International Volleyball

ROAD TO PARIS TO REACH CRITICAL POINT AT VNL 2024

ROAD TO PARIS TO REACH CRITICAL POINT AT VNL 2024

The results of the Preliminary Phase matches will determine the last national teams qualified for the Olympics

The women’s national teams of Italy and Japan will be among the ones fighting for a spot at the Paris Games

Over the course of its seven years of existence, the Volleyball Nations League has established itself as one of the most prestigious and relevant international volleyball tournaments, but the 2024 edition will bring added weight to the event’s already high level of importance.

For the first time, the VNL will play a major role in the Olympic qualification process that will take 12 menโ€™s and womenโ€™s national teams to the Paris 2024 Games in a few months.

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Seven national teams in each gender have already booked their tickets to Paris โ€“ host country France and the six menโ€™s and womenโ€™s sides that succeeded at last yearโ€™s Volleyball Olympic Qualifier Tournaments.

The five remaining spots per gender will be determined via the FIVB Volleyball World Rankings in June, meaning that the Preliminary Phase matches of the VNL 2024 will heavily influence the final positions of teams competing in it.

To ensure the universality principle at the Olympics, each of the five continents needs to be represented in Paris, so one of the five spots still up for grabs in each gender will necessarily be assigned to a national team from Africa, a continent that wonโ€™t appear in the VNL 2024, therefore limiting the number of berths available to four in each gender.

Because of how the FIVB World Rankings works, every match of the VNL Preliminary Phase will impact the total points of the teams involved. The number of points won or lost during matches varies depending on the position occupied by the teams involved in the FIVB World Rankings.

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Facing higher-ranked opponents brings a better opportunity to increase points in the case of a win and a smaller chance of dropping them with a loss. On the other hand, meeting lower-ranked rivals limits the ceiling of potential earnings with a triumph while offering a bigger risk of losing a more significant number of points in case of a setback.

Looking at the campaign of last yearโ€™s VNL champions and World Ranking leaders Poland, we can see how exactly that happens as while they earned 8.01 points with a 3-0 win over world No. 5 Brazil, they also dropped 17.03…

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