As teams get ready for the FIVB World Championships in September, one should remember that there were ranking points earned for the inaugural Volleyball Nations League. Usually the FIVB will release the men’s rankings after the big tournament of the year, in this case the World Championships. Last year they chose not to give points from the Grand Champions Cup (since only 6 teams participate), though they had in the past.
Each team keeps the points they earned in a competition until the next edition of that tournament. Come October, Poland will have their 100 points they earned from winning the 2014 World Championships replaced with the points they earn this year. VolleyMob is expecting that the FIVB will use four events count towards the rankings released this fall. Those events are the 2018 Volleyball Nations League, the 2018 World Championships, the 2015 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympic Games. It is important to note that Brazil did not take part in the 2015 World Cup since they had already qualified for the Olympic Games as hosts. They will continue to use the points they earned at the 2011 World Cup until 2019.
While the FIVB has not announced how they will handle the ranking points associated with the Volleyball Nations League, VolleyMob has decided to use the point allocations used previously with the World League positions 1-22. Winning the tournament is worth 50 points, 2nd place is worth 45, and 16th place earns a team 18 points. VolleyMob is going to use places 17-22 from the FIVB Challenger Cup, a qualification tournament for the Volleyball League of Nations. This decision is made due to the precedent of the FIVB giving ranking points from qualification tournaments of the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
Projected FIVB Men’s Senior Rankings After VNL Finals
|Country||Rank as of||Projected Rank as||Projected Rank||Volleyball Nations League||Olympic Games 2016||World Cup 2015||World Championship 2014||Points||Proj. Points||Proj. Points|
|July 7,2018||of July 14, 2018||Change||Rank||Points||Rank||Points||Rank||Points||Rank||Points||July 7, 2018||July 14, 2018||Change|
|Republic of Korea||21||19||2||16||18||0||0||17||30||46||48||2|
There was not much change at the top of the rankings. Brazil’s 4th place finish sees them lose 5 points, but they are still ranked #1 in the world. They hold a substantial 38-point lead over the United States, who is #2. If Brazil earns a top-5 finish a the World Championships, they will keep their #1 ranking. If someone other than the United States or Poland win the World Championships they can realistically finish as low as 8th and possibly 9th (depending on exactly where Poland and Russia finish).
Russia winning the Volleyball Nations League broke the previous tie they had with Italy at the #4 spot. Italy falls to #5, but they have a healthy 84-point lead over the team behind them, Canada. Italy could lose every match in the World Championships and they would not drop from the #5 position, even if a team below them wins the whole tournament.
China, Korea, and Germany benefited from the change in format to the Volleyball Nations League. While Germany kept their same rank from before the tournament, they would not have been in the top flight of the World League. Their 9th place finish earned them 30 points, which was 8 points more than they could have possibly earned had they won Group 2 of the World League. It keeps them with a 28 point advantage over Serbia heading into the World Championships. China and Korea were both included in the Volleyball Nations League, though they did not finish in the top 16 places in last year’s World League (nor were their world rankings in the top 16).
Belgium took the biggest hit from the new format of the FIVB’s only annual tournament. While they finished 7th place last year in the World League, they were not invited to take part this year. Australia, China, and Korea were all ranked lower than them but got invited to the Volleyball Nations League. Their exclusion from the competition led to a 34-point loss and dropped them 9 spots in the rankings (from 15 to 24).
Egypt was also not invited to the tournament even though they were ranked #13 and are the top-ranked team from Africa. Missing out on the competition led to them losing 10 points, and dropping 3 spots in the rankings.
While Cuba has moved up 3 spots on the projected rankings, it is important to realize that the points given to them are strictly a hypothesis. VolleyMob has no confirmation that Cuba will receive any points from their finish in the Challenger Cup nor how many points they will possibly earn from their finish.
*Jeremy Braham contributed to this report.