Volleyball News

Bangkok, Thailand, April 27, 2018 – The AVC-initiated new competition format and video challenge will be used in the SMM 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium from May 20 to 27, leaving teams from the same level to be locked in tight contests from the very beginning of the top-flight competition.

A total of 13 teams confirmed their participation in the championship, the qualification tournament for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U18 World Championship.

Defending and 7-time champions Japan join four-time winners China and Korea in Pool A and Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and hosts Thailand are in Pool B. Pool C comprises Iran, New Zealand and Australia, with India, Uzbekistan, Malaysia and Kazakhstan in Pool D.

The pool round-robin preliminaries will be held from May 20 to 22 where all teams will be ranked respectively at the end of the round. The next round will see the top three teams (Pool A) take a rest day, while team ranked 4th next take on team ranked 9th, 5th against 10th, 6th against 11th, 7th against 12th and 8th against 13th. The losers in that round will be relegated to the 9th-13th classification round, with the winners next contesting the quarter-finals, joined by the top three teams from Pool A.

To make the volleyball enthusiasts well aware on the staging of the championship and to distribute the competition information to the Media, the press conference was held on Friday at Alexander Hotel in Bangkok, with the local organisers, Thailand U17 team players and the Media in attendance. TVA President Mr Somporn Chaibangang presided over the press conference, while representatives from the Partners, supporters and AVC Secretary-General Mr Shanrit Wongprasert also attended in the meeting as guests of honour.

However, ahead of the Asian meet, seven teams have been invited to compete against the host side in the “Princess Cup” 20th South East Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship from May 13 to 17 at the same competition venue. The biennial invitational tournament has been regarded as warm-up matches for those teams participating in the Asian meet.

Hosts Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and Uzbekistan are in Pool A, while Pool B consists of Kazakhstan, India, Singapore and New Zealand. After the pool plays, the top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals, with teams finishing 3rd and 4th places being relegated to the 5th-8th classification. The playoffs and the final showdown will take place on May 17.

“The “Princess Cup” invitational tournament will be the very first indoor volleyball event to be contested in Thailand this year. We have been staging the prestigious tournament for 19 consecutive years. In the beginning of the Princess Cup, we invited overseas volleyball clubs and developing teams to play against our national side, but after that we have hosted the Princess Cup for junior and youth tournaments instead,” Mr Somporn said in his opening speech.

“This year, the new competition format will be used for the first time and the Asian Women’s U17 Championship will be the first tournament that AVC will apply the new format. This is a groundbreaking format to be used uniquely in Asia and we will learn after this whether the format works well. Previously, leading teams and less-ranked sides will be sometimes drawn in the same group, leaving some matches to be not interesting or not exciting in the first round. But with the use of the new competition format, which sees top teams as well as teams in the same level play in the same group, excitement and hard-fought battles can be expected from start to finish in the championship,” Mr Shanrit explained.

“The participating teams will come up with utmost efforts from the beginning for their best results in the first round. After that, only stronger teams are expected to remain on course, while less-ranked teams have to do their best to keep their hopes of advancing alive. If not, they will be eliminated. So, all teams have to try their best in every match they play. Spectators will have a chance to watch thrilling matches from the first round. Furthermore, the video challenge system will also be used in this championship to ensure a fair play and the precise decision. From now, AVC will try to use the video challenge for every AVC Championship. This will be the same standard as the VNL to be contested next month. The only difference is VNL will use the innovative Hawk-Eye video challenge, while AVC events will use the video challenge of Data Project from Italy. I think by means of the innovations, we will find the volleyball competitions more thrilling and fun,” he added.

In terms of the previous results of the Asian Women’s U17 Championship, only Japan and China captured the title. Japan had won 7 titles including six successive times and the 2017 edition in Chongqing, China. China had won 4 titles.

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