Lausanne, Switzerland, May 1, 2019 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed last week that the final day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will feature the women’s volleyball final, in what will be a historic day for the sport.
It is the first time that women’s volleyball has been granted such a coveted place on the Olympic competition schedule, marking another milestone for the FIVB in its commitment to promoting gender equality in sport.
In previous years, the men’s Olympic volleyball final has regularly featured as one of the last events of the Olympic Games. However, at Tokyo 2020, the men’s final will be held the night before the women’s, on Saturday 8 August.
The FIVB has been a vocal advocate for ensuring equity between men and women’s volleyball, and the governing body has now proposed an alternating schedule for future editions of the Games. If accepted, the proposal would ensure that the men’s volleyball final would be played on the final Sunday of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, whilst at Los Angeles 2028, the women’s final would take place on the last day of the Games.
The move is another effort by the FIVB to ensure a complete gender balance across its sport. At the FIVB’s newest event - the Volleyball Nations League - athletes of both genders compete under the same conditions and rule formats, with equal prize money for both men and women.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça Fᵒ said:
“Gender equality is a key priority and I am delighted that the women’s volleyball final will be one of the closing events at Tokyo 2020.
“Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world and our athletes are role models for millions of fans and aspiring athletes globally. Women competing on an even platform with men only enhances this and the FIVB will continue to promote the incredible athleticism and skill of our female stars.”
The Olympic volleyball competition at Tokyo 2020 will take place at the 15,000-seat Ariake Arena. The men’s pool stage will begin on 25 July, with two medal matches scheduled for 8 August. Women’s action will begin on 26 July, culminating on 9 August.
In each gender, 11 teams will join hosts Japan in the battle for Olympic honours. The first six will emerge from the intercontinental qualification tournaments, while the remaining five vacancies will be filled by the winners of the continental qualification tournaments.
The FIVB also intends to replicate the proposed schedule in the beach volleyball competition. In 2020, the men’s beach volleyball Olympic final will take place on the last day of the beach competition, and in Paris four years later, the women’s final would be the concluding match.