After a month since announcing the formation of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, some of the locations for the Nations League have been announced.
There will be a total of 16 teams on both the men’s and women’s side of the competition with 12 being core teams and four challengers. Each of the 12 core teams has received a hosting duty over the eight weeks of play while the four challengers will spend the year on the road. The tournament is held in a round-robin format with the final round of play scheduled for July 4-8.
The core teams on the men’s side of the competition are Brazil, Argentina, China, France, Germany, Iran Italy, Japan, Poland Russia, Serbia and the USA. The four challengers are Australia, Bulgaria, Canada and South Korea. At the 2017 World League (the competition the Nations League is replacing), France took the title over Brazil in a gritty five-set match followed by Canada and the United States.
(*Not all pools have been officially confirmed)
Pool I – Canada (host), Australia, USA, Germany
Pool K – Russia (host), Iran, China, Brazil
Pool N – Germany (host), Argentina, Japan, Russia
Pool O – USA (host), Serbia, Iran, Poland
Canada will host a portion of the Nations League as one of the challengers in the competition. The Canadian location is in Ottawa, Canada. In the 2017 World League, Canada plunged ahead as one of the top teams in the tournament by making it to the Final Six and then to the Final Four where they faced off against Team USA for the bronze medal. The Canadian side surprised the lot with a win over Team USA to claim their first podium position in the competition.
Russia was ousted in the World League in 2017 after making it to the Final Six by losing to both Brazil and Canada to claim the fifth place in the competition. The location is uncertain yet for the Russian matches in Pool K but they will face a tough test with Iran, China and Brazil among their bracket.
Germany will hold the men’s tournament in Ludwigsburg where they will host Argentina, Japan and Russia in their third round match.
Team USA is set to host a portion of the new Nations League in Hoffman Estates, Illinois at the Sears Centre Arena from June 15-17. The Americans are coming off a fourth-place finish in the 2017 World League and will look to redeem themselves in the 2018 season.
Pool Q – Germany (host), China, the Netherlands, Turkey
Germany will take to the court in Pool Q by hosting China, the Netherlands and Turkey in a tough pool set to be played in Stuttgart from June 12-14.