FIVB Released: Schedule Confirmed For 2021 VNL Rimini ‘Bubble’
The final schedule for the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League has been confirmed ahead of the third edition of the competition which begins on May 25 at Italy’s Adriatic resort of Rimini with the participation of 16 women’s and 16 men’s teams.
Action begins with the women’s event on May 25, with the Netherlands facing neighbours Belgium for the first of a total 248 matches across both genders in a period extending over a month.
The opening round of the women’s competition also includes a rematch of the 2019 final, with USA taking on Brazil on May 27. The North American side had prevailed over the South Americans in an epic comeback from two sets down two years ago at Nanjing to claim their second VNL title in as many editions of the competition.
The men’s competition in Rimini starts on May 28 with France facing Bulgaria in the opening match.
Two-time VNL men’s champions Russia begin their campaign against the Netherlands, and will take on USA on June 3 in a rematch of the 2019 final when they beat their American opponents in four sets in Chicago.
The competition format is a single round robin pool with each of the 16 teams facing every other ahead of semifinals between the top four of the standings. The semifinal winners will clash for the title, with the losers playing out for the bronze medal.
The women’s semifinals are scheduled for June 24 with the medals matches following on June 25. The men’s competition culminates with semifinals on June 26 and the two medals matches on June 27.
The 2021 VNL is the first international gathering of this magnitude since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of events in 2020. The tournament will be held within a secure ‘bubble’ with all hygiene protocols in place to ensure the health and well-being of all athletes, officials and staff throughout the competition.