The Final Round of the 29th edition of the men’s Volleyball European Championship takes place from October 9 through October 18, 2015 in Bulgaria (Sofia and Varna) and Italy (Busto Arsizio and Turin). The 16 best European men’s national teams compete for continental honors. The 2015 European Champion is eventually determined on October 18 in the final match taking place at the magnificent Arena Armeec hall in Sofia.
A total of 38 national teams entered the competition. 2 of them (Bulgaria and Italy) qualified for the Final Round as organizers. 5 teams (Russia, Serbia, France, Germany and Belgium) qualified directly from the 2013 edition of the championship. 6 teams (Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia and Belarus) qualified from the second round of the qualification process and 3 teams (Netherlands, Estonia and Slovenia) qualified from the third round of the qualification process.
The Final Round is played with 16 participating teams, initially split into four pools with four teams each: Pool A in Sofia, Pool B in Turin, Pool C in Varna and Pool D in Busto Arsizio. A single round robin is played in each pool.
Pool standings are determined by the following criteria:
1. Number of matches won;
2. Ranking points (3 points for each 3-0 or 3-1 win, 2 points for each 3-2 win, 1 point for each 2-3 loss and 0 points for each 1-3 or 0-3 loss);
3. Set ratio (total number of sets won divided by total number of sets lost);
4. Point ratio (total number of points won divided by total number of points lost);
5. Head-to-head results.
The four pool winners advance directly to the quarterfinals. The teams placed 2nd and 3rd in the final standings of each pool advance to the playoff matches. The teams placed 4th in the final standings of each pool are eliminated from further participation and take positions 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th in the final standings of the European Championship, based on their results from the pool stage.
In the playoff matches, the second-placed and the third-placed teams from Pool A play against the third-placed and the second-placed teams from Pool C, respectively, and the second-placed and the third-placed teams from Pool B play against the third-placed and the second-placed teams from Pool D, respectively (2A vs. 3C and 2C vs. 3A in Sofia, 2B vs. 3D and 2D vs. 3B in Busto Arsizio). The four winners advance to the quarterfinals. The four losing teams are eliminated from further participation and take positions 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th in the final standings of the European Championship, based on their results from the pool stage and the playoff matches combined.
In the quarterfinals the four pool winners play against the four playoff winners as follows: 1A vs. 2C/3A and 1C vs. 2A/3C in Sofia, 1B vs. 2D/3B and 1D vs. 2B/3D in Busto Arsizio. The four winners advance to the semifinals. The four losing teams are eliminated from further participation and take positions 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th in the final standings of the European Championship, based on their results from the pool stage and the quarterfinals combined.
The semifinals are played in Sofia as follows: 1A/2C/3A vs. 1B/2D/3B and 1C/2A/3C vs. 1D/2B/3D. The two losing teams move on to a classification match for the 3rd place in Sofia. The two winners advance to the European Championship final in Sofia. The winner of this final is awarded the title of European Champion.