Volleyball is one of the most Entertaining sports in the World. The game of Volleyball came in India through some Physical Education teachers who had been abroad more than 70 years ago. Soon the Volleyball Federation in India came into existence. Since then, they oversee the game in India. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was controlling the game until then.
Indian team soon started to participate in World Championships, Asian Games, Asian Championship, Commonwealth Championship and many other International Tournaments held in India and abroad. India won the Gold medal at the Invitation Asian Meet at Japan in 1955. In the third and fourth Asian Games held at Tokyo in 1958 and Djakarta in 1962, India won the bronze and silver medal respectively. Furthermore, India won the gold medal at the SAF (South Asian Federation) games in 1987 and 1991.
The VFI, in India, hosts a bunch of tournaments for the development of Indian Volleyball. These tournaments have produced few great Indin Volleyball Players in Palaniswamy, Nripjit Singh, Balwant Singh, Malini Reddy, Shyam Sundar Rao, Ellamma and Jimmy George. Jimmy George is the first Indian volleyball player to become professional and played club volleyball in Italy.
National Volleyball Championships
The National Volleyball Championships is India’s oldest and Prestigious Domestic tournament. he first Championship was held in the year 1936 at Lahore (now in Pakistan). The National Championships sees four more divisions according to age group under it.
The Tournament in its 67th edition is held for state teams all over the country. Few Government Institutions also participate in this annual tournament. The tournament follows a league-cum-knockout system, both for men and women teams. It is considered as the topmost volleyball league currently in India. Playing in this league leads to the Final step in selection towards the Senior National Team.
Kerala and Railways won the Men and Women’s Senior Nationals Volleyball Championships, held at Calicut, Kerala in February 2018.
The Tournament in its 20th edition. It is held for the U21 Category state teams all over the country. Few Government Institutions also participate in this annual tournament. The tournament follows a league-cum-knockout system, both for boys and girls teams. Playing in this league leads to the Final step in selection towards the U-21 National Team.
Rajasthan and Kerala won Men and Women’s Senior Nationals Volleyball Championships, held at Jaipur, Rajasthan in January 2018.
The Junior Nationals Volleyball Championships is held for U-19 boys and girls. The Annual tournament is in its 45th Edition. Various State teams participate in the competition. The tournament follows a league-cum-knockout system, both for boys and girls teams. Playing in this league leads to the Final step in selection towards the U-19 National Team.
Burdwan district in West Bengal hosted the 44th Junior National Volleyball Championship in December 2017. Punjab were champions in the 44th Junior National Championship for boys. Hosts Bengal won the 44th Junior National Championship for Girls.
Sub Junior Nationals
The Sub-Junior National level Championships sees State Teams send their U-16 teams to compete for the Championship. The Annually held competition is in its 40th Edition. The Tournament also follows a league-cum-knockout system, both for boys and girls teams.
West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh won the Championships, during its 39th edition held at Pondicherry in January 2017.
The Volleyball Federation in India wants to sure that they do not let any talent slip through their fingers. Hence, they have a National Championship event at the U14 age category. This Annual tournament is held for both Boys and Girls. Furthermore, it is in its 26th Edition of the tournament. Like all other National Championships, it also follows a league-cum-knockout system, both for boys and girls teams.
In its 26th Edition at Aizwal, Mizoram in Manipur beat hosts Mizoram to win the title of the National Championship for Boys. In the Girls event, West Bengal beat Tamil Nadu to Clinch the title of the National Championship for Girls.
The Federation Cup Volleyball is one of the Domestic Prestigious tournament. The Inaugural tournament happened back in Tirupur, near Coimbatore 1979. However, the famous tournament was halted in between 2003 to 2012 after it allowed various clubs entry. The 2012-revived tournament is now returning to its old format of including State teams and Institutions. For Men, it Follows a League-cum-Knockout format. However, for Women, it follows a Round Robin Format. The Tournament is in its 31st Edition.
Kerala and Railways claimed their hands on 31st Federation Cup Championship held at Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh in March 2018.
The Beach Volleyball tournament is one of its kind Volleyball Tournament in India. Rather than normal courts, it has a smaller court and thus only two players in each team. The Tournament now in its 18th Edition allows two teams from states. The tournament follows a League-cum-Knockout format. Participating teams are divided into various groups. To make it more entertaining, the tournament also allows wildcard entries.
During the 18th National Beach Volleyball Championships at Chennai in March 2018, Railways Men and Tamil Nadu Women emerged as Champions.
Pro Volleyball League
The Pro Volleyball League will commence with India’s first ever All Men’s professional volleyball league. Furthermore, the Professional Women’s volleyball league follows it. Lastly, India’s first uniquely planned Beach volleyball league is in motion. Altogether they will provide at least 4 weeks of enthralling Volleyball action. The three leagues will have a minimum of 6 city-based franchises each. They will follow a round robin format followed by knockout matches. In doing so, they will be travelling the length and the breadth of the country in a caravan style format. Two indoor venues in India will host the matches.
Baseline Ventures promotes the Pro Volleyball League. Initially, it was supposed to kick off in October this year. However, the league will start in February 2019. Sony Pictures Networks India will be broadcasting the inaugural season of the Pro Volleyball League. It has signed a multi-year deal with Baseline Ventures, which owns the league, as a result, will broadcast all 18 matches live across its sports channels in India. The league will give budding Indian athletes a platform to hone their skills and compete against some of the leading players from across the world.
As per 2017 FIVB World Rankings, India Currently ranks 38th in men and 55th in Women. In U23 Category it is light better at 30th in Men and 24th in Women. Furthermore, the Progress, development and success of these various leagues only will help India to be the Top Gun in the Sport of Volleyball.