What's the difference between the Volleyball Nations League and the previous Volleyball World League?

What was the reason for the change of?

Women’s international volleyball tournaments went under a different name, and were completely separate from the men’s tournaments. In the new Volleyball Nations League men and women play the same amount of matches, under the same competition title and for different versions of the same cup. This is great for gender equality in sport. Giving women and girls the same share of the sporting limelight as men and boys. But the inclusion of women is not the only different thing about the new league – a lot has changed!

The Volleyball Nations League will also be using and extending upon the video playback innovations

Which were introduced at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For volleyball, this means video playback to check fouls, goals and referee calls. And so far across other sports it’s been met with mixed reactions. UK soccer fans have complained that it takes time away from the game. But there is no denying that it makes match decisions fairer, and less disputable. With sports like volleyball, the inclusion of high speed video playback is useful to help explain the tiny movements that can change a game quickly and without warning.

The tournament is spread across the world, too.

It’s divided into 12 core teams and four challenger teams. And each core nation hosts one pool for the tournament. This is bringing the volleyball action to each of those 12 core nations. Instead of the traditional tournament approach, which is similar from the Olympics to the FIFA World Cup (Where all of the action is in one nation). Volleyball fans are so excited about this. Because it makes watching the important tournament matches so much more affordable and accessible! To keep competition alive, along with the Nations League there is an accompanying Challenger League, giving the possibility of relegations and promotions with the end of each season.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) have teamed up with IMG and will be in complete control of the presentation and narrative (for the first time). This means that FIVB treats fans with a more immersive, crowd-led volleyball experience than ever before! But it doesn’t stop there for fan engagement – FIVB are breaking new grounds with fan interaction. Involving crowd with rallies and even acting out moments of the match en masse.

FIVB made these changes to their international tournaments to modernize volleyball, create interest in the game, and keep pushing the sport into the limelight.

They want to revolutionise the game, with fan involvement and experience at the heart of everything they do. So far, they’re not disappointing, and it’s exciting to imagine what FIVB will think of next to keep volleyball in the modern day!

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