Next up on the volleyball agenda: the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23. An exciting and unprecedented format makes India's pro league a unique proposition for fans. One you can get to know in February and March, when it takes place in cities across India.
A whole new ball game: Get to know the Prime Volleyball League
Publicado 08:00, 31 Jan 2023
From February 4 to March 5, head to Volleyball World for all the latest from the Prime Volleyball League. The volleyballworld.com website will have all the player statistics and rankings, as well as news and detailed information on the match schedule, results and standings. The entire second season of India’s Prime Volleyball League will also be streamed live on Volleyball TV (for viewers outside India).
What is the Prime Volleyball League?
The Prime Volleyball League is India’s premier volleyball competition and features franchises from eight cities across India. It is administered and marketed by India’s leading sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures.
The inaugural edition of the Prime Volleyball League was held in February 2022. Kolkata Thunderbolts triumphed as the league’s first champions.
What makes the Prime Volleyball League format so unique?
The matches are played in an unprecedented format. In each set, the first team to reach 15 points wins the set, even if the margin is just one point. So sets are never extended to “overtime”.
In the single round-robin league phase, in which each of the eight teams plays a total of seven games, every match consists of five sets. A 5-0 win (“whitewash”) earns a team three points in the standings. Any other win brings two points. If there is a tie in the total number of points, the total number of sets won is also a factor in determining the teams’ positions in the table.
At the end of the league phase, the top four teams in the standings advance to the semifinals. The winners of the semifinals compete in the final for the championship title.
The semifinals and the final are played in a standard best-of-five format, i.e. the first team to win three sets wins the match.
The so called Super Point is one of the key innovations to the rules of the game to be applied in the Prime Volleyball League. Once in every set, each team has the opportunity to call a Super Point, which offers them the chance to double their points. However, if that team loses the rally, the opponents win two points. To use a Super Point, teams must call it before they reach 11 points in the set.
The Super Serve is another new concept introduced in the Prime Volleyball League. A serving ace which sees the ball land on the floor without touching any of the opponent’s players earns the serving team two points.
Who plays in the Prime Volleyball League?
Prime Volleyball is a men’s league, featuring all the top Indian players along with international athletes, some of whom have played for their countries’ national teams. There are two foreign players in each team. The foreign countries represented are: Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Peru, United States and Venezuela.
Seven of the eight teams participating in the 2023 championship also competed in the Prime Volleyball League’s first season. Mumbai Meteors are the only rookies in season two. Here is the full list of eight teams:
Hyderabad Black Hawks
Kochi Blue Spikers
Hyderabad Black Hawks’ Australian middle blocker Trent O'Dea, who has represented his country at major international competitions like the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup, the Volleyball Nations League, the FIVB Volleyball World League and various continental tournaments, and Kolkata Thunderbolts’ Venezuelan middle Jose Verdi, who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, are among the most well-known players of the Prime Volleyball League. Other big names include USA's David Lee, who will coach the Bengaluru Torpedoes, and Eduardo Romay of Peru, who will star for the Kochi Blue Spikers.
When and where is the second season played?
The first 10 matches of the league phase will be played in Bengaluru from February 4 through 12. Hyderabad will host the next 10 games from February 15 through 21. The remaining eight round-robin fixtures are scheduled from February 24 through March 2 in Kochi. Kochi will also welcome the two semifinals on March 3 and 4, and the final on March 5.