They took Olympic bronze medals in Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968. They won a World Championship silver in 1952 and bronze in 1956 and 1962. More recently they won back-to-back gold medals at the European Championships in 2003 and 2005, followed by a bronze in 2009. This is addition to four silver and another four bronze medals at continental level, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s. Poland returned to the Olympic stage for the first time in 40 years in Beijing 2008.