After dropping to Group 2 for the 2015 season, Bulgaria took advantage of the expansion of Group 1 to return to the top tier of the World League last year, finishing 11th overall.
Historically, Bulgaria have a strong track record and they have been regular participants in the World League since 1994, when they finished fourth – a position they held four more times since.
Bulgaria competed in the first Olympic tournament at Tokyo 1964, finishing fifth. They took the silver medal at Moscow 1980 and came joint-fifth again at Beijing 2008, before a fourth place at London 2012. In their first appearance in the World Championship in 1949 they won the bronze medal, a feat they repeated in 1952, before climbing to silver in 1970. They won two more bronze medals in 1986 and 2006. In addition, they have one bronze at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, as well as four bronze and a silver at the European Championships.