The Volleyball Nations League (VNL) will be played based on the same competition formula as in 2022, featuring 16 teams per gender.
VNL 2023 Competition Formula
A total of 104 matches per gender will be played across the Preliminary and Final phases, with every team playing a minimum of 12 matches.
Following the end of the previous edition of the VNL, the 16 participating teams were ranked from 1st to 16th as per the FIVB Volleyball World Ranking. In 2023, each team will play 12 matches over the 3-week Preliminary Phase, against equally strong opponents – against 3 teams ranked from 1st to 4th, 3 teams ranked from 5th to 8th, 3 teams ranked 9th to 12th and 3 teams ranked from 13th to 16th.
Women participating teams:
11 core teams: BRA / CHN / GER / ITA / JPN / KOR / NED / SRB / THA / TUR / USA
5 Challenger teams: BUL / CAN / CRO / DOM / POL
Men participating teams:
10 core teams: ARG / BRA / FRA / GER / IRI / ITA / JPN / POL / SRB / USA
6 Challenger teams: BUL / CAN / CHN / CUB / NED / SLO
a. 16 teams
b. Preliminary Phase played over 3 weeks
c. 12 matches per team
d. 96 matches in total per gender in the VNL Preliminary Phase
Qualification for the Final Phase
The top eight teams as per the Teams Ranking System at the end of the Preliminary Phase advance to the Final Phase (quarterfinals). The national team of the hosting territory of the event will have a guaranteed berth for the Final Phase.
Final Phase will be played in a Final 8 direct elimination formula:
The 1st ranked team will play a quarterfinal match against the 8th ranked team, the 2nd ranked team will play a quarterfinal match against the 7th ranked team, the 3rd ranked team will play a quarterfinal match against the 6th ranked team, the 4th ranked team will play a quarterfinal match against the 5th ranked team.
Quarterfinal 1: 1st Ranked vs 8th Ranked Team
Quarterfinal 2: 2nd Ranked Team vs 7th Ranked Team
Quarterfinal 3: 3rd Ranked Team vs 6th Ranked Team
Quarterfinal 4: 4th Ranked Team vs 5th Ranked Team
* Order of the quarterfinals can be changed based on a request from the Media Rights Holders.
1. The teams that do not win the quarterfinals will be ranked 5th to 8th in the Final Standing of the VNL 2023 as per the Teams Ranking System (including result of the Preliminary Phase).
2. The winner of the quarterfinal 1 will play a semifinal match against the winner of the quarterfinal 4 and the winner of the quarterfinal 2 will play a semifinal match against the winner of the quarterfinal 3.
Semifinal 1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF4
Semifinal 2: Winner QF2 vs Winner QF3
* Order of the semifinals can be changed based on the request of the Media Rights Holders.
Winners of the semifinals will play for the VNL Champion title whilst the teams that do not win the semifinals will play for 3rd place in the competition:
Final for Bronze: Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2
Final for Gold: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2