With the 2024 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) fast approaching, the anticipation can be felt in the air as the volleyball world gets ready for a new season of excitement. This yearly event, now in its sixth edition, will be an exhibition of the highest level of talent as well as a place where the teams aiming to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics fight for their spot. The women’s side of the competition is set to start on May 14 followed by the men’s side starting on May 21, beginning a little earlier than previous leagues.

Interestingly, the supporters and enthusiasts who want to increase their engagement with the Volleyball Nations League 2024 can take their passion to the next level by making bets on their favorite teams through platforms like 1bet sportsbook. This adds an interesting layer to the tournament, allowing the fans to benefit along the way as they cheer upon their favourites.

The VNL 2024 Saga

The VNL’s format is intricately designed to determine the teams’ endurance, strategy and adaptability.

The format of the 2022 Preliminary Round has been replicated this year, with 16 teams competing in pools of 8, each team playing 12 games in the pool stage. This stage is crucial as only eight teams advance to the final knockout phase which is made up of four quarter finals, two semi-finals and the medal matches.

The knockout phase introduces a direct elimination formula, which promises a high-stakes game from the quarterfinals onward. One interesting twist is the host nation’s automatic qualification for the final round. Even if they do not achieve a top-eight finish in the preliminaries, they will replace the eighth positioned team and play in their place.

Moreover, with five Olympic slots up for grabs per gender, the VNL takes on added significance this year. So this time, the Preliminary Phase is not only about winning; it is about collecting the essential FIVB World Ranking points and making every match a decisive step towards the Olympic aspirations. This phase will definitely showcase a frenzy of volleyball action spanning across three weeks at six different venues around the world. 

Teams to Watch: The Candidates and the Opponents

In the 2024 VNL, the women’s segment will welcome France, who were triumphant in the VCC 2023 and are making their first appearance in the VNL. They are going to join an exclusive club of teams, comprising 3-time winners USA, the 2022 champions Italy, and the 2023 champions Türkiye.

On the men’s side, Türkiye enters the fray for the first time and is joined by experienced winners such as Brazil – known for their mind-blowing physical prowess and enthusiastic play, and France – the defending Olympic champions, among other top teams.

Favorites and Dark Horses

Balancing historical success with the current momentum is the key to predicting favorites this year.

For the men, Brazil and France stand out not only for their past triumphs but also for their consistency and abundance of talent. The 2023 medallists, Poland, and the USA with their strong volleyball program, are also other teams that can reach the podium.

In the women’s league, the USA and Türkiye are the favorites due to their recent track records and also well-balanced teams. Other teams like Italy, China and France, who are known for their tactical skills and durability, could also give viewers some of the most exciting stories of this year’s VNL.

Bottom line

The VNL 2024 is not just a volleyball carnival; it is also a preview of the Olympic aspirations. With teams now vying for the VNL championship and critical Olympic qualification points, the pressure is on like never before. The world is going to witness a mixture of the experienced champions and rising stars all of whom will come to the world stage with their aspirations, dreams, and personal best. The 2024 Volleyball Nations League is going to be more than a tournament; it would be an embodiment of the sport’s unifying power, the thrilling nature of competition, and volleyball’s global persistence.