Blair Bann was a member of Team Canada at the Guadalajara 2011 Pan Am Games where he was voted Best Digger. He debuted in the FIVB World League in 2012, helping Canada to a then-best fifth-place finish in 2013. At the 2013 NORCECA Continental Championship, he was named Best Receiver as Canada won the silver medal.
In 2015 Bann helped Canada win gold at the NORCECA Continental Championship. He made his first appearance at an FIVB World Cup, helping Canada match its best-ever seventh-place finish from 2003. Bann helped Canada qualify for Rio 2016 via the first world qualification tournament, earning Canada’s first men’s Olympic volleyball spot since Barcelona 1992. In his Olympic debut, Bann was part of Canada’s fifth-place finish, their best Olympic result since Los Angeles 1984.
In 2017, Bann was named Best Libero in the FIVB World League, as Canada won a bronze medal, their first-ever podium finish in any international FIVB event. Canada also won bronze at that year’s NORCECA Continental Championship. In 2018, Bann made his first of three appearances for Canada in the newly formed FIVB Nations League.
In 2018 Bann played in his first FIVB World Championship as Canada finished ninth in the quadrennial tournament. That same result was achieved at the 2019 FIVB World Cup.
Bann was key to Canada qualifying for Tokyo 2020, leading the team to an undefeated record at the NORCECA Continental Qualifier where he was named tournament MVP and Best Receiver. In his first action with the team following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, he helped Canada finish eighth at the 2021 FIVB Nations League. The team also finished eighth at Tokyo 2020 after making it to the quarterfinals.
Bann played collegiately at the University of British Columbia for five years. With the Thunderbirds he was runner-up at the CanWest Championship in back-to-back years (2007, 2008), was twice named the CIS’ Top Libero (2008, 2010), and was four times the CanWest Best Libero (2008-11). While at UBC, Bann represented Canada at the 2009 Universiade in Belgrade and finished sixth. He won gold with Team Alberta at the 2009 Canada Summer Games.
Bann turned pro in 2012 and has primarily played with German club SWD Powervolleys Düren. Highlights from his time overseas include finishing third in both the 2015 German Bundesliga and German Cup with Düren. In 2019, while in France, Bann finished second in both Ligue A and the French Cup with Chaumont Volley-Ball 52, and came fifth in the Champions League. He returned to Düren the following year, finishing second in the 2020 German Cup and third in the 2021 Bundesliga standings.
A Little More About Blair
Getting into the Sport: Began playing volleyball at age 14 with his school team and joined a club team at 16. When teammates started talking about trying out for clubs, he joined in and made the top local team, NAVC Gold… Drawn to the sport because there was always something new to learn and get better at… Two of his biggest role models have been teammates Jay Blankenau and Max Burt, ‘two guys who push me when I need it and pumped me up when I need it’… Grew up idolizing the University of Alberta Golden Bears, who were the reason he wanted to go far in the sport… Outside Interests: Enjoys cooking and baking, taking some time with his family at the beach during the short offseason… Graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2011 with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree… Would like to pursue a career in coaching after he’s done playing… Odds and Ends: Nickname: Blizz… Collects sneakers, is always on the lookout for some good shoes, and they’re easier to find at competitions in Europe… Favourite motto: “Some type of magic”…
Notable International Results
Olympic Games: 2020 - 8th; 2016 - 5th
Pan American Games: 2011 - 6th
FISU Universiade: 2009 - 6th
FIVB World Cup: 2019 - 9th; 2015 - 7th
FIVB World Championships: 2018 - 9th
FIVB Nations League: 2021 - 8th; 2019 - 9th; 2018 - 7th
FIVB World League: 2017 - BRONZE; 2016 - 13th; 2015 - 15th; 2014 - 15th; 2013 - 5th; 2012 - 12th
NORCECA Continental Championships: 2019 - BRONZE; 2017 - BRONZE; 2015 - GOLD; 2013 - SILVER