Following a spectacular and highly successful season in 2019, which saw Russia’s men and USA’s women pick up the the gold medals, the FIVB Volleyball Nations League enters its third edition in 2020 with high expectations for another remarkable couple of months of amazing volleyball action around the world.
Carrying on from last year’s successful competition, the 2020 FIVB Volleyball Nations League continues on the same format of 12 core teams and 4 challenger teams per gender.
- The men’s core teams are Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Serbia and USA. They are complemented by the challenger teams of Australia, Bulgaria and Canada, plus newcomers Slovenia who won last year’s Challenger Cup and are replacing Portugal who were relegated last year.
- The women’s core teams include Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and USA. The challenger teams are Belgium, the Dominican Republic and Poland, plus newly promoted Canada who won last year’s Challenger Cup to replace Bulgaria who were relegated in 2019.
Starting on May 19 for the women and May 22 for the men, the 2019 VNL retains a similar calendar to last year, with men playing over the weekends and women during the week in pools of four teams each until each has played against every other in a single round robin tournament.
The top five teams at the end of the Preliminary Round join the hosts of the Finals to fight for the ultimate prize.
For the finals, both genders will play at the same dates from July 1-5. The women’s finals will be held in Nanjing, China, and the men’s finals will be held in Turin, Italy.
Last year in Chicago, Russia beat hosts USA for the men’s gold medal, while Poland outplayed Brazil for bronze. In the women’s competition in Nanjing, USA overcame Brazil in the final and hosts China picked up bronze with a win over Turkey.
The whole competition totals 260 matches – 130 per gender across the almost two-month duration. With an identical format for men and women, the Volleyball Nations League promotes equality in volleyball, while also making it simpler and more engaging to follow.