|Officials conduct a draw for the National Volleyball Championship, which will see 20 teams competing in men's and women's events. Photo webthethao.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The National Volleyball Championship returns in February with 20 teams competing for titles in both men's and women's tournaments.
At a draw held in Hà Nội on Monday, organisers said the tournament -- the Đức Giang Chemicals Cup -- will have two qualification rounds.
Ten teams in men's and women's categories will be divided into two groups in the first round. Group A (both men and women) will play at the Bắc Ninh Province Gymnasium from February 24 to March 5. Group B (both men and women) will compete from March 10-19 at the Hà Nội's Trịnh Hoài Đức Gymnasium.
In the second qualification, teams that finished first, third and fifth in Group A will meet those that finished second and fourth in Group B.
This group, Group C, will play from November 3-12 in Đắk Nông Province. The remaining teams will make up Group D, who will play in Gia Lai Province from November 2-17.
The four best teams of each group will advance to the finals, which will play between December 14-17 in Quảng Nam for the women's competition, and in Khánh Hòa for the men's teams from December 21-24.
The bottom teams will be relegated to the lower division next season.
The championship has prizes totalling VNĐ2.3 billion (US$92,500), and the champions will pocket VNĐ500 million.
The second and third-placed teams will receive VNĐ300 million and VNĐ200 million, respectively.
Organisers will also present awards for outstanding players.
Lê Trí Trường, general secretary of the Việt Nam Volleyball Federation, said this is the second season that clubs are allowed to hire foreign players for the tournament.
Each club can register two foreigners, though only one is allowed on the court at a time.
Trường said the national championship would be based on coaches picking their members for the national teams competing at the 32nd SEA Games next May in Cambodia.
Athletes are currently competing at the National Sports Games in Quảng Ninh.
Volleyball competition began yesterday at the provincial Sports Training Centre. It will finish on December 8, one day before the Games' opening ceremony. VNS