Pro volley league set to resume after a two-year break and in new ‘avatar’

The Prime Volleyball League (PVL) is expected to resume soon after a two-year hiatus and will be a six-team affair. The PVL follows the National Basketball Association (NBA) model in which franchise owners are also stakeholders.

Bengaluru Torpedoes will be a new franchise and join Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks and Chennai Blitz who changed their names from Chennai Spartans in 2019 and were the champions.

The dates for the auction and the schedule for the season will be announced by the PVL soon.

To provide opportunities for both upcoming players and coaching staff, the PVL has tied up with Piston Des Sports to create a portal (www.pistondessport.com) to register and be part of the auction.

“We have talent in the country and PVL will be the right kind of platform to grow. This kind of structure, where franchises are committed for the long term gives the game an opportunity to grow in a sustained manner, and that is the best thing possible for Indian volleyball,” said Joy Bhattacharya, CEO, PVL.

“Our first association began in 2019 was very successful. This is a win-win for both franchises and the players,” said Thomas Muthoot, owner of Kochi Blue Spikers.

In 2019, Pro Volleyball League with six teams was well accepted by fans. Instead of Bengaluru Torpedoes, U Mumba were the sixth team then and played on a single round-robin basis consisting of 15 five-set matches but was restricted to two centres, Kochi and Chennai, instead of home and away format. Chennai Spartans emerged champions.

In 2011, Indian Volleyball League with six teams was launched in a humble way but folded up soon.

David Lee, a member of the gold medal winning USA team in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Serbia’s Novica Bjelica, USA’s Paul Lotman, Canada’s Rudy Verhoeff and Latvia’s Ruslans Sorokins all Olympians were international stars who played in the 2019 pro league.

Jaspal Rana to travel as national coach for junior Worlds despite unresolved issues

Shooting coach Jaspal Rana, who was labelled as a ‘negative influence’ on the Indian team in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, will be accompanying the junior national pistol team as the chief coach during the Junior World Championship later this month.

Headlined by Olympian Manu Bhaker, a team of 36 pistol shooters – 18 boys and 18 girls – will compete in eight events at the junior worlds that will be held in Lima, Peru, starting September 27. Raninder had also mentioned a rift between Bhaker and Rana, which he said could have impacted the teenage shooter’s performance in her maiden Olympics.

Ronak Pandit and Samresh Jung had travelled as pistol coaches to Tokyo after a string of events had increased the rancour and broken down communication between Bhaker and Rana. While announcing the team on August 27, the NRAI did not release the names of coaches who would travel with the team. On Monday, the NRAI told The Indian Express that Rana will continue in his role as the junior pistol team’s chief coach despite the allegations made against him until the review of the Tokyo Games performance is complete. The preparatory camp for the championship will begin in New Delhi on Wednesday.