Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Date Started: July 29, 1984
Date Finished: August 11, 1984
Participants: 208 (118 men and 90 women) from 12 countries
Youngest Participant: Gaby Pérez (16 years, 21 days)
Oldest Participant: Kazuya Mitake (32 years, 351 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 70 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): United States (2 medals)
The 1984 volleyball tournaments were held at the Sports Arena at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, California. Built in 1962, the Sports Arena has hosted numerous sporting events over the years, especially in basketball and ice hockey, and is also a concert and entertainment venue. The tournaments were hurt by the absence of the Eastern Bloc nations that boycotted the 1984 Olympics, especially the Soviet Union and Poland.
The men’s tournament had 10 teams separated into two five-team groups which played a round-robin tournament to advance two teams from each group to the semi-finals. The women had eight teams, separated into two four-team groups which also played a round-robin tournament to advance two teams from each group to the semi-finals.
The original 10 men’s qualifiers were as follows – the United States as host nation; the Soviet Union as the 1980 Olympic Champion; Cuba as the runner-up at the 1981 World Cup (behind the Soviet Union); Brazil as the runner-up at the 1982 World Championships (behind the Soviet Union); Poland as the runner-up at the 1983 European Championships (behind the Soviet Union); Canada as the runner-up at the 1983 Noreca Championships (North and Central American and Caribbean) (behind the United States); Argentina as the runner-up at the 1983 South American Championship (behind Brazil); Japan as the 1983 Asian Champion; Egypt as the 1983 African Champion; and Bulgaria as the winner of the 1984 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The Soviet Union, Cuba, Poland, and Bulgaria boycotted the 1984 Olympics and participated in the 1984 Drujba Tournament, an alternate tournament set-up for boycotting teams in 1984. They were replaced by China (5th at the 1981 World Cup); Italy (3rd at the 1983 Europeans); Tunisia (8th at the 1981 World Cup); and Korea (South) (4th at the 1984 Olympic Qualifying Tournaent).
The original seven women’s qualifiers were as follows – the United States as host nation; the Soviet Union as the 1980 Olympic Champion; China as the 1982 World Champion; Cuba as the runner-up at the 1983 Norceca Championship (North and Central America and Caribbean) (behind the United States); and the 1983 champions of Europe, Asia, and South America – German Democratic Republic (East), Korea (South), and Peru. An African nation was eligible but no qualifying tournament was conducted.
The Soviet Union, Cuba, and East Germany boycotted the 1984 Olympics and competed in the Drujba Tournament, an alternate tournament set-up for boycotting teams in 1984. The three boycotting teams and the missing African entry were replaced by Japan (2nd at 1981 World Cup); Brazil (8th at the 1982 World Championships); Canada (3rd at the 1983 Norceca Championships); and the German Federal Republic (West) (5th at the 1983 European Championships).
By 1984 the United States had the best men’s team in the world and won the gold medal as expected. China and the United States were the women’s co-favorites, with China defeating the US in the final match in three relatively easy sets.