After the the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the cancellation of the 2020 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), the updates have been recommended by the FIVB Executive Committee earlier this week, and include the dates for the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2021 and the possible return and/or start of the national club season 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

The updates to the 2020-2021 volleyball calendar has seen the FIVB has approved for all national leagues to be allowed to take place from 1 June 2020 to either complete the 2019-2020 season or begin the 2020-2021 season. Scheduling of national leagues will only occur if it is safe to do so and will be subject to the health and safety guidelines issued by national and local authorities.

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In addition, national leagues will be required to implement comprehensive safety and protection measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of athletes, fans, staff and all stakeholders involved in organising events. This decision allows volleyball to first resume on a national scale if it is safe to do so.

The FIVB will also review every event scheduled on a case-by-case basis, and event organisers will need the FIVB’s approval before the event can go ahead. Given the FIVB’s decision to forego international events and, therefore, allowing national leagues to start sooner than usual, the national club season 2020-2021 shall end by no later than 18 April 2021. Also, all the Continental Club Championship Finals shall take place by no later than 2 May 2021.

Upon the request to the FIVB, the International Transfer Certificates (ITCs) for all leagues can now be extended in order to finish the 2019-2020 season. As part of this request, each national league shall provide the proposed end date of its 2019-2020 season and shall be responsible for regulating registration windows for new players if needed. Meanwhile, the ITCs for the 2020-2021 season shall run from as early as 1 June 2020 (if the national club season 2019-2020 is not completed) to 2 May 2021.

The FIVB has also announced that the 2021 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) will be held starting from the second week of May 2021, either 7 or 11 May 2021 with the starting date to be confirmed shortly and ending on 27 June 2021, finishing almost one month before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This schedule will ensure that volleyball players have time to prepare for both the VNL and the Olympic Games, maintain their health and fitness, and perform at their best for these prestigious competitions.

Meanwhile, the FIVB is continuing to work closely with all parties to coordinate the detailed schedule for the VNL 2021 while retaining both Italy and China as the host nations for the finals.

The final update concerns the 2021 Volleyball Continental Championships which shall take place from 19 August to 19 September 2021. The FIVB has entrusted the responsibility of adapting the qualification processes for the Volleyball Continental Championships 2021, if required, to the Continental Confederations.

Following the approval of these changes, FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said: “The decisions approved by the FIVB Board of Administration and FIVB Executive Committee are key to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the entire Volleyball Family during these unprecedented times.

“We appreciate the support of the Continental Confederation Presidents, National Federations and national leagues in adopting these changes which will help facilitate the strong return of our beloved sport.

“There is no doubt that now is the necessary time for every single member of our Volleyball Family to work together and act as one in taking strong collective measures for the benefit of volleyball.”

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