|Climbing high: The National Volleyball Championships will kick off in April. — Photo tapchithethao.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The National Volleyball Championships will be organised in April and draw participation of 23 teams.
Twelve female squads have been divided into Group A and B, with each team competing in a round robin format. It is the same for the 11 men's clubs.
The tournament is divided into two phases. The first one will be held from April 12 to 19, with Thai Binh hosting the Group B matches and Phu Tho in-charge of the Group A matches.
After the first leg, two top participants from each group will take part in the Hung Vuong Cup from April 24 to 27.
The second leg is scheduled for November 14 to 28.
According to Tran Duc Phan, general secretary of the Viet Nam Federation of Volleyball, this year's tournament will be much better than before, as all the players are in intensive training for preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in June.
"This year, the SEA Games are being held six months earlier than usual so all athletes are training hard. They only has a few days off for Tet holiday and have returned to work hard since then," said Phan. "The championships are important as they help select the best players for the national teams, who go on to compete in international tournaments later."
Phan said a new feature this year was that many clubs are introducing younger players as they are in the process of rejuvenating their teams.
"New faces will be introduced, especially in the men's competition. We hope that they will make for exciting matches," said Phan.
Younger male players will be promoted to the national U-23 team, which will compete at the Asian U23 Men's Volleyball Championship in May in Myanmar. — VNS