2024 In Focus: Stakes Higher Than Ever At This Year’s VNL With Olympic Qualification On The Line

The race is on for the remaining Olympic spots which will be decided after the Preliminary Phase of the tournament.

The Volleyball Nations League (VNL) will once again get the national team volleyball season underway in 2024. In its sixth edition, the event will start earlier than usual, with the women’s competition beginning on 14 May and the men’s tournament on 21 May.

Additionally, with five Olympic Games Paris 2024 tickets per gender still up for grabs, the VNL Preliminary Phase will serve as the final opportunity for teams to accumulate vital FIVB World Ranking points. It is set to be a hotly contested competition, as teams strive not only to secure their spot in the Olympics but also to pursue success in the VNL and build momentum before the Games.

The VNL will feature 16 women’s and 16 men’s elite national teams competing in the Preliminary Phase for one of seven available spots in the VNL Finals, which will be hosted in Łódź, Poland for the men’s finals. The host of the VNL Women’s Finals will be announced at a later stage.

In each gender, the Preliminary Phase will consist of six eight-team pools spread across three competition weeks at six different venues. Each team will play a total of 12 games, accruing wins and points towards the overall standings, contributing towards advancement to the Finals. Each Final Round will consist of quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches.

Women’s VNL 2024

Paris 2024 Olympic hosts France earned the right to participate in the women’s VNL 2024 for the first time, after their triumph at the VCC 2023. They will join another four challenger teams – Bulgaria, Canada, the Dominican Republic and 2023 bronze medalists Poland – as well as the 11 core teams – three-time champions and reigning Olympic champions the USA, 2022 winners Italy, 2023 winners Türkiye, 2023 runners-up China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Serbia and Thailand – in the 2024 edition of the competition.

Women’s 2024 VNL Pool Overview

Champions Türkiye will start the defense of their title in front of the home fans in Antalya. The other pool of the first competition week, from 14 to 19 May, will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Then, Macau in China and Arlington, Texas in the USA will set the stage for the pools of the second competition week from 28 May to 2 June. Finally, Hong Kong in China and a Japanese venue that will be announced at a later stage will welcome the deciding third competition week battles from 11 to 16 June.

The Finals will be played from 20 to 23 June.

Men’s VNL 2024

Türkiye will make their men’s VNL debut after winning the VCC in 2023.

VNL 2021 winners Brazil, 2022 winners and reigning Olympic champions France, 2023 medalists Poland, the USA and Japan, as well as Argentina, Germany, Iran, Italy and Serbia, are the core teams who are set to fight for the spots in the 2024 Finals.

Men’s 2024 VNL Pool Overview

The men’s competition will serve off on 21 May, also in Antalya and Rio de Janeiro. The first competition week will last through 26 May. The VNL will then travel to the Canadian capital Ottawa and a Japanese city to be announced at a later stage for the second competition week from 4 to 9 June. The fans in the capitals of Slovenia and the Philippines – Ljubljana and Manila, respectively – will enjoy the opportunity to witness the third competition week matches live.

The VNL Men’s Finals will begin on 27 June in Łódź, Poland. The medal matches will be played on 30 June. Besides the Polish, will compete in the VNL 2024 Finals the seven best national teams in the Preliminary Phase. The VNL Finals will be held in a single elimination format, starting with the quarterfinals and ending with the medal matches.