A record number of teams will participate in the 2016 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League with the tournament expanding to include 36 teams for the first time.
As in previous Olympic years, the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League will be a shortened version of the competition, to accommodate teams taking part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Intercontinental Round will adopt the same format as the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Intercontinental Round in 2016 with three different venues hosting matches over each of the three weeks of play.
Group 1 returns to 12 teams, including the eight that took part in 2015 (Australia, Brazil, Iran, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia and USA) plus 2015 Group 2 winners France and wild cards Argentina, Belgium and Bulgaria.
In the Intercontinental Round, teams will play in pools of four teams each over three weekends, before the top five of a combined ranking plus the hosts meet for the Final Six from July 13-17. The six teams in the finals will be split into two pools of three and each play two matches. The top two teams in each pool will progress to the semifinals and finals.
Group 2 will also feature 12 teams – those ranked 13th to 24th in the 2015 edition. The eight teams competing in Group 2 in 2015 (Cuba, Canada, Japan, Korea, Czech Republic, Portugal, Finland, Netherlands) have been joined by wild cards China, Turkey, Slovakia and 2015 Group 3 winners Egypt.
Similarly to Group 1, the Intercontinental Round for Group 2 will be played in four-team pools over three weekends. The Final Four from July 9-10, will be held amongst the top three of the Intercontinetal Round standings plus hosts Portugal.
Group 3, also with 12 teams (Chinese Taipei, Germany, Slovenia and Qatar joining Greece, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Montenegro, Puerto Rico, Spain, Tunisia, and Venezuela), will be played over two weekends in four-team pools, with the top 3 of the combined standings joining the hosts for a Final Four from July 1-3.