The Japan Volleyball League Organisation (the Japan V-League) recently made an interesting announcement.
The organisation, which serves a similar role to the Korea Volleyball Organisation (KOVO), held a press conference in Tokyo on 26 April to announce that it would “launch a new league starting in the 2024-2025 season”. The new league will be a higher tier than the current Japanese V-League, with the “ultimate goal of becoming the best league in the world”. It’s not just an idea. The company also distributed a basic operating plan to reporters, stating that it would operate a tentative S-V League as an interim step to make a league with many superstars a reality by 2030.
Currently, there are many volleyball leagues around the world, the best of which are the Italian and Turkkiye leagues. Japan aims to surpass them with its strong economy and rich volleyball infrastructure. To create the new league, the government plans to push for reforms with the entities that currently run the league and give them the option of participating in the new league. They are also looking for ideas to overhaul existing league organisations and expand the volleyball business.
The Japanese volleyball community believes that while baseball, basketball and football may not be able to leapfrog other leagues, volleyball can certainly catch up. With a strong sporting goods industry represented by Mikasa, Molten, Asics, Mizuno, and others, a developed broadcasting system, plenty of experience playing international matches, great stadium facilities, and a population of around 100 million, there are enough foundations to ensure the league’s success. With the addition of software, the sky is the limit.
The key is the composition of the players in the league.먹튀검증
You can be the best in the world, but if your league isn’t the best, it won’t be competitive. If you have a league like the MLB, NBA, or EPL that has star players who can play at a level that is beyond human limits, then the league is naturally more competitive. That’s why leagues need superstars. In line with the new initiative, Japan is also looking to increase the number of foreign players. Starting with the upcoming season, they want to have up to four foreign players per team. Agents from all over the world are very interested in this move. China has also increased the number of foreign players to three.
As Japan and China open their doors to foreign players, the V-League will be affected. There are only so many big-name players in the world’s leagues. If they are concentrated in one place, a player shortage will follow. Players and agents will have no choice but to move to where the contract terms and league environment are better. Despite being in the same Asian country, the Korean, Chinese, and Japanese leagues have different characteristics. China offers a lot of money, but the internal and external environment discourages foreign players. Japan has the advantage of a stable league environment. There are also a lot of long-term contracts. The V-League is good for players, but there is a high risk of abuse, and there is less stability in contracts due to frequent player changes. Right now, teams in the V-League spend more money than the best leagues in the world, but they don’t get what they deserve. With the launch of its new league, Japan hopes to get more than its money’s worth in business success and popularity, and to be recognised as the best in the world.
Japan’s new initiative will also have a big impact on foreign player tryouts in the V-League. In the wake of the Turkiye tryouts, clubs’ general managers have been debating whether to continue with the existing system. “It’s getting harder and harder to find the players we need for our teams,” they said, adding that they want to change the system in some way. Players with a name now are reluctant to participate in V-League tryouts. There are other, more fundamental reasons than money. They don’t like the idea of being selected through competition. After free agency, world-class players stopped coming to the V-League. On the other hand, the vast majority of players in recent tryouts have been paid $100,000 or less. They are relatively unknown players. They participate in KOVO’s tryouts because their salaries would more than triple if they were drafted.
Furthermore, the V-League has a specific style of foreign player it wants. They want players with more power and RBIs than skill. Because of Keita’s success, the tryouts in Turkuye attracted a lot of young African players with good jumping and attacking power. Of course, they were not selected due to their lack of other volleyball skills. Increasingly, the V-League is becoming more and more differentiated between players and clubs. The fact that six existing players signed contracts in the men’s division is a testament to this reality.
The upcoming Japan S V-League will run from October to May. There will be a maximum of 16 teams, men and women, with no promotion or relegation system. It will be divided into East and West divisions, with a target of 44 league games per team. Teams will play every weekend and gradually expand to midweek games. Starting in April/May, a quarter-final playoff involving the four best teams from each district will be held to determine the champion. A more detailed league framework will be finalised in June.
The new league will have a clearer line in the sand, as the country has been wavering between professional and unemployed volleyball. Naturally, the way indigenous players are contracted will have to change. Interestingly, the Japanese volleyball world is looking for more foreign players. With the change in policy, there is less room for Japanese players, so the V-League has raised its protective barrier to allow only one foreign player to play. This had the side effect of lowering the quality of the league and driving up the price of native players. Some clubs want to increase the number of foreign players and appearances in order to level the playing field. The key is negative public opinion. Fans believe that more foreign players hurt native players and want more protection.
Japan disagrees. To be the best league in the world, it needs native players to compete with foreigners, and it wants to make itself more competitive. Yuki Ishikawa (Milan), the first Japanese men’s volleyball player to play in the Italian league, was interviewed and said, “If I can’t compete with the (foreign) players who play for my team now, my national team can’t win at international level.” Their thoughts and behaviour are a reflection of the survival skills they have developed on the field.