What can we expect from volleyball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021? Where and when will competitions be held? Find out this and much more here.
Volleyball is one of 33 sports that will take place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
The sport returns to the place where it made its Olympic debut in 1964.
But which are the teams to watch for? Where will matches take place? Here is our guide to everything to know about Olympic Volleyball.
"One Minute, One Sport" will show you the rules and highlights of Volleyball in one minute
Top Olympic volleyball teams at Tokyo 2020
Reigning Olympic champions Brazil and the People’s Republic of China will be the the teams to beat in the men's and women's competitions.
Brazil’s men were undefeated throughout the 2019 FIVB World Cup season, eventually being crowned champions. MVP of the tournament was Alan Souza, star of Sada Cruzeiro, while setter Bruno Rezende is chasing his fourth consecutive Olympic medal, after two silvers and one gold.
Poland will be one of their main challengers: the 2018 world champions can field Wilfredo Leon , the 'Cristiano Ronaldo of volleyball', who was named best outside spiker in the 2019 FIVB World Cup Dream Team. Leon previously won silver for Cuba at the 2010 world championships, before going on to represent Poland.
People's Republic of China lead the women’s game as the back-to-back FIVB World Cup champions. Four of their players received individual awards, with star player ZHU Ting winning her second MVP award in a row.
Serbia are current world champions with Rio 2016 silver medallist Tijana Boskovic named the tournament's MVP in 2018. During the event held in Japan, Italy's Paola Egonu caught the attention of the fans when she topped the scoring charts with an astonishing 324 points.
Cuban-born Wilfredo Leon is one of the most decorated volleyball players in the world. Not only does the king of spikes have an amazing serve, his jumping ability is equally impressive. How does he feel about being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo? "I want to say thank you to everyone thinking so highly of me," he told us.
Olympic Volleyball schedule at Tokyo 2020
Competition runs from 24 July to 8 August 2021, with the preliminary rounds concluding on 2 August and the elimination rounds beginning on 3 August.
The preliminary round matches will be held on alternate days for men and women, each day including six matches in three sessions of two.
For the first time in history the competition will conclude with the women's final, on Sunday 8 August, just a few hours ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony and one day after the men's gold is decided.
Here is the complete schedule and all times are in Japan Standard Time (JST).
Olympic Volleyball competition format at Tokyo 2020
In both men and women volleyball at Tokyo 2020, the 12 teams qualified are divided into two pools of six teams with each pool playing a round-robin. The top four teams of each pool advance to the quarterfinals and the final round is played in a knock-out system.
Volleyball matches are played to the best of five sets. Each set is played to 25 points with a team needing a two-point advantage to win the set. When a team wins a point they serve next. The first team to win three sets takes the match but when the match is tied at two sets each, the final set is played to 15 points.
China defeats Serbia to win gold in women's volleyball.
Olympic Volleyball venue at Tokyo 2020
The indoor volleyball competition will take place at the Ariake Arena. The multi-sport venue was one of the six permanent facilities built for the Games and will also host the wheelchair basketball competitions during the Summer Paralympics in 2021.