Japan - 6th (Reiwa 2) V9 Champ League
(Women's First League) 2020
Mazda Cross Nine
(2nd Place 2019)
Denso Ten Red Phoenix
(3rd Place 2019)
(4th Place 2019)
Kagoshima Bank Regionwings
(5th Place 2019)
(6th Place 2019)
Tokyo Higashi Shinkin Bank Blue Rabbits
(7th Place 2019)
(8th Place 2019)
The tournament --usually contested during the summer months-- has been slightly condensed and rescheduled for Nov-Dec:
- Hiroshima Games (Nekota Memorial Gymnasium)
Round 1-2: 2020/11/14 – 11/15
- Mie Competition (Hisai Gymnasium)
Round 3-5: 2020/11/22 – 11/23
- Tokyo Games (BumB Tokyo Sports Culture Hall)
Round 6-7: 2020/12/5 – 12/6
- Ogaki Games (Ogaki City Gymnasium)
Final Round: 2020/12/19 – 12/20
It's a Round Robin with the top four finishers competing in a Semifinal and 1st & 3rd place matches, and the bottom four finishers competing in a Semifinal and 5th & 7th place matches.
Most all of this was scrapped. It ended up being a 3-day Tournament in Hiroshima 2020/11/13 – 11/15
Like Japan V.League1 and V2, the bottom two finishers will compete with the top two finishers from the V9 Women's Second League in promotion/relegation matches.
The V9 Champ League started in 2015. My google-translate understanding is that it was in response to the 2010 decision of the National Athletic Meet Volleyball Competition (one of the three major High School Tournaments) to discontinue 9-person volleyball. V9 Champ League is sponsored by the JVA, Business and Club Federations.
The V9 Women's Second League began in 2018 and currently has six teams: three Business and three University.
There are at present 3 or 4 National 9-person volleyball tournaments:
- V9 Champ League (June)
- All Japan Business Group (July) Since 1948)
- All Japan General (October) (Since 1927)
- All Japan Selection (Sakurada Memorial) (December) (Since 1986) Unsure exactly what this one is
Teams also compete in local and regional competitions throughout the year. As an example, for the past several years the Panasonic Bluebells have competed in 3-4 National, 2-4 Local, and 2-3 Regional Tournaments each year. The National tournament dropped from their schedule the last couple years was the Business Group. I don't have any understanding of how the qualification system works among tournaments. It may be that the Bluebells didn't need to play/win the Business Group tournament to qualify for the Champ League.
Moving forward, I believe with all my tenuous google-translate understanding, the V9 Champ League will become (if it isn't already) the most prestigious. It'll probably grow by a couple teams, especially the Women's Second League, and I think more University Teams will qualify for top honors.
Speaking of the Bluebells, the team my back-court attacking middle-blocker hero Haruka Maruo joined (in what appears to be a Kevin Durant-style ring chasing move) have won this V9 Champ League all five times it's been contested. Not only that, of the 41 tournaments the Bluebells have contested since 2015 they've won 31 Gold Medals, 9 Silver, and 1 Bronze. Say no more.
Winner Panasonic Bluebells
2nd place Denso Ten Red Phoenix
3rd place Mazda Cross Nine
4th place IBIDEN Regulus
5th place Kagoshima Bank Region Wings
6th place Tokyo Higashi Shinkin Bank Blue Rabbits
Best Player Award #15 Chinatsu Terada (Panasonic Bluebells)
Fighter Award #5 Yuki Hasegawa (Denso Ten Red Phoenix)