The sports landscape in India has changed dramatically in the last decade with the introduction of leagues for almost every sports discipline. From the most followed sport to the original sport in the country, athletes now have a platform to showcase their talents, earn a living and rub shoulders with top athletes from around the world to improve and compete at the highest level.
The Pro Volleyball League is the latest to join the ecosystem of such tournaments, with a model similar to that of its counterparts in cricket, kabaddi, football, badminton and wrestling. The league, which promises to bring many Indian and foreign players together, has prioritized making it fan-friendly as well, with only one match scheduled per day. Furthermore, the league will be played over a relatively short period of three weeks.
Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Blackhawks, Calicut Heroes, Chennai Spartans, Kochi Blue Sparkers, U Mumba Foley are six teams of twelve players each (including one Indian icon player and two under-21 players).
Players were selected from an auction pool of 145 players. Five of the six teams have named an Indian player as their captain, with the exception of Carson Clarke being appointed as captain of the Hyderabad Blackhawks.
Speaking at the season launch event on Friday, Pro Volleyball League CEO Joey Bhattachargia said, “We are only a day away from the start of the league. A lot of hard work and planning has gone into the building journey to the first day of the league. The teams make a great show for fans of this sport.”
The league follows a round format, with teams playing each other twice and the top four teams at the end of the league stage qualifying for the semi-finals.
Matches will normally be the best of five groups. However, quarter-final matches will be played to 15 points per group, with the first team to reach 15 points winning the group. The semi-finals and finals will be played with 25 points.
super service And the super point They are the two elements that have been introduced to make the matches more exciting. a super serviceOn the one hand, the serving team awards two points for each ace it serves, while a super point The concept of the winning match is similar to the Badminton Premier League. Each team will have one super point option for each group. If the team that chooses a super point wins a point, earns two points; Losing this point will award the opposing team two points. The super point However, the team must be called up before the team reaches 11 points.
Players to watch out for
Ranjit Singh (Ahmedabad Defenders)
Ranjit plays the role of an officer in the Indian volleyball team and is the former captain of the team. It was bought for 13 lakh rupees by the Ahmedabad franchise at auction, making him the most expensive player in the league. The Ahmedabad Defenders captain will play in the inaugural edition of the league.
Mohan Ukkerbandian (Kochi Blue Spikers)
Mohan also plays the officer on the Indian national volleyball team and is the captain of the Kochi Blue Spikers, which he bought for Rs 6.5 lakh at auction. The 29-year-old got his start as a shock absorber when he started playing volleyball before his college volleyball coach changed his position, which he says he enjoys playing in.
David Lee (Kochi Blue Sparks)
David is a three-time Olympian with the USA men’s national team, as part of which he won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was the fifth pick in the auction. Standing at 6 feet 8 inches tall, he plays an average blocker and is currently in the fifteenth year of his career.
Carson Clark (Blackhawks Hyderabad)
Clarke plays the batsman for the US national team and will lead the Hyderabad Blackhawks, the league’s youngest team. He won the gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 World Championships.
Venues and season schedule
Kochi (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) and Chennai (Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium) are the two venues where the matches will be played. Kochi will host 12 matches from February 2-13 before the league moves to Chennai for three league matches and two semi-finals and final on February 22. All matches will start at 7 pm.
Where do you watch
Pro Volleyball League matches will be broadcast on Sony six And the Sony Ten 3 channels with Sony Leaf Provide a live broadcast.