COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 4, 2012) – The International Volleyball Federation firmed up the qualification process for the 2016 Olympic Games during the organization’s Sports Events Council two-day meeting that concluded Tuesday in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The 12 countries participating at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games will qualify via the following criteria as per the FIVB Board of Administration decision earlier this year:
The Sports Event Council finalized the individual qualification criteria to these events, which will be proposed to the FIVB Board of Administration in 2013 for final approval. The 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup is proposed to be the first Olympic qualification event, taking place between Aug. 22 and Sept. 22. The proposed participants for the FIVB World Cup - which will feature 12 teams - is the host country, the 2014 FIVB World Champion and two countries per Confederation either via a continental tournament or the two highest ranked countries from the continental or FIVB ranking as of Jan. 1, 2015.
The four 2016 World Olympic Qualification Tournaments will each feature a host country plus three other countries coming from the top two teams not yet qualified per Confederation (decided either by the 2015 Continental Championships or other Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament plus two teams who, not yet qualified, are the highest ranked teams on the world rankings (not from the same continent).
The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, which has won Olympic Games silver medals in 2008 and 2012, has qualified for the last three Olympic Games through the FIVB World Cup. However, with only two available tickets per gender to the Olympics at the World Cup, the first qualification event becomes more difficult. Team USA finished third in both the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, which now would push the Americans into the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament under the new guidelines.
The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, which captured the gold at the 2008 Olympic Games for the third time in its history, has not qualified for the Olympic Games through the World Cup. However, it has won the last four NORCECA Olympic Qualification tournaments to advance to the Olympic Games.
The Council also confirmed that the FIVB Under 23 World Championships Open will have 12 participants per gender, to be filled by two countries from each continent to be determined by the Confederations’ own qualification criteria, the highest ranked country in the senior FIVB world rankings and the host country.
NOTE: FIVB contributed to this story