The Premier Volleyball League has eliminated the switching of court sides and handshakes to minimize close contact between players in an effort to reduce the risk of anyone contracting Covid-19 when the games in the Open Conference start on Saturday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Baccara, Ilocos Norte.
“It’s okay for the teams since it is for their own good. The teams have teir own equipment and if they switch sides, they run the risk of getting infected,” said PVL president Ricky Palou.
“They understand. In fact, they welcome it at this point of time for safety precautionary measures. Actually in the FIVB, they are already doing this. They don’t change courts,” Palou added.
Team handshakes have also been done away to reduce close contact scenarios.
According to league commissioner Tony Boy Liao, all 10 teams are mandated to stringently adhere to the strict bubble protocols that have been set by the organizing committee, the Games and Amusements Board, and the local government unit of Ilocos Norte.
In the pre-game, teams may only use their side of the court to warm-up. Competing squads will be alloted 30 minutes to stretch before the toss coin and team introductions. Then, teams will be given 10 minutes of exercises with the ball before proceeding to the spiking warm-ups that will last for just five minutes. Players are required to wear face masks all throughout the warm-ups.
Once the game starts, the teams’ starting six, the liberos, and the head coaches may remove their masks. However, the rest of the coaching staff and substitutes are required to wear their masks. The rest of the team will be situated at the bleachers right behind the team’s coaching staff.
PLDT and Chery Tiggo will battle on Saturday at 1 p.m. followed by the Perlas-Cignal tiff at 4 p.m. The main event will pit Creamline against Sta. Lucia at 7 p.m. (JNP)