Reigning champions Police got the top billing for the upcoming Qatar Volleyball Association Senior League, while Al Shamal secured the second spot and Al Wakrah were third.
Powerhouses Al Arabi Club and Al Rayyan Club got the seventh and ninth rankings, respectively.
In a new experiment, the QVA held the draws for rankings for the first time. This novel step has been taken to remedy the grievances of smaller clubs.
Earlier the practice was to accord the rankings to the clubs in the order of their respective finishes in the previous year. As a result, the lower-ranked teams were subjected to tough matches against big teams in the beginning and this was hurting them.
It may be recalled that El Jaish, the league runners-up, were scrapped after the last season and they merged into Lekhwiya, with the new entity being called Al Duhail Club. Since Lekhwiya are not participating in any QVA activities, the El Jaish spot was vacant. This may also be another reason for the association to use the draw of lots for the rankings in the new season and possibly ensure the clubs do not harbour any hard feelings.
The draw was conducted on Wednesday by QVA Technical Director Hussein Imam Ali in the presence of Board Members Saeed Salem and Mubarak Eid.
A former Qatar captain and Al Rayyan player, Eid hoped that the new draw process would add the element of surprise in the beginning of the season. “Earlier, the draw used to be tough for weaker teams right from the start of the League. The clubs wanted us to do something to change the system. We came up this idea and hopefully, this experiment will make the season interesting throughout.”
“After one year, we’ll review the method and if we are able to achieve the desired results, we’ll continue with it,” added Eid.
QVA technical director Ali also endorsed Eid’s view. “The new format for rankings should be acceptable to all as it is based purely on luck. You can also see that the major teams like Al Arabi and Al Rayyan drew lower rankings. Now the top outfit will play the last team in the first week and the second one will be pitted against the ninth-ranked side. The similar pattern will be followed for other matchups.”
About the changes in the Mini volleyball system, he said, “We’re trying to follow the example of Al Khor, who hosted one round outdoor last season. It was a carnival atmosphere and everybody had a plenty of fun.
“On the same basis, we’ll try to host the Mini volleyball matches this season so that we can attract maximum possible children to the sport,” he added.
Ali said that the number of players would also be different in the Mini volleyball matches. “In all, we’ve planned 10 events for this group. Six of them will be meant for the under-11 category with four players on each side.
Three festivals would be held for the under-9 class and only two players will be allowed to play for each team. The last event will be organised by the QVA on a grand scale. The hosts will have the freedom of using the indoor or outdoor surface, depending on the weather conditions,” he added.
Senior League rankings
(To start on November 20)
10.Qatar Sports Club
Super Cup between Al Rayyan & Police
(Scheduled on November 10)
Mini League rankings
(To start on October 10)
1.Qatar Sports Club
(To start on October 7)
(To start on October 4)