Ahead of the Rupay Prime Volleyball League (PVL), which begins in Hyderabad on February 5, Hyderabad Black Hawks attacker Luis Arias said that the 15-point system will pose a unique challenge.

“Of course, any format will generate pressure on the field but a 15-point set system will add another layer of challenge.” the Venezuelan said.

Under the new points system, the traditional 25-point sets will be replaced by sets of 15. Black Hawks head coach Ruben Wolochin feels that the change will also require adjustments in training and tactics.

“We've been adjusting the training sessions following the 15-point format as the margin of error is minimal. Another hurdle is that the number of times that a player gets to serve is greatly reduced, and a lot of tactical decisions have to be made on the run due to this restriction,” he said.

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When asked about his preparations ahead of the league, Arias - a member of the Venezuelan volleyball team at the Tokyo Olympics - said, "The pandemic was certainly an obstacle, the situation in my country wasn’t great either. It was not easy to organise training and the gyms were closed as well but I managed to prepare myself physically and mentally with the equipment that was available.”

Wolochin, who will be heading a relatively young team, believes that the franchise-based league will hold the sport in good stead. “The Prime Volleyball League will boost the popularity of the sport within this country and beyond. With such huge sponsors, I hope we can utilise this platform to the fullest. Also, this tournament will be very important for the local talents and I’m looking forward to seeing how things pan out," he said.

Hyderabad Black Hawks will take on Kochi Blue Spikers in the opening fixture of the Prime Volleyball League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The Rupay Prime Volleyball League 2022 will be aired Live on SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) & SONY TEN 2 (Malayalam) channels from February 5 2022.