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The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

American Professional Volleyball was Long Overdue [Opinion]

The First Inaugural Season of Women’s Professional Volleyball in the United States.
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Thousands of people shout from the crowded stadium, millions watching at home. Your breath shakes, as you feel the hard leather of the ball hit against your hand, and bounce up from the floor. 

The familiar colors of burnt orange and white fade around you as you go behind the service line, staring at the red and white that oppose you. 

It’s no secret that collegiate women’s volleyball is one of the most viewed and anticipated NCAA sports in the world. Drawing in hundreds of thousands of viewers nearly every game of the 2023 season, and over three million watching the National Collegiate Championship played by Nebraska and Texas.

This is not a surprise considering the milestones women’s volleyball set for women’s sports going forward. Nebraska Volleyball set an all-time attendance record of 92,003 fans in the stadium. Women’s collegiate volleyball is solidifying itself as one of the top three most-watched college sports.

“Increased fan engagement was not limited to in-person attendance, as this was the most-viewed regular season of women’s college volleyball on ESPN.” The NCAA finds. “Regular-season matches averaged 116,000 viewers on ESPN platforms, a 58% increase from last year.”

This engagement paid off. 

The PVF (Pro Volleyball Federation) was announced in November of 2022, stating its first inaugural season to be played in February of 2024. Having 7 teams playing 24 in-season games.

“The action of the women’s indoor game holds up to any other sport, with highly skilled athletes playing at an extreme tempo above the net and diving on the floor to compete for every point,” the Federation said in a statement on their website. 

Professional volleyball has existed internationally for most athletes since 1947, running under the FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball), and was officially added to the Olympics a decade later in 1957. 

However, the awe of playing for the Olympics is only a dream for 30 American women, and there are only a handful being considered for international club volleyball. Which allows the PVF to slip right in. 

“[We’re] providing a new horizon for young volleyball players in America who currently have very few options to play professionally without having to leave the country,” the PVF writes. 

The league has just started with already three games being played with over 25,000 viewers in attendance. It’s only projected to grow from here. “Currently, Dallas, Indianapolis and Kansas City have been announced as squads that will join the initial seven to take the court, with more expected to come soon.” 

This is a monumental event and a substantial step for women’s sports around the world. Many fans, including myself, have their hopes high for the future of the PVF and the expansion of women’s and men’s volleyball in the United States.

“Our ability to provide these new opportunities for so many great young athletes is one of the foremost reasons why the launch of [the] Pro Volleyball Federation is such a significant milestone for the advancement of women’s sports in North America,” the PVF writes. 

 

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About the Contributor
Evan Deickman, Opinions Manager
Hi! I’m Evan, and this is my sophomore year at Grandview and my second year on The Chronicle Staff. I’m a part of the Opinions Department. My favorite Chronicle memory was a team dinner last year that I definitely overdressed for. An interesting fact about me is that I play volleyball and cook.

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