With three matches to play in the final weekend of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, 11 teams are still alive (excluding the Finals host France) for the Final 6 in Lille, France. The teams at 5 wins, need a lot of help, while those at 8 wins are much closer to securing a spot. Now we’ll go through the scenarios for each of the teams.
Each scenario describes what a team needs to do in order to clinch their spot in the Final 6.
1st Place France (10-2, 30 points), Clinched Berth as Hosts
2nd Place USA (10-2, 29 points)
Can clinch with WIN over France OR Italy LOSS to Russia. USA is at 10 wins, Italy can only match at 10 wins, but the points would be decider. No team below Italy can catch USA. Italy would really need USA to lose three straight matches to overtake the USA.
3rd Place Russia (9-3, 28 points)
WIN vs. Italy. A Russia win means that they will be 10 wins, while Italy and Canada can only reach 9. For Canada to beat Russia, Canada would have to have Russia lose three matches without Russia winning a set and Canada sweep three straight matches. Teams would be tied on wins at 9 and points at 28 and Canada would take sets ratio over Russia (1.524 to 1.500).
4th Place Brazil (8-4, 24 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday, but a WIN over Australia, AND an Italy LOSS, puts them within one win of clinching.
5th Place Poland (8-4, 23 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday, but a WIN over Argentina, AND an Italy LOSS, puts them within one win of clinching.
6th Place Serbia (8-4, 20 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday, but a WIN over Canada, AND an Italy LOSS, puts them within one win of clinching.
7th Place Italy (7-3, 21 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday. A LOSS to Russia, forces them to have two wins in the final two days against France and USA. An Italian WIN AND a Serbia LOSS would put Italy in the Final 6 with two matches to play.
8th Place Canada (6-6, 19 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday. Canada WIN on Friday against Serbia, is nearly a MUST WIN match. A LOSS to Serbia, means Canada can only reach 8 wins, and all of the teams in front of Canada have more points. Not dead with a loss but close to dead.
9th Place Japan (6-6, 15 points)
Cannot clinch on Friday. Japan has so few points from their 6 wins, MUST WIN against China on Friday. Wins are the first tiebreaker and that is about the only way Japan will make the Final 6. A Japan LOSS would mean that they could only reach a maximum of 21 points and the teams in front of them (in Final 6 places and Italy) all have 20 or more.
10th Place Germany (5-7, 17 points)
Germany MUST WIN versus Bulgaria AND have Brazil, Poland AND Serbia ALL LOSE IN <5 SETS. With three teams at 8 wins, Germany can only get to 8 wins. Germany is also behind on points, so they need a lot of help.
11th Place Australia (5-7, 15 points)
Australia MUST WIN versus Brazil AND have Poland AND Serbia BOTH LOSE IN <5 SETS. With three teams at 8 wins, Australia can only get to 8 wins. Australia is also behind on points, so they need a lot of help.
12th Place Bulgaria (5-7, 14 points)
Bulgaria MUST WIN versus Germany AND have Poland AND Serbia BOTH LOSE IN <5 SETS. With three teams at 8 wins (cannot catch Brazil on 24 points), Bulgaria can only get to 8 wins. Bulgaria is also behind on points, so they need a lot of help.
Iran, Argentina, China and South Korea have been eliminated from Final 6 Contention. Additionally when looking at the Challenger teams of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada and South Korea. South Korea cannot catch the other three teams on wins as they all have 5 wins or more and South Korea only has has 1 win with a maximum of 4 wins to reach. South Korea’s Men’s team will not be playing in Volleyball Nations League next year.