Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


Beyond the Net: Rise of the Prime Volleyball League in India

In a recent interview with The Bridge, Joy Bhattacharjya, PVL CEO, shed light on the rise of volleyball as a sport in India.

Beyond the Net: Rise of the Prime Volleyball League in India

Image Courtesy: RuPay Prime Volleyball League


Sukanya Adhikary

Updated: 23 March 2024 6:26 AM GMT

The Prime Volleyball League (PVL), inaugurated in 2019, is revolutionizing professional volleyball in India. In the final match of the third edition, Calicut Heroes emerged as champions as they defeated Delhi Toofans.

In a recent interview with Arshi Yasin, the CEO of The Bridge, Joy Bhattacharjya, the CEO of PVL shed light on the initial hurdles and future of volleyball in India.

"The biggest problem," he stated, "was that volleyball wasn't shown on Indian TV other than the Asian Games or Olympics." This lack of visibility meant a dearth of role models to inspire aspiring players.

Emphasizing on the core objective of the PVL, Joy said, the goal is to "build heroes in Indian volleyball."

By providing young, talented athletes a chance to compete on a national level, PVL is inspiring a new generation of volleyball enthusiasts and building a devoted fan base.

Creating a professional league has its own unique set of difficulties. Funding is one of the most important factors.

He compared the PVL's strategy to that of the Pro Kabaddi League, which was immensely successful and benefited from a media partnership. Even while it doesn't now enjoy the same degree of media support, the PVL is looking into other options to become financially stable.

"We put together a really good product and we've got sponsors on board who believe in the product," Bhattacharjya continued, explaining the approach. This wide range of sponsors shows how confident they are in the league's future.

Talking about inclusion of Women’s league in Volleyball, Bhattacharjya said, "the basic problem is that there's almost no women's volleyball happening in India on a national scale." He pointed out the importance of a strong talent pool, which is still under development. There is almost no Women’s volleyball league in the country. However, he reassured the women's league is "definitely in the plan.”

Bhattacharjya also shared his perspectives on Indian sports in general. "I feel collaboration is the only way forward," he emphasized the importance of teamwork. He thinks that for Indian sports to succeed, an integrated approach is required, since scattered initiatives hinder overall progress.

Bhattacharjya also talked about the functionality of sports in league format. He explained, "My belief is that leagues work best with team sports, not individual sports." He argued that in individual sports, the star athlete often overshadows the team itself. This makes it difficult to build a loyal fan base for a specific team within the league. He highlighted how we focus on individual players in Badminton League, “so if PV Sindhu was playing badminton League people will say watch Sindhu playing Saina but they will not remember whether they were playing for the Chennai Smashers or the Hyderabad Hunters.”

Despite being fresh, the Prime Volleyball League has an impressive journey ahead of it. The PVL is taking volleyball in India to new heights by addressing issues of visibility, developing talent, and investigating creative approaches. "There's a huge opportunity in Indian volleyball, and the PVL brings a lot of excitement," as Bhattacharjya succinctly puts it.

The league is positioned to play a major role in advancing volleyball to new heights because of its commitment to strategic planning, teamwork, and focusing on both men's and women's volleyball.

Volleyball enthusiasts can expect women's inclusion in the PVL soon, Bhattacharjya assured.

Next Story