Japanese Women Outdraw Italian Men in World Championship 1st Round

  0 Braden Keith | October 09th, 2018 | African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, Canadian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball

The 60 matches of the opening round of the 2018 Women’s Volleyball World Championships in Japan drew just over 100,000 spectators in total: 100,615 per official FIVB recounts of the matches. That comes out to about 1,677 fans-per-match.

While that’s significantly lower than the 163,453 (2,724/match) that viewed preliminary round matches in the men’s tournament, there are a number of contributing factors in play that confound any judgement about the relative support of local fan bases or the audience preference of one tournament over the other.

For starters, the men’s tournament had two host countries, Italy and Bulgaria. Host countries always draw bigger crowds, and with 10 matches involving host countries, rather than just the 5 from the women’s tournament, there will be an uptick in attendance.

If we remove ‘host nation’ matches from consideration, then the gap closes considerably – the men are down to 1966/match, while the women’s number falls to 1,038/match – still a big gap, but a smaller one at least.

The other confounding factor was the approach of Typhoon Trami toward Japan at the start of the tournament – which almost caused rescheduling of matches. The impact of the impending storm can be seen pretty easily in the September 30th attendance figures for pools C and D, located in the two cities most impacted: Kobe and Hammamatsu. Whereas the patterns (in both the men’s and women’s tournaments) bore out that evening matches were bigger draws, the reverse actually happened in those two pools. The storm hit Japan on the evening of September 30th.

Pool C:

30 Sep 13:40 Brazil 3–0 Dominican Republic 25–15 25–20 25–22 75–57 1550
30 Sep 16:10 Kazakhstan 0–3 Puerto Rico 21–25 15–25 22–25 58–75 850
30 Sep 19:20 Kenya 0–3 Serbia 16–25 9–25 8–25 33–75 350

Pool D:

30 Sep 13:40 United States 3–0 Trinidad and Tobago 25–11 25–12 25–11 75–34 420
30 Sep 16:10 Azerbaijan 3–1 South Korea 25–18 25–18 23–25 25–18 98–79 410
30 Sep 19:20 Thailand 2–3 Russia 25–21 25–17 13–25 21–25 9–15 93–103 260

The 3-matches per day also probably hurts attendance (the men’s tournament had just 2 matches per day). Attendances during the working day, as early as 1:40 PM local time, were much lower than later matches; this is showing up even more heavily so far in round 2 with 10:10 starts and 4 matches per day.

The hosts Japan drew huge crowds, though, averaging 8,707 spectators per match. That’s actually more than either host team (Italy or Japan) drew in the opening round of the men’s tournament, albeit they played in the Yokohama Arena – which is larger than any of the opening round venues of the men’s tournament.

Their biggest crowd was 10,350 for their preliminary finale against Germany, though they drew at least 7,000 fans for each match.

Other high-water-mark matches for attendance in other pools (Pool A matches, even those not including Japan, all received the residual benefit from their presence):

  • Pool C, Kobe, Russia vs. United States – 1,850
  • Pool B, Sapporo, China vs. Cuba – 1,800
  • Pool B, Sapporo, China vs. Turkey – 1,600
  • Pool D, Hamamatsu, Brazil vs. Dominican Republic – 1,550
  • Pool D, Hamamatsu, Brazil vs. Serbia – 1,500

Attendance Summary, Preliminary Round, 2018 Women’s Volleyball World Championships

Pool A Yokohama 12,000 4,489 2,380 67,335
Pool B Sapporo 8,000 923 923 13,850
Pool C Kobe 6,000 532 532 7,980
Pool D Hamamatsu 8,200 763 763 11,450

Attendance By Country, Preliminary Round, 2018 Women’s Volleyball World Championships

Country Pool Total Attendance
Average Attendance
Japan A 43535 8707
Germany A 20220 4044
Cameroon A 18270 3654
Mexico A 18170 3634
Netherlands A 17870 3574
Argentina A 16605 3321
China B 7350 1470
Brazil D 5365 1073
Dominican Republic D 4455 891
Cuba B 4450 890
Turkey B 4430 886
Italy B 4370 874
United States C 4230 846
Puerto Rico D 3905 781
Serbia D 3730 746
Canada B 3630 726
Bulgaria B 3470 694
Russia C 3050 610
Kenya D 2755 551
Kazakhstan D 2690 538
Thailand C 2550 510
South Korea C 2540 508
Azerbaijan C 2170 434
Trinidad and Tobago C 1420 284

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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