PVL Starting as Grassroots Pro League in 2012

Jan. 13, 2012, 1:32 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 13, 2012) - USA Volleyball is creating additional buzz to the world of adult volleyball with the establishment of a new adult league, which is expected to provide some quality battles at the upcoming 2012 USA Volleyball Open National Championships to be held in Utah in May.

The USA Premier Volleyball League (PVL) is a grassroots professional volleyball league, and it is expected to be made up of teams from among the 40 Regional Volleyball Associations across the United States. The PVL is being designed as an adult High Performance initiative based on the USA Volleyball Region system with a slight twist, a professional league in look and feel. The USA PVL will be sanctioned by USA Volleyball and will offer tournament play and a league championship event each year.

In 2012 the PVL plans to offer a single championship event at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah. Entry commitments have been received from the Florida Region, Intermountain Region, Iowa Region, Puget Sound Region, North Texas Region and Arizona Region to compete in the inaugural event with as many as eight other Regions working on getting a team in place. Depending on number entries, a prize fund of up to $20,000 could be offered.

“While the PVL concept may take longer to gain momentum than other leagues in the past, I feel this model has a promising future,” said Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball senior director and PVL commissioner. “Many of the Regions of USA Volleyball have had Region High Performance programs for many years and this is a logical next step. For some Regions, this will be an easier program to implement than that for junior athletes. I very much feel the future for the PVL will be bright.”

Regions will have the option to plug in at many different levels based on their respective budgets. They can simply field a team for the PVL Championships in Salt Lake City, or they can schedule tournaments and exhibition matches in their respective regions prior to attending the PVL Championships. The beauty of this model is that every Region can participate if they choose.

In 2013 (and beyond), the PVL is expected to offer league play at various USA Volleyball Junior National Qualifiers (JNQ’s) in addition to the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. Under the current plans, the league championships (starting in 2013) are expected to take place in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships event that is held in various locations throughout the USA. The goal is to add a men's division in the near future and the league championships for the men will take place at the USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships event.

“The PVL has unlimited potential and could grow to become one of the largest professional sports leagues in the United States,” said Steve Bishop, Florida Region executive director and PVL assistant commissioner. “With the potential of having up to 40 teams, I believe that our fans will enjoy seeing pro-level volleyball at many of the USA Volleyball sanctioned events in the United States. For me, this has been long-time coming. I am honored to be involved in the development and rollout of the first USA Volleyball sanctioned professional league and I invite all volleyball enthusiasts to get on board and help us make the PVL a permanent part of the volleyball landscape.”

Post-collegiate athletes who are interested in participating in the PVL should contact their Regional Volleyball Association (RVA) office and inquire about their respective team. Visit usavolleyball.org/resources/wanna-play/usav-regions for information on contacting your respective region.

Athletes must be registered with the Region in which they live; however, a two-person exception will be allowed for up to two athletes registered in another Region provided that the other Region does not have a team in the league.

There are many differences between the PVL and all previous professional volleyball leagues. The PVL will not require ticket sales or television sponsorships to be successful. It is being built on the success of the USA Volleyball regions, which have continued to grow during one of the toughest economies in recent U.S. history. The PVL will take the pros to the fans and create role models for our growing junior volleyball population. The PVL is a grassroots, bottom-up model that will create playing opportunities for post-collegiate athletes in the participating Regions.

Along with Pingel and Bishop, USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal is also very involved in the planning and coordination of the PVL.

For more information on the PVL, visit usapvl.com/About.us.htm for the latest information on this developing grassroots league.