2017 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE – GROUP 1
- Group 1, Pool K1
- July 4-8
- Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, Brazil
- FIVB World League Finals
As the action heats up in Curitiba, Brazil at the Arena da Baixada, hosts of the Final 6 for the 2017 FIVB World League, the temperatures have remained cold.
The arena’s primary use is as a soccer stadium, and while the retractable roof is closed this week on the 42,000 seat stadium (it was the first retractable roof stadium in South America), it’s still been quite cold inside for the week’s games.
Images of athletes using hand-warmers during timeouts and fans in heavy coats and hats have been a common occurrence. On the tournament’s first day, the high was only 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13C), and throughout most of the week, temperatures have been in the mid-50s by the time the late match has started. Players have been mitigating the temperatures by wearing long-sleeved thermal garments under their jerseys, but that doesn’t protect the hands.
The weather will be about 64, with some light rain falling around Curitiba, when today’s first semi-final between hosts Brazil and the United States begins at 3:05 PM local time. When the late game is scheduled to start between France and Canada at 5:40PM local time, the temperature will have fallen to about 57.
Friday will have similar temperatures to earlier in the week. Curitiba, like the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, is currently in its winter, and temperatures are below average for the area (which is typically colder anyway than its more famous neighbors in Rio). A record of the weather for this week’s matches are below:
Besides discomfort, there is the very-real issue of injury that comes from tighter muscles when weather is colder. The longer the tournament goes on, the greater that risk to the athletes becomes.
For the semi-finals and finals, especially when Brazil is playing, the stadium is expected to reach deeper into its capacity. The highest attendance thus far has been 14,390 for Brazil’s final game against Russia, and those numbers are expected to double or triple when Brazil is playing in the semi-finals and finals. That many more bodies in the building could legitimately raise the temperature a few degrees, which would be welcome for the players.