Volleyball is following in the footsteps of football. Like FIFA, its international federation (FIVB) has decided to increase the size of its major event, the world championship. Its next edition, scheduled for 2026, will be extended to 32 teams for the final phase, compared to 24 in the current formula. The decision, taken by the FIVB executive board, was announced on Sunday 16 October, on the last day of the 2022 Women’s World Championship in Poland and the Netherlands. The new format will change the organisation of the group stage for both men and women, with eight groups of four teams, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the knockout stage. In the previous format, the top two from each of the six groups qualified, plus the four best third-placed teams.
— Published 17 October 2022