Host City: MontrÃ©al, Canada
Venue(s): MontrÃ©al Forum, MontrÃ©al, QuÃ©bec; Paul SauvÃ© Arena, MontrÃ©al, QuÃ©bec
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 30, 1976
Format: Round-robin pools advanced teams to classification matches.
The tournament consisted of eight teams separated into two pools of four, followed by elimination matches. The qualifying was as follows: defending champion (USSR), 1974 World Champion (Japan), host nation (Canada), Asian Games Champion ships (Korea, replacing Japan), European Championship (Hungary, replacing the USSR), North American Champion (Cuba), South American Champion (Peru), and the GDR (East Germany) qualified at a special tournament in Heidelberg, Germany.
Once again the favorites were the Soviet Union and Japan. Japan had won the World Championships in 1974 and the Soviet Union had won the last five European Championships. In the end, Japan absolutely dominated the tournament. They defeated the Soviets in the final, crushing them in straight sets, 15-7, 15-8, 15-2. Japan played five matches and never lost a set, the only time this has happened in Olympic volleyball, and only one team (Korea) even reached double figures in any set (15-13 in the first set in the semi-finals). Nine of the Japanese players represented the Hitachi team, as did their coach, Shigeo Yamada. For the fourth straight Olympics, the gold and silver medals were won by Japan and the Soviet Union, who had now both won two gold and two silver medals. For the Soviets, [Inna Ryskal] had played on all four medal-winning teams. Through the first 40 years of Olympic volleyball, she is the only player to have won four medals.