The FIVB, volleyball’s World body, is closely watching the RuPay Prime Volleyball League in India and is thrilled with the drama and the fan craze surrounding the event. It it now taking steps to help India grow in the sport and join the planet’s top teams.
“The world is watching and appreciating the PVL, we are receiving so many messages from all around the world appreciating the job that you are doing in your country,” said Fabio Azevedo, the FIVB general director, ahead of the PVL final here on Sunday.
“From the FIVB side, to help the system become stronger, we want to invest in your national team mainly. We had a great meeting two days ago in New Delhi with your National Olympic Committee (Indian Olympic Association).
“We do believe in your national team, we want to dream big. We want to see India playing the next World Championships and the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. We are all working for that and we have the full support of these amazing team of professionals and we have the full support of the NOC.”
That could see the arrival of an experienced foreign coach in India and the FIVB offering its expertise on infrastructure for players and how national teams should be selected.
“What is important to the needs of the country....an international head coach with lots of experience, that’s the first step. Secondly, we are talking about statisticians, psychologists, trainers and everything else that we need for a team to perform better,” said Azevedo, replying to questions from The Hindu.
India, which will host the FIVB Club World Championship in December 2023, could see more international events coming its way.
“We are planning to have more international events in India in the next few years, mainly the under-age category. We are planning the under-19 World championship, the under-21 championship and a whole lot,” said Azevedo, who along with Volleyball World CEO Finn Taylor, watched the PVL final in Kochi on Sunday.
“We have planned a whole of events in the next Olympic cycle in order to guarantee that your team will have great events in your own soil to play. And also establishing friendly matches abroad and many things.”
The PVL has its own unique set of rules, including short 15-point sets (regular volleyball is played over 25-point sets), a super point and super serve (which both offer two points)...is the FIVB planning to introduce them in its championships?
“Inside the FIVB leadership, we all love it. Because what this league (PVL) has done for the fans is a great thing. The fans love it...short 15-point sets, the super point, super serve...they have really increased the drama of the event.
“For the time being, to introduce these things in our international events is too premature. But I can tell you we are seeing these innovations with amazing good eyes and we believe that these are for the benefit of the fans, for the benefit of the athletes and all we can tell now is that we can see a great success.
“Regarding introducing these things in worldwide events in future., we can think about that. We see that in a very positive way.”
PVL’s CEO Joy Bhattacharjya and Tuhin Mishra, the MD of Baseline Ventures, the PVL’s organiser, also spoke during the event.