The international volleyball season consists out of two parts: 1) National team season (May 15 to October 15) and 2) the club season (October 16 to May 14). From a commercial as well as sportive perspective this dichotomy has some negative effect. From a sporting perspective, top players do not have a resting period that is long enough between both seasons. All other players (i.e., those who are not good enough to represent their country during the national team season) have too much rest in the summer. From a commercial perspective, the dichotomy causes a lack of possibilities for fans to follow their favorite team throughout the year. The FIVB has therefore asked Hypercube to develop a commercially interesting volleyball calendar in which there is sufficient rest for the top players.
Volleyball has (too) many events that all have to fit in the calendar. Different solutions were therefore considered such as determination of necessary events, using existing events as qualification stages for others, possibilities to adjust competition formats per event and optimizing the calendar by using “logical principles”. All these solutions were discussed with the client and weighted against the relevance of the events and the impact on sporting and commercial quality. Ultimately, Hypercube proposed the implementation of three calendars: 1. Keep the calendar as it is for the next two years. Events have already been planned. 2. Consider the following two years as transformation years. Some events have already been planned, but there is room for maneuvering. 3. Implement a new calendar including some of the proposed solutions at the start of a new Olympic cycle.
On May 2nd 2018, the Executive Committee of FIVB decided to implement the calendar as proposed by Hypercube. Top players can have more rest, whilst non-top players have freedom to play. The qualifiers for the World Championships are no longer part of the calendar and are replaced by using the European Championships as a qualification event.