Posts by sitenoise

    The only thing keeping me from buying the Blu-ray of last year's Championship matches is: I don't have a Blu-ray player :( I've contacted them to see if they are available for download.

    I'm hooked, and fearful this is going to make 6-ball V.League stuff seem slow and boring.

    I understand Haruka Maruo's decision now. If I was 22 years old and wanted to play volleyball for a few years until I started my 'career', 9-ball is what I would play.

    There are a LOT of high-quality players in this niche. No wonder the College Champion MVP and Best MB didn't land an immediate starting spot. The Bluebells front line is rock solid good. Two of them just retired so I'm sure she'll play this year -- if/when play resumes

    As mentioned, Panasonic Bluebells are the overwhelmingly dominant team across the entire V9 landscape. The only team who has occasionally interrupted their winning ways over the past decade is Denso Ten Red Phoenix. They are the only two teams with a web site. They are also probably the only teams with a real volleyball coach, but I dunno. Money, I guess. A few of these top V9 Champ League teams don't even have a logo :(

    Panasonic Bluebells used to be Panasonic Energy (until 2014), and Denso Ten Red Phoenix used to be Fujitsu Ten Red Phoenix (until 2017) -- for what it's worth.

    Pioneer had a team, Red Sonics, who had a couple podium appearances in the last decade but as far as I can tell they may have disbanded after 2018.

    Of note: Gunma Bank Green Wings, who crushed the V.League Division 2 last season, used to be a 9-person team (until 2014). A J-Wiki article suggests Gunma Bank's departure from 9-ball accelerated the need for a new vision and the establishment of the V9 Champ League.

    Also: There is an Osaka Superiors team who just showed up in the 2020 Women's Second League. There was an Osaka Superiors team in V.League Division 2 until 2018. Don't know what, if any, the connection is.

    Seems to me that whomever, or whatever, is behind the website and organization are trying to be a central clearinghouse for gathering sponsors and organizing competitions with the hope of creating stability and long term goals, and developing a league that isn't dominated by one or two teams with a bunch of others that come and go every few years. I'm here to help :)

    Some of the companies have more than one team. Shinkin Bank, for example. Panasonic has a second team, the Ghost in the Shelly named Panasonic Tsu Advance. I don't know what it is or what it means in Japanese (other than Tsu being the city where they are located). I'll have a story connected to Panasonic Tsu Advance in a future installment of this blog :S which will reveal the straw that broke this camel's back and prompted me to start the thread.

    Japan - 6th (Reiwa 2) V9 Champ League
    (Women's First League) 2020

    Panasonic Bluebells
    (Champions 2019)

    Mazda Cross Nine
    (2nd Place 2019)

    Denso Ten Red Phoenix
    (3rd Place 2019)

    Ibiden Regulus
    (4th Place 2019)

    Kagoshima Bank Regionwings
    (5th Place 2019)

    Sanden Blue Ecores
    (6th Place 2019)

    Tokyo Higashi Shinkin Bank Blue Rabbits
    (7th Place 2019)

    Hita Kenshin White Dolphin
    (8th Place 2019)

    The tournament --usually contested during the summer months-- has been slightly condensed and rescheduled for Nov-Dec:

    1. Hiroshima Games (Nekota Memorial Gymnasium)
      Round 1-2: 2020/11/14 – 11/15
    2. Mie Competition (Hisai Gymnasium)
      Round 3-5: 2020/11/22 – 11/23
    3. Tokyo Games (BumB Tokyo Sports Culture Hall)
      Round 6-7: 2020/12/5 – 12/6
    4. 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.

    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.

    This is my "Game of Thrones". An entertainment drama with revolving characters and revolving drama. Some characters get more screen time and more drama than others. In the big scheme of things it's not important. It just entertains me :)

    I enjoy writing. My day job is writing technical nonsense for other people. I need to write about something I enjoy or I'll start to dislike writing.

    Most of these young women are doing what I did in my early twenties. I played in a rock band. We were quite successful at a local level. It took a few years to recognize we weren't going to be the next Radiohead. Yui Asahi ain't gonna be the next Zhu Ting. But we both did something we enjoyed and created memories.

    This is also my personal anecdote to cancel culture. People who wake up every day and ask: "Who can I be mad at today?" "Who shall I critique and disparage?" don't interest me. I look for the puppies and rainbows

    imo Cansu's precision, her 'touch' is so next level :cheesy: if she beats her struggles with her nerves and continues improving she can be a legendary name in the future tbh.

    I think there is something to what others have said: Naz seems better attuned than Cansu to what the other side of the net is doing. Experience will help with that. I'm on the Cansu train and I'm not getting off.

    Retirement News

    Denso Airybees

    √ #3 Yui Asahi (OH) Retired

    Only three years with Denso after a nice run with my favorite college team, Tsukuba. She took only 8 swings and scored zero points last season, in spite of Denso's wing issues ... so, I guess, yeah, what's the point? I always had a secret crush on her. She seemed a little too elegant and pretty to be playing volleyball in Japan.

    √ #7 Kozue Hayasaka (Setter) Retired

    I didn't know Kozue played with JT Marvelous for a couple seasons (2012-2014) as an OH and then went off to university before signing with Denso as a setter. She started taking minutes from one of my favorite setters, Airi Tahara. After initial anger I warmed to her. That says a lot. But now Denso has not only Airi, but Tashiro and the fabulous award winning Tamaki Matsui (Asian Champ w/U20 and NT wide roster pick). So, again, what's the point?

    √ #17 Asuka Nomura (OH/MB) Retired

    A serviceable all-arounder but took far fewer swings in her seven year career than Sinéad Jack took in 2019-20. Ditto

    Himeji Victorina

    √ #19 Haruka Kojima (Setter) Retired

    Haruka spent only a half season with Himeji handing out towels during time-outs. For my money, she was the best towel hander outer I've ever seen. She's moving into management.

    √ #20 Mutsumi Yasuda (OH) Retired

    Damn. Only one season with Himeji after college. Took 16 swings and scored 1 point. There was something about her, though. When she came on for her sub routine she looked like she knew what she was doing and was taking names. Maybe kick a little ass. Now we'll never know :(

    We have to praise Naz as well. Most of those attacks were against running blocks :white:

    Ha! I was going to write her best kills came from Cansu, especially the first few. LOL

    She ended up tipping (intentionally or not) a handful from NAZ. I'll watch it again

    V9 sells "Multi-angle edition of all 8 games of the V9 Champ League" ... "edited like a TV broadcast" with commentary on Blu-ray and DVD. ~U$40/U$30.

    Well now. Mystery solved. 40 bux is too much for me but this is a cool arrangement, I guess. Give away a low quality (which isn't that bad, really) for free and charge for the luxuries.

    The single end of court camera matches are interesting because the combinations they run with five attackers are surreal. But I need faces.

    Speaking of the vortex of post-2017 vb coincidences --keeping in mind that this was the genesis year of JVL's "Grow the Game" mantra and whatnot-- the V9 web site started tracking team members from 2018, and at least a few of the business group teams stopped updating their measly web pages for their girls volleyball after 2017. It also appears that the "Big" teams have dropped the "All Japan Business Group" tournament from their schedules.

    I don't understand V9's relationship to the JVA or JVL but I'm still going to deduce that the V9 world is in cahoots, as turtle slow as it may be at cahooting, with the JVL's vision of making volleyball more "professional" and etc., less associated with a business entity and more "in touch" with the community: holding volleyball classrooms, picking up litter, handing out boxes of tissue, and etc.

    the simple answer is there are probably very few times that these gyms are only hosting single matches at a time. So in order to use the space efficiently you set up 3-4 courtS at the same time. And that makes it nearly impossible to shoot video from the side. Hence the end line shot.

    Fuji TV can at least put the popular teams on the outside for recording or broadcast. As tournament gets to qf then you can shrink to 2 courts.

    I've always wondered if the Cameras belong to the Gym or if the broadcasters bring their own cameras. Not to mention the lighting. A lot of these matches are played in the same gyms across the spectrum of HS, Uni, V9, V1, V2 but the quality varies greatly (not to mention how extremely poor the VTV broadcasts are).

    It's oddly coincidental to me that those 2017 V2 (Forest Leaves) matches had good quality (and commentary) and these 2017 V9 matches had quality, and then it stopped. I assume it's budgetary? But ... coincidentally ... this is when the JVL announced all their "Grow the Game" stuff. Maybe they think lowering the quality of broadcasts will encourage people to go see them live, sort of like NBA blackouts. The experience of this fan in San Francisco is probably not their priority :):(:S

    Keeping the Conferences the same might build up some rivalries, but I think switching it up would be more fun. If they do the serpentine method JT might have a tougher time because NEC and Hitachi are going to be killer teams next year :)

    I'm just being silly about #2 (Block Touch is First Touch). Challenges to it would be gamed massively. But it's very cool in the 9V context. Playing to 21 instead of 25 shaves a few minutes off each set and the Block Touch rule shaves another few. Every time it happens it makes the kill seem like a surprise attack. The non-setter who has to make the pass doesn't have to be that good because there's five people up front waiting to swing at it :super:

    Does anyone know in which team Kathryn Plummer is headed?

    The rumor mill ( has it as Denso or Saitama. Sinéad hasn't officially resigned from Denso yet, but Keti has resigned from Saitama.

    As far as I know Japan doesn't have the equivalent of a, or that Brazilian Blogger dude ... someone with friends on the inside who mumble publicly ... so any early word is going to come from the outside. Japan is pretty tight-lipped about these things.

    Every retirement post you do, are they all retirement or some of them are players being released but they will continue to play? There were so many :white:

    It seems like a lot to me too, and so many really fine players who are still early/mid 20s. As best I can say, it's pretty rare for a player to be released from or resign from a team and then sign with another team. It may happen for 5-6 players. There's only one Transfer Hoper in V1 at the moment so they're all gone from the game (except the foreigners going back home). I can't wait until next year to compare the numbers.