VNL 2023

The Volleyball Nations League will expand to 18 teams per gender as of 2025 and the participants will no longer be divided into core and challenger teams.

No team will be relegated at the end of the VNL 2024 season, while the winners of the 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup and the highest-placed teams in the FIVB Men’s and Women’s Volleyball World Ranking not yet qualified will join the VNL 2025 action.

As of the 2025 edition, the core and challenger team statuses will be abolished and the bottom-placed team in the competition’s final standings in each gender will be relegated, to be replaced by the respective highest-ranked team in the world for the following VNL season.

With the expanded number of participating teams, there will be a new structure of the Preliminary Phase schedule. What will remain the same as now is that each participating team will play 12 matches spread across three competition weeks. However, there will be three pools per week played at three different venues with six teams each. The number of competition days will be reduced from six to five per week.

The players will also benefit from an additional week of rest. There will be no VNL competition for either gender during the week after the second competition week in the men’s tournament.


In this new format, a total of 216 matches will take place during the Preliminary Phase, which brings the total number of games per season to 232, including the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the medal matches in both genders. There will be no change in the format of the Final Rounds.

Only the 2028 edition will feature a yet-to-be-determined condensed format to align with the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

These changes, involving an extended VNL footprint around the world, a more streamlined competition schedule, additional recovery and preparation time for the teams, and greater commercial potential, are expected to enhance the VNL experience for athletes, fans, host cities and all other stakeholders alike. The aim is to ensure the VNL remains a world-class spectacle through continued improvements to the fan experience both on TV and in person.

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