MANILA, Philippines -- With the government yet to give them permission to resume training, the organizers of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) believe that their earliest possible return to competition would be in 2021.
Ricky Palou, the president of Sports Vision, told ABS-CBN News that he wrote the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as far back as June, asking permission for their teams to start practicing again. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, PVL teams have only been training virtually.
"Wala pa, naka-pending pa sa IATF," Palou said. "End of June ko pa ata sinulat 'yun or sometime then, but hanggang ngayon wala naman."
Palou said the issue is that the PVL is neither a collegiate league nor a professional one, and thus there is no agency that can monitor them and make sure that they are enforcing all protocols.
They are in the same boat as the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) and the Philippine Superliga (PSL), although the PSL recently got the green light to hold a beach volleyball tournament.
"'Yun ang problema nila. Sino ang mag-monitor sa inyo, there's no agency that you're under," said Palou. "So, who's going to monitor you to see if you're observing the protocols. Kaya ayaw nilang magbigay muna ng desisyon. Pinag-aaralan pa daw nila."
Given the situation, Palou admits that it is highly unlikely for the PVL to hold a competition this year.
Their Open Conference was initially set for a May opening, but the pandemic erased those plans. Palou had hoped that they can hold the tournament in September, but without the IATF's approval, those plans were scuppered as well.
"Next year na 'yan siguro," Palou said of their return. "Hopefully, early next year. That's what we're hoping for."
Palou also stressed that they will have a broadcast partner when they resume, although the league has yet to decide where their games will air.
"We're talking," he said. "More or less, medyo nagkakasundo na pero hindi pa maliwanag masyado. Definitely we will have a broadcast partner."