Earlier today, ParaVolley Europe selected Warendorf, Germany and Podčetrtek, Slovenia to host 2015 men’s and women’s European championships. The men’s championship is scheduled to take place from September 30 to October 8, while the women’s championship is scheduled to run from November 7 to 15. The event is important because it serves as a zonal championship for 2016 Summer Paralympics qualification, with the winners booking themselves a spot to Rio if they have not already otherwise qualified.
At the moment, the highest ranked men’s team in Europe is Bosnia and Herzegovina who are ranked second globally. They are followed by Russia who are ranked fourth in the world, Germany who are ranked fifth, Ukraine who are ranked eighth, Great Britain who are ranked tenth, Netherlands who are ranked eleventh, Croatia who are ranked thirteenth, Poland who are ranked seventeenth, Latvia who are ranked twenty-fifth, Azerbaijan who are ranked twenty-seventh, Hungary who are ranked thirty-third and Lithuania who are ranked thirty-fifth. On the women’s side, Ukraine is the top ranked European side as the second ranked globally. They are followed by Slovenia who are ranked fifth, Netherlands who are ranked sixth, Russia who are ranked seventh, Great Britain who are ranked ninth, Finland who are ranked tenth, Germany who are ranked eleventh, Hungary who are ranked thirteenth, Poland who are ranked fourteenth, and Croatia who are ranked twentieth.
A number of European teams have been active in preparing for the upcoming European competition. The Latvian men had a chance to show off for national team selectors during the most recent round of the Baltic League, which took place earlier this month. They will have another shot at the Riga Cup 2015 later this month. Azerbaijani players were together for a competition in honor of 100 days until European Games Baku 2015 earlier this month. Russia’s women were in the United States where they played a series against third ranked Americans earlier this month. In January, Russia, Netherlands, Finland and Hungary’s women’s national side competed at the Pajulahti Games in Nastola, Finland along with fourth ranked Brazil. Russia won that tournament.