“I’m not good enough” Women’s tryouts were bittersweet…why…is this a sign of change?

The 2024 women’s professional volleyball foreign player tryout saw an unusually low quality of invited players. Could this signal a shift back to free agency?

Women’s professional volleyball began selecting foreign players through a tryout system rather than free agency in the 2015-16 season. The men’s program followed a year later. The idea was to prevent excessive competition and high salaries for foreign players. At the same time, the plan was to focus on developing domestic players. However, as time went on, the tryout scene became known as the “old guard”.

In particular, at this year’s women’s tryouts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the coaches lamented that “the quality of the players was lower than last year.” Giovanna Milana (USA) and Brittany Abercrombie (Puerto Rico), who performed well in the V-League last season, left Korea, while Leticia Moma Bassoko (Cameroon) and Giselle Silva (Cuba), who are trying to make a comeback in the V-League, re-signed with Hyundai E&C and GS Caltex, respectively. “There was no reason not to,” said Hyundai E&C head coach Kang Sung-hyung and 스포츠토토사이트 GS Caltex head coach Lee Young-taek.

Vanya Vukiric (Serbia), who played for Korea Expressway Corporation last season, will wear a new jersey after being nominated by the president. The other four ‘new faces’ are Pepper Savings Bank’s Barbara Zavic (Croatia), Korea Expressway Corporation’s Merelin Nikolova (Bulgaria), IBK Corporate Bank’s Victoria Danchak (Ukraine) and Heungkuk Life’s Tutku Bourge (Turkiye).

The first day of the tryouts did not go well for the invited players in Dubai. In general, players tend to be out of shape on the first day due to the flight. On the second day, they said that they were “better than yesterday”, but nothing much changed.

We are running out of players. The player base is getting thinner. It“s a phenomenon that”s especially noticeable in women”s volleyball. There are many reasons for this.

This year, there are only two professional women”s volleyball leagues in the United States. The league run by the Professional Volleyball Federation (PVF) started this winter, and the League One Volleyball (LOVB) league, which features a number of US national team players, will start its first season in November.

The two leagues in the U.S. have already seen a number of talented players move on. Jia, who played in South Korea last season, will also be joining the LOVB. It’s not just players. Managers and coaching staff are also heading to the United States.

Not only that. The timing of the tryouts is also a factor. Many teams sign contracts for the next season in January or February, when the winter transfer market is already open. “Players who don’t find a team until after May try out for the V-League,” said one agent.

That’s not to say that the salaries paid in tryouts are small. The players who get drafted are very happy with their salaries. The first year is 250,000 dollars ($340 million) and the second year is 300,000 dollars ($410 million). In addition to this, room and board are basic, just like domestic athletes. They also get up to three round-trip airline tickets for family and friends. “With that kind of money, we can get better players,” said one coach.

The nature of the tryouts is that you’ll be tested and drafted. It’s possible to sign up for a tryout, show up, and not be selected. This is why more established players avoid tryouts.

Free agency is becoming more and more popular at tryouts.

In the men’s professional volleyball league, the invited players who attended the tryouts were met with favorable reviews. “Unlike the men’s league, there is still an image that foreign players are mistreated in the Korean Women’s Volleyball League,” said an official. In the men’s league, domestic players contribute more to the team than in the women’s league, but this is not the case in the women’s league.”

The Korean Basketball League (KBL) introduced a draft system for foreign players in 2012-13, but switched to free agency in 2018-19. The 2023-24 season will also be free agency. The team can keep two players, but only one can play. The total salary for two players is $800,000 (1.09 billion won), and the salary cap for one player is $600,000 ($820,000 won).

In men’s professional volleyball, foreign players are paid $400,000 (547 million won) for the first year and $550,000 (750 million won) for the second year and above.

“As foreign managers enter the V-League, they are identifying foreign players through their respective networks. It doesn’t seem to be a big problem to select players through free agency,” while another said, ‘There is still a lack of ability of managers and clubs to find good foreign players.’ There were conflicting opinions.

Currently, the women’s game is more in favor of free agency than the men’s game. “The salaries of foreign players are not high compared to the salaries of domestic players,” said one.

It is definitely time for a change. The specific method and timing should be discussed in depth.

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