Path to Tokyo Paved for Indoor Teams

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Jan. 09, 2019, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Men's National Team
U.S. Men's National Team during the 2018 FIVB World Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 9, 2019) – The FIVB has officially announced groupings for the first stage of the 2020 Olympic Games qualification process for both men’s and women’s indoor volleyball.

The Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament will be broken down into six pools of four teams per gender. The winner of each round-robin pool will earn a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games.

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, ranked second in the world by the FIVB, will face No. 12 Belgium, No. 15 Netherlands and No. 24T Korea in Pool B of the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament held Aug. 9-11.

U.S. Women's National TeamThe U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked third in the world by the FIVB, will challenge No. 11 Argentina, No. 16 Bulgaria and No. 23 Kazakhstan in Pool C of the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament held Aug. 2-4.

The FIVB will announce host countries for each pool determined through a bidding process within the next month.

Pools were determined based on the FIVB world ranking as of Jan. 1, 2019, with teams distributed based on the serpentine method. Japan’s teams will not compete in this intercontinental stage as they already have secured bids as hosts of the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Olympic qualification process continues in January 2020 for those countries that did not win their respective intercontinental qualification pool. Each of the five continental confederations (NORCECA-North America/Central America and Caribbean, AVC-Asia, CAVB-Africa, CEV-Europe and CSV-South America) will organize their own Olympic Qualification Tournament to advance one team per gender to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 2020 Olympic Games will be staged July 24 to Aug. 9 in Tokyo.

Women's pools (# in parenthesis represents current world ranking)
Pool A: Serbia (#1), Puerto Rico (#13), Thailand (#14), Poland (#26)
Pool B: China (#2), Turkey (#12), Germany (#15), Czech Republic (#24)
Pool C: USA (#3), Argentina (#11), Bulgaria (#16), Kazakhstan (#23)
Pool D: Brazil (#4), Dominican Republic (#10), Cameroon (#17), Azerbaijan (#22)
Pool E: Russia (#5), Korea (#9), Canada (#18), Mexico (#21)
Pool F: Netherlands (#7), Italy (#8), Belgium (#19), Kenya (#20)

Men’s pools (# in parenthesis represents current world ranking)
Pool A: Brazil (#1), Egypt (#13), Bulgaria (#14), Puerto Rico (#24T)
Pool B: USA (#2), Belgium (#12), Netherlands (#15), Korea (#24T)
Pool C: Italy (#3), Serbia (#10), Australia (#16), Cameroon (#23)
Pool D: Poland (#4), France (#9), Slovenia (#17), Tunisia (#22)
Pool E: Russia (#5), Iran (#8), Cuba (#18), Mexico (#21)
Pool F: Canada (#6), Argentina (#7), Finland (#19), China (#20)