By Gary Anderson

December 14 - The calendar for major volleyball tournaments through to 2017 has been approved by the Sports Events Council of FIVB ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe International Federation of Volleyball's (FIVB) Sports Events Council today approved a new four-year events calendar through to 2017 and which will now be considered by the governing body's Executive Committee tomorrow (Sunday) in Lausanne.

The main highlights of the meeting relate to the confirmation of the flagship events for next year which will see the men's World Championships take place in Poland from September 3 to 21 with the women's event due to take place in Italy from September 23 to October.

The dates and venues for the 2014 men's and women's Volleyball Club World Championships were also finalised with Betim, Brazil, hosting the men's event from May 6 to 11 while the women's competition will take place in Zurich on the same dates, which will be the second consecutive year that the Championships will have taken place in both cities.

The men's competition will consist of eight teams including the host side, five continental champions and two invitations while the women's Championships will include the host team, three continental champions and two invited sides.

Brazil's men will be out to defend their World Championship crown in Poland next year ©AFP/Getty ImagesBrazil's men will be out to defend their World Championship crown in Poland next year ©AFP/Getty Images

The other major events for 2014 were already confirmed with the Volleyball World League running from May 23 to July 20 while the Volleyball World Grand Prix takes place from July 24 to August 24.

The dates for the Volleyball Club World Championships in 2015 and 2016 have been set for May 5 to 10 and October 18 to 23 respectively with venues yet to be confirmed, while a provisional date of May 1 to 14 has been set for the 2017 Championships.

In 2015, the Volleyball World League will take place from May 29 to July 19 followed by the Volleyball World Grand Prix from June 29 to July 26, while the men's and women's Volleyball World Cup, which will act as the first qualification event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, are set for Japan, with the women's event running from August 22 to September 5 followed by the men from September 6 to 20.

Hosts Japan will be joined by the world champions, plus two teams from each confederation - which will be determined by a tournament or continental ranking - in both World Cup events that will eventually see two teams qualify for Rio 2016.

Tentative dates of July and August were also proposed for the staging of the 2015 and 2017 underage World Championships while a proposal to streamline the number of teams participating in each of the underage Championships was also agreed.

The new structure would see 12 teams taking part in the under-23 men's and women's World Championships, 16 teams in the men's under-21 World Championships and women's under-20 World Championships while the boys under-19 and girls under-18 Championships will feature 20 teams.

To view the proposed calendar in full click here.

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