Following the pool phase, just 16 of the best men's volleyball teams remain in the hunt for the 2022 World Championship title.
Barely a year after the Olympic Games competition concluded, the 20th FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland Slovenia 2022, is down to the knockout Final Phase, with the Round of 16 matches taking place from 3-6 September.
Originally due to be held in Russia, the event was switched to Poland and Slovenia who stepped in to host after war in Ukraine broke out. It is the second time Poland has hosted the competition after 2014; Slovenia has never before welcomed the Worlds.
Co-hosts Poland are the two-time defending champions, having won in Katowice in 2014 and Turin, Italy, in 2018. They came through top of Pool C with 9 points from 3 group matches, and remain among the favourites to win the title.
Ranking points earned during this tournament are counted towards qualification for the 2023 Olympic Qualifier Tournament, where several of the 12 berths available for men's teams at the Paris 2024 Olympics are due to be decided.
2022 men's volleyball world championship: Group stage final rankings, venues, and teams to watch
Three host cities in the two countries welcomed the 24 teams, who were split across six groups for the initial phase of the tournament.
The top two teams from each pool after the single-round-robin stage, as well as the best four third-placed teams, progressed to the single-elimination direct knockout Final Stage. The remaining eight teams have been eliminated.
This replaces the old format, which in 2018 saw three separate round-robin group stages before a semi-final and final, making it easier for fans to follow the action.
The Arena Stozice in Ljubljana hosted four groups – Pools B, D, E, and F – with its 12,500 capacity, as well as four last-16 and two quarter-final matches.
Meanwhile, the 11,000-capacity Spodek indoor arena, named for its flying-saucer shape, welcomed the eight teams in Pools A and C to Katowice. Spodek was also the host arena for the 2014 World Championships, the last time Poland hosted the event. It will also host both semi-finals and medal matches during this tournament.
One of the largest indoor arenas in Poland, the Gliwice Arena will host the other four last-16 and two quarter-final matches.
Final group standings. Each team played 3 matches:
Pool A (played in Katowice)
- Serbia. 9 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Ukraine. 6 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Tunisia. 3 Points - Qualified for round of 16 as a best third-placed team.
- Puerto Rico. 0 Points.
Pool B (played in Ljubljana)
- Brazil. 8 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Japan. 6 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Cuba. 4 Points - Qualified for round of 16 as a best third-placed team.
- Qatar. 0 Points
Pool C (played in Katowice)
- Poland (co-hosts). 9 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- United States. 6 Points
- Mexico. 2 Points.
- Bulgaria. 1 Point.
Pool D (playing in Ljubljana)
- France. 8 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Slovenia (co-hosts). 7 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Germany. 3 Points. - Qualified for round of 16 as a best third-placed team.
- Cameroon. 0 Points.
Pool E (playing in Ljubljana)
- Italy. 9 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Turkey. 6 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Canada. 3 Points
- China. 0 Points.
Pool F (playing in Ljubljana)
- Netherlands. 8 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Iran. 5 Points - Qualified for round of 16 automatically.
- Argentina. 4 Points - Qualified for round of 16 as a best third-placed team.
- Egypt. 1 Point.
With co-hosts Poland the two-time defending champions, on paper they are favourites to win a third straight (and fourth overall) world title on home soil. However, they are having to do it without their talismanic powerhouse Wilfredo León. The Cuban-born outside hitter has been ruled out as he has not fully recovered from knee surgery in June.
The United States are came through Group C and are the 2018 bronze medallists. However, the Americans' fortunes have varied wildly in recent years and they finished a disappointing 10th at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
France topped Group D which featured co-hosts Slovenia, and are the surprise reigning Olympic champions. They have reached the semi-finals of the World Championships twice, finishing third in 2002 and fourth the last time the tournament was held in Katowice in 2014. Will they be able to continue that run this year?
Italy, Brazil, and Serbia are perennial heavyweights in the sport and all finished top of their groups. The Brazilians have played in the last five World Championship finals dating back to 2002 and it would be a surprise if they did not make it as far again.
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland Slovenia 2022: Knockout final phase schedule
All times Central European Summer Time / CEST (UTC/GMT +2 hours)
Saturday 3 September
- 17:30 – Round of 16, Ljubljana - Slovenia V Germany
- 21:15 – Round of 16, Ljubljana - Italy v Cuba
Sunday 4 September
- 17:30 – Round of 16, Gilwice - USA v Turkey
- 21:00 – Round of 16, Gilwice - Poland v Tunisia
Monday 5 September
- 17:30 – Round of 16, Ljubljana - Netherlands v Ukraine
- 21:00 – Round of 16, Ljubljana - France v Japan
Tuesday 6 September
- 17:30 – Round of 16, Gilwice - Serbia v Argentina
- 21:00 – Round of 16, Gilwice - Brazil v Iran
Wednesday 7 September
- 18:00 – Quarter-finals, Ljubljana - Italy v France
- 21:00 – Quarter-finals, Ljubljana - Slovenia v Ukraine
Thursday 8 September
- 17:30 – Quarter-finals, Gilwice - Argentina v Brazil
- 21:00 – Quarter-finals, Gilwice - Poland v United States
Fixtures and timings of semi-finals will be confirmed once the quarter-final matches conclude.
Saturday 10 September
- 18:00 – Semi-finals, Katowice
- 21:00 – Semi-finals, Katowice
Sunday 11 September
- 18:00 – Bronze-medal final, Katowice
- 21:00 – Gold-medal final, Katowice
How to watch the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2022
Matches from the 2022 World Championships in Poland and Slovenia will be shown on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com in some regions.
Action is also available on the FIVB's own Volleyball TV subscription streaming service.
Every pool stage and knockout match will be offered live and on demand on this service.