Volleyball in embarrassing crisis… A turnaround at the Kobo Cup?
Later this month, a professional volleyball cup tournament will begin in Gumi, Gyeongbuk. For the first time in five years, the tournament will feature professional teams from overseas, aiming to reverse the downturn in the sport’s fortunes. Clubs are in the midst of training ahead of the start of the KOVO Cup tournament on the 29th. Some teams have traveled overseas and others have gone on intense training camps in Korea. The Korean Volleyball Federation has decided to make a number of changes starting with this tournament to revive Korean volleyball, which is in more crisis than ever. After reaching the quarterfinals at Tokyo 2020, women’s volleyball suffered a shocking 27-game losing streak in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) from last year to this year, leaving the sport in danger of missing the Olympics for the first time in 16 years. Men’s volleyball last qualified for the Olympics스포츠토토존in 2000. The federation has invited overseas professional teams to the tournament for the first time in five years in a bid to boost the international competitiveness of domestic players The women will be represented by Supreme Chonburi, who have won multiple league titles in Thailand, while the men will be represented by Panasonic Panthers, who finished third in Japan’s V-League last season. The Thai women are ranked 15th in the world, 20 spots above us, and the Japanese men, ranked 6th, are 26 spots above us. We’ve also completely changed the ball. We decided to switch to the Japanese ‘Mikasa Ball’, which is used in the Olympics and VNL tournaments, to bring the ball feel up to international standards. Unlike the ‘Star Ball’ used in the domestic league, the Mikasa Ball is considered to be more bouncy, encouraging aggressive volleyball and making it harder to receive. In the regular league, which will start in October after the cup tournament, Asian quota players such as Thai national team setter Ponpun will also play, which is expected to provide a new impetus for domestic players.