There’s a sense of urgency in professional volleyball. It’s the Asian Quarter, which will debut this season. The tryouts organized by the Korean Volleyball Organization (KOVO) in April were a success. All 14 teams, men and women, named players. The salaries were set at $100,000 (about $130,000), which is lower than the league average ($229,000 for men and $152,000 for women), and the players’ skills exceeded expectations. Although they were unable to compete in the Cobo Cup due to the lack of an International Transfer Consent (ITC), they are expected to compete fiercely with domestic players in the regular league.
The volleyball world is looking forward to the ‘catfish effect’. The logic is that the league’s competitiveness will increase as the competition for starting spots intensifies due to the presence of Asian quota players. In particular, unlike previous foreign players who focused on attackers, Asian quota players also play as setters and middle blockers. In the women’s division, IBK selected Thai international setter Ponpun Gedpard with the No. 1 pick. In the men’s game, Samsung Fire used the No. 1 pick to select Mongolian middle blocker Eddie. No position is safe.메이저사이트
There are hopes that the league can deflate the bubble by adding more affordable players. Professional volleyball salaries have been steadily rising, and even the relatively low average salary of the women’s division has exceeded the average salary of Korea’s most popular sport, professional baseball (146.48 million won). However, on the field, there are stories that “the players don’t even know the basics”. This competitiveness is also evident in international competitions. The men’s national team failed to reach the final of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Championship, and the women’s national team went undefeated (24 losses) in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) for the second consecutive year.
There are concerns. With the addition of 14 new foreign players, there are worries about domestic players being pushed out. With fewer spots for Korean players, the already scarce youth pool could shrink even further. However, South Korea’s track record of running a league with a limited number of foreign players (one) in the name of developing domestic players has been disastrous. With no immediate talent, the league can’t sustain its performance without veterans. South Korea is not alone in opening the door. Japan, which is preparing to launch professional volleyball, will increase the number of foreign players to four.
In the meantime, many volleyball players have talked about the challenge for Korean players. Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) has said many times that Korean players need to go overseas, and the new head coach of Japan’s OK Financial Group, Masa Ogino, said the same thing. However, the players remained stuck. There was no reason to give up a high-paying environment without much competition. Nor can they be blamed for lacking a challenging spirit and ambition, as even that is affected by the environment in which they live.
However, Asia Quarter is not the end of change, but the beginning. If this season’s AsiaQuarter is successful, the call for an immediate increase in the foreign quota will gain momentum. In the story “The Frog in the Well,” from which the phrase “frog in the well” comes, a frog is stunned by a turtle’s description of the open sea. The frog may never leave the well. But it can’t stop other creatures from coming to the well. The wider world is already here.