Of the 42 players who knocked on the door of the pros, only 20 (47.62%) were selected, less than half.
The Korean Volleyball Organization (KOVO) V-League 2023-2024 Men’s Rookie Draft, held at Mayfield Hotel in Gangseo-gu, Seoul, ended with the lowest employment rate in history.
This is the first time that less than half of the men’s draft has been selected. The employment rate was even lower than the previous 56.25 percent (9 out of 16) in the 2005-2006 season.
Samsung Fire and KB Insurance utilized their draft picks from trades to select five players each, while OK Financial Group selected three, Woori Card, KEPCO, and Hyundai Capital two, and Korean Air only one.
The managers of the professional clubs, who are “volleyball seniors” who are familiar with the situation of their clubs not being able to pick more rookies, felt mixed feelings but soberly diagnosed the current situation.
First of all, they judged that the performance of college and high school volleyball has declined somewhat in recent years.
“Our team currently has 14 domestic players, and we’re rebuilding the team, so we’ve recruited a lot of rookies,” said Kim Sang-woo, head coach of Samsung Fire, “but it’s difficult to put players who played in college and high school right away. There is a big gap between professional and college volleyball.”
“It’s really unfortunate that more than half of the players who participated in this draft were not selected,” said Hoo In-jung, head coach of KB Insurance. “To be honest, the quality of college volleyball is lower than before.”
There were seven college graduates (fourth-year students) selected in the draft. As the culture of going pro before graduating from college has become “mainstream,” the quality of college volleyball has declined.
Of course, there’s no reason to discourage players from going pro early.
“The entire volleyball world should have in-depth discussions to improve the performance of college volleyball,” Hu suggested.
Choi Tae-woong, head coach of Hyundai Capital, said, “The number of youths playing volleyball has definitely increased. However, the system for discovering promising players is not yet in place,” he said, adding, “Japan (which has risen to the top of the world) teaches the basics when they are in school and only learns tactics in the pros. We learn the basics again when we come to the pros,” he said, pointing to the weakening of the youth elite volleyball scene.
The Asian quota, which was introduced in the 2023-2024 season, helped improve the performance of the V-League, but it also narrowed the space for domestic players.
The addition of foreign players to the existing roster meant that every team had two foreign players in the starting lineup.
Managers have analyzed that Asia Quota has contributed to the lowest employment rate of rookies in the draft.
However, there is no immediate solution to the problem, which has a net function of strengthening the V-League.
The coaches, who are both professional volleyball officials and the elders of younger players, are in deep trouble. 스포츠토토