Chinese volleyball lit up the city of Shenzhen last night. The game’s best players were on show at the 2018 UBEST China Volleyball League All-star game, which has become the sport’s showpiece event.
Shenzhen was the location for the inaugural game in 2107. It returned here this weekend for its second year, signalling the start of a new era for the league in China.
The venue for the game was the magnificent Bao`an Stadium. It covers 1300 square meters and has become the ‘home’ of the CVL All stars in China.
The focus for the two-day event was always the matches. However, the program also featured VIP events and fan zone Player Skills challenges as part of a comprehensive program of activities
An online voting system was used to select players in the All-star matches. The 28 most popular men and women players formed the teams. The contest saw both men`s and women`s All-star teams representing the South against equivalent teams from the North.
In this unique format, each match was limited to two 20-minute halves. The combined scores from both matches delivered the All-star champion team.
Both battles were fiercely fought, with the North victors in both games. The men narrowly beat the South 41-40, with the women winning their match 32-29.
In a world first for the sport, ‘Tennis style’ serve speed boards were installed on court. These proved to be a great hit with the fans.
The fastest serve of the night was recorded by French star Kevin Tillie – at 117 km per hour.
The night’s MVPs were awarded to Ji Dao Shuai from Shandong, and DingXia from Liaoning respectively. The most popular international player went to global volleyball superstar Kim-Yeon Kuong from South Korea.
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Media interest in the night was intense. The matches were being broadcast locally via CCTV 5 and internationally to more than 43 countries. Millions more followed the event via a number of online streaming platforms.
The event is the jewel in the crown for the CVL – and with literally tens of millions of fans, it sends a strong message that the CVL is on its way to claiming a place among the most significant domestic leagues in World Volleyball.
source: press release