Do You Know What Has Happened To The USA Premier Volleyball League?
According to their last official announcement, the USA Premier Volleyball League (PVL) stated that "there will be no PVL sponsored division at the 2017 Open National Championship." This announcement, however, was over a year ago.
The PVL has also stated that “With the help of USAV, a Women’s Open division will be added to help accommodate the women’s PVL teams that are already entered or are form. The officers from the PVL are working on plans to provide a PVL division in 2018 and beyond”.
The PVL was established in 2012 by Steve Bishop, PCL Asst. Commissioner of Florida. The following year, the PVL also launched a men’s division and incorporated. It was made up of teams from across the forty regional volleyball associations across North America and sanctioned by USA Volleyball, offering both tournament play and a League championship every year.
But That's Not All,...
It’s not the first time something like this has occurred in the world of professional volleyball. If we go back three decades to March 20, 1989, the Major Volleyball League (MLV), established in 1987, was disbanded during only its third season.
The MLV got off to a good start. After securing a contract with ESPN to televise 10 regular season contests on a tape delay basis. As well as a playoff game and live coverage of the league’s championship match. Everything seemed to be going well, with attendance levels between 350 and 3,000 during the opening weeks of competition in 1987.
There's A Catch:
While a paid professional league allows athletes to continue doing what they do best in full time careers, the reality can be quite harsh. If there aren’t enough eyes watching the games, there won’t be enough money from sponsors to ensure the sustainability of a professional league.
The United States Professional Volleyball League was another attempt at creating a league in 2002, featuring four teams based in the Midwest: the Chicago Thunder, Minnesota Chill, Grand Rapids Force, and St. Louis Quest. The league was disbanded a year later due to lack of financial backing.
We’re all accustomed to seeing highly driven athletes performing to the best of their abilities on the court, however, the business of sport can sometimes be just as tough. In order to create and sustain a league, it requires both financial backing, as well as backing from the fans. And with giant organizations, such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB all competing for viewers with billion dollar marketing budgets. It’s hard to get and retain the attention of the viewers.
So, What’s In Store For The USA Premier Volleyball League?
At this point, things are uncertain, but what we can all agree on, is that all lovers of volleyball, especially the younger generation, would be a little bit better off having exposure to professionals and seeing the very highest level of competitors in the sport in live action on a regular basis. In order to have something to aspire to in the future.