To minimize close contact between the competing teams, the Premier Volleyball League will do away with the switching of court sides and handshakes for the Open Conference blasting off tomorrow (Saturday) at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Baccara, Ilocos Norte.
The FIVB Volleyball Nations League was the first to implement the changes last May.
“Okay lang sa kanila (teams) kasi it’s for their own good. It’s also because the teams have their own equipment, and water, so ‘pag lumipat kung may infected don madadamay lahat,” said PVL president Ricky Palou.
“They understand naman, in fact they welcome it nga at his point of time for safety precautionary measures. Actually sa FIVB ganun ang ginawa, walang change court,” he added.
Team handshakes will also no longer be part of the game routine to eliminate possible close contact among players.
League commissioner Tony Boy Liao also said that the 10 teams seeing action in the country’s first professional volleyball league will have to observe the strict bubble protocols set by the organizing committee, the Games and Amusements Board, and the local government of Ilocos Norte.
During pre-game warm-ups, teams can only use their side of the court for 30 minutes before the toss coin and team introductions. Players are also required to wear face masks.
Once the game begins, the teams’ starting six, the liberos, and head coaches can opt to keep or remove their masks. However, the rest of the coaching staff and substitutes are obliged to still wear their respective masks.
PLDT and Chery Tiggo kicks off hostilities at 1 p.m. followed by the Perlas-Cignal faceoff at 4 p.m. Creamline and Sta. Lucia cap the triplebill at 7 p.m.
Games will be held without an audience but will be telecast on One Sports (Free to Air), and One Sports+ (Pay TV) with both channels available for linear streaming on Cignal Play and on gigafest.smart.
Games can also be viewed via live streaming on pvl.ph.
“After the toss coin, the barker will give the teams time to bow, wave, or whatever since they will be panned by the TV. But there will be no handshakes,” explained Liao.
The rest of the team will be placed at the bleachers behind the team’s coaching staff with the exception of the libero and the incoming substitute.
The PVL committee has also decided to remove the warm-up zones as well in line with the physical distancing measures. Players who are bound to enter the game can warm up on their end of the court alone.
Teams are also given one hour each to practice during their off-days while teams that are scheduled to hit the floor on the same day won’t be allowed to practice. An extra 15 minutes will be allotted for sanitation process.
“We have 10 teams so how do we give them ample time for training? So, we decided to be fair, binigyan namin sila ng one hour per team kasi we need to allot time for sanitation,” said Liao.