Domestic players are outperforming their foreign counterparts, ranking first and second in the key metric for evaluating attackers.
This is a notable change in the V-League women’s volleyball, which has been dominated by foreign players. This is a huge factor in team performance.
The first round of the 2023-2024 season has already been completed. The first round lasted from October 14 to November 7. The second round started on the 8th.
In the first round, Kim Yeon-kyung (35-Heungkuk Life) and Kang So-hwi (26-GS Caltex) ranked first and second among all wing attackers (outside hitter-position) in the women’s division in terms of attack efficiency. As of the 10th, the same is true.
Attack efficiency is a key metric for evaluating an attacker’s effectiveness and team contribution. It is not the same as attack success rate.
Attack success rate is the number of goals scored divided by the total number of attempts. Attack efficiency, on the other hand, is the number of successful shots on goal minus the number of blocked shots and errors, divided by the total number of attempts.
Because of this, it’s not possible to have a negative Attack Success Rate, but it’s not uncommon to see players with zero or negative Attack Efficiency. This is because a player may score a lot of goals, but give up more points to the other team due to blocked shots and errors. In this case, their offensive efficiency will be negative and it will be embarrassing for the team.
Offensive efficiency is also becoming more important in international leagues and competitions. Domestic professional teams are also using it as a key indicator to evaluate players.
1-2 in offensive efficiency, top defense… leading the way for teams
In the first round, Kim Yeon-kyung led the women’s offensive efficiency category with 38.86%. Second place went to Kang So-hui with 36.04%. They were followed by Abe Crombie (IBK) at 31.09%, Mega (Jung Kwan-jang) at 30.77%, and Pyo Seung-ju (IBK) at 29.44%. The gap between Kim Yeon-kyung and Kang So-hwi and Abercrombie & Fitch and Mega is quite large.
Here’s something even more surprising. Foreign players like Abecrombie and Mega are apogee position players, meaning they don’t serve and receive, but only attack. Kim Yeon-kyung and Kang So-hwi, however, are outside hitters who have to attack, receive, dig, and participate in all aspects of defense.
Despite this, both Kim and Kang have been outstanding on defense this season, ranking 1-2 in attack efficiency.
Kim was even ranked first in both attack efficiency and attack success rate in the first round. However, as of Day 10, she is also ranked sixth overall in receptions. Kang So-hwi is also ranked 8th in receptions and 10th in digs.
In both the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 seasons, when she returned to the V-League from overseas, Kim led all wing attackers in both attack efficiency and attack success rate.
Globally, outside hitters who can play both offense and defense are rare and valuable. Because of their high contribution to the team, they command top salaries in the big leagues.
In fact, Kim has been recognized as one of the world’s most complete outside hitters in the big leagues overseas and has earned some of the highest salaries in the world. She is currently playing in the V-League, and despite being 35 years old, she is living up to her reputation.
It’s also significant for the national team’s competitiveness that Kang So-hwi ranks second in attacking efficiency. While the national team has struggled in major international tournaments this year, Kang has emerged as the new ace in the hole with consistently solid performances. His current performance is a continuation of that. The question now is whether he can maintain his current pace until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Kim Yeon-kyung and Kang So-hwi have led their respective teams, Heungkuk Life and GS Caltex, to a 1-2 finish in the first round.
Coincidentally, Heungkuk Life and GS Caltex are the two teams with the least amount of Asian-qualified players on their roster, as opposed to the other five teams, which all have Asian-qualified players. This shows the importance of Kim Yeon-kyung and Kang So-hwi.
‘Kim Yeon-kyung effect’ Heungkuk Life… Average home attendance of 4,000 ‘unrivaled’
Kim’s contribution to the V-League’s box office remains unrivaled. No other player is even close.
With Kim Yeon-kyung leading the charge, Heungkuk Life swept the first through fourth place in attendance among the 14 men’s and women’s teams in the V-League in the first round.
The highest attendance was 5,152 for the Heungkuk Life-Korea Expressway Corporation game on October 22 at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon, the home of Heungkuk Life. The second place was 4778 for the Heungkuk Life-IBK Corporate Bank game on November 4 at Samsan World Stadium.
Heungkuk Life was also the only team in both the men’s and women’s divisions to break the 4,000 mark in terms of average home attendance, which is directly related to professional team revenue.
When looking at the average home stadium attendance in the first round, Heungkuk Sinsaeng topped the list with 4088 fans. Second place went to Woori Card with 2947. In third place was Korea Expressway Corporation with 2711 fans.
In the women’s division, Heungkuk Life and Korea Expressway Corporation took the top two spots, followed by Pepper Savings Bank in third place, GS Caltex in fourth, Jungkwanjang in fifth, Hyundai E&C in sixth, and IBK in seventh.
Meanwhile, the total average attendance for the first round of women’s volleyball was 2239, and the total average attendance for men’s volleyball was 1683. Compared to the first round of last season, women’s volleyball has decreased and men’s volleyball has increased, but it is still too early to predict the trend.
While there may be an after-effect of the international tournaments, the Korean Volleyball Organization (KOVO) drastically changed the ticketing system for the V-League from the previous season, making it less accessible to fans, and the ticketing process was plagued by system errors, so it will be interesting to see the trend after the second round.
‘A real craze’ Pepper Savings Bank… ‘No. 1 in viewership’ upset
In terms of TV ratings, there was an upset as the last-place team in the first round of women’s volleyball, Pepper Savings Bank, took the top spot in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
In the first round, the overall average viewership for women’s volleyball was 1.03%, according to Nielsen Korea. That’s a 15% jump from last season’s 0.89% in the first round. Men’s volleyball, on the other hand, had an overall average viewership of 0.38%, down from 0.45% last season.
In the first round, both men’s and women’s teams played six games each. When looking at the average viewership for each team’s six games, Pepper Savings Bank topped the list with an average viewership of 1.1%. It was the “real deal” that drove the surge in women’s volleyball viewership.
This reflects the expectation that ‘this year will be different’ for Pepper Savings Bank, which has been at the absolute bottom of the league for the past two seasons, struggling to win a single game.
This is because the team was expected to make fresh changes, such as an increase in power and playing style, by signing Max Park and a foreign coach in this year’s free agency market.
Add to this the ‘underdog psychology’ (the public’s desire for a weaker team to beat a stronger team), which is a powerful box office factor in professional sports. This is similar to how Hanwha, a “lowly” team in the professional baseball league, is as good as popular teams like KIA and Lotte in the ratings. 아톰카지노 도메인
In fact, Pepper Savings Bank quickly won its first game in the first round, and even during its losing streak, it played close games against strong teams. Fans have also commented that Pepper games are fun to watch.
Along with the Kim Yeon-kyung effect, the success of Pepper Savings Bank has become a crucial factor in the success of the V League this season.