Volleyball At The 2020 Summer Olympics
- 25 July – 9 August
- Tokyo, Japan
- FIVB Official Release
The qualification system for the indoor volleyball tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games has been confirmed by the FIVB. Both men’s and women’s competitions will field 12 teams each, with qualification being the same for both genders. As Japan is guaranteed a berth as the Olympic host, this means that 11 teams will fight for a spot in the Toko Games. Sadly for Poland and the future women’s WCH Champion, they will not get an automatic Olympic berth. Also, unlike the WCH, teams will be comprised of only 12 players and not the usual 14.
There will be six intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournaments, the first starting in 2019, although exact dates and hosts have not been determined yet. The 24 highest ranked national teams, per the FIVB World Rankings as of January 1st, 2019, will participate in these tournaments. They will be place into 6 pools of 4 each using the serpentine system. The seedings will be attributed as follows:
- POOL A: Ranking 1, Ranking 12, Ranking 13, Ranking 24
- POOL B: Ranking 2, Ranking 11, Ranking 14, Ranking 23
- POOL C: Ranking 3, Ranking 10, Ranking 15, Ranking 22
- POOL D: Ranking 4, Ranking 9, Ranking 16, Ranking 21
- POOL E: Ranking 5, Ranking 8, Ranking 17, Ranking 20
- POOL F: Ranking 6, Ranking 7, Ranking 18, Ranking 19
The top team in each of the pools will guarantee itself a spot at the Olympic Games. This leaves a further 5 spots left, which will be determined in five Continental Olympic Qualification tournaments, one in each confederation: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, NORCECA.
Using today’s FIVB senior rankings, the following men’s teams would be virtually guaranteed as pool winners at the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournaments: Brazil, USA, Poland, Italy, Russia, and Canada. Meanwhile, the following women’s teams would also be a certain lock: China, USA, Serbia, Brazil, Russia, and Japan.
It’s easy to see then, that this arrangement will drive Europeans crazy, as always, as the CEV boasts a huge number of competitive teams that will be left out of the Olympics in favor of weaker Asian, African, South American, North American teams. Italy, Turkey, and The Netherlands, for example, would have a hard time making it to the Games in the women’s field, with the French suffering the same fate in the men’s side. Remember that in 2014, Serbia was left out of the men’s competition, with Turkey also being kept home in the women’s field.