Korean Pro-Volleyball League Starts
By Yoon Chul
Korea's new volleyball season got underway at the weekend as the 2008-2009 NH NongHyup V-League kicked off at Cheonan, South Chungchung Province, Saturday.
The Hyundai Skywalkers beat the defending champion Samsung Bluefangs 3-1.
Park Chul-woo of the Skywalkers helped his team to victory, scoring 25 points,
Though the Skywalkers new import Matthew Anderson , who hurt his shoulder during the practice ,registered 13 points he gave an impressive performance by blocking the Bluefans import Andelko Cuk.
Though powerful attacker Andelko scored 33 points, his performance was overshadowed by defeat.
The Bluefans' manager Shin Chi-yong changed setter Choi Tae-woong to Kang Min-woong, it didn't change the result. ``If Choi didn't play as normally did, we couldn't win,'' Shin said
In the women's game, the KT&G Kites defeated defending champion Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders 3-2.
Of the six men's teams and five women's outfits competing this year, the KEPCO 45 has joined the league as a professional after playing as an invited team last season.
The newly-established Woori Capital, which will join the V-League next season, has six exhibition games from Jan. 21 to Feb. 2 in Seoul.
Authorities have introduced new rules designed to make the game more exciting. They have relaxed the net-touch violation law and the rule governing the invasion of the centerline. Unless a player touches the top bend of the net or the antennas, a judge will not give the penalty.
In addition, if a player purposely violates the centerline, the line under the net, and does not affect the course of the game, there will be no penalty.
The teams also can use two libero - back-row players - this season.
In the women's league, players only get one point, even though they have a Back Row Attack spike - an attack from behind the 3-meter line.