The Netherlands ended a three-year absence from the World League by returning in 2013 with a 14th-place finish. Last year they finished fourth in Group 2 after topping Pool E and losing the third-place match in straight sets to Belgium. The Dutch failed to qualify for the 2014 World Championship after losing to Bulgaria in their qualification pool, but have taken the first steps towards qualification for next year's European Championship. They are now guided by coach Gido Vermeulen, who had been working with the women's team since February 2012.
The 1990s were a glorious decade for the Dutch. They finished second in the inaugural World League in 1990 and repeated the feat the following year. In 1992 they took silver at the Olympic Games in Barcelona and four years later they won gold at Atlanta as well as winning the World League title. They were runners-up at the 1994 World Championship and won two silver medals and two bronzes in successive European Championships from 1989 before taking gold on home soil in Eindhoven in 1997. Netherlands' appearances in the World League in 2009 and 2010 came after a five-year absence. The 2009 campaign, in which they finished 12th, proved a good learning experience for a young side who went one place better the following year.