New Volleyball Nations League format announced

New VNL format will come into effect in 2022 edition

Following a Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Council meeting last week, the new format for the VNL , as proposed by Volleyball World, was unanimously approved in response to feedback from stakeholders during the first three editions of the event.

The new format will see 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams competing in pools of 8 teams during the pool phase. Eight teams per gender will then move into the final knockout phase of the competition, creating even more opportunities for fans to witness electrifying volleyball action.

The format will provide the teams, fans and spectators an opportunity to enjoy the very best of volleyball in twelve unique locations around the world. Additionally, the new format will allow both genders to play over the weekends, while reducing travel and allowing for longer promotional activities and fan activations in relevant markets.

With the new format in place, each team will play 12 matches during the three weeks of the pool phase. These three weeks will see two pools of eight teams per gender competing in four matches each over six days of competition (Tuesday – Sunday). The new competition format means that each gender plays on alternate weeks, allowing for a one-week gap between events. The total number of matches in the pool phase will be 96.

The VNL Finals will see the eight strongest teams moving directly to the knockout phase which will consist of eight matches in total: four quarterfinals, two semi-finals and the bronze and gold medal matches.

Volleyball World has now shared the Event Hosting Expression of Interest forms with participating National Federations (NFs). Interested NFs can express their interest in organising the preliminary rounds of the competition. The form can be downloaded here.

Once the hosts and dates of the pool phase are determined, Volleyball World will conduct an open bidding process for the VNL Finals.