Long years of festering continued as the two major women’s volleyball federations—Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI)—experienced the struggle of repeated rivalry between volleyball issues and politics.

/ 7 December 2020

The clash between the two started when LVPI formally took over PVF’s role as the governing body for volleyball in the Philippines and was duly recognized by POC, FIVB, and the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).

Earlier this year, an exchange of letters from FIVB circulated online containing information that LVPI is the only organization sanctioned by FIVB to send the country’s national team to all tourneys licensed by FIVB and AVC. 

Even for years, PVF still stands firm on its claims that the international governing body recognized them as the Philippine wing despite being suspended since 2015. 

Because of the statement from FIVB, PVL was quick to contest and claimed that the federation has not completely ripped out their rights on the membership. Until FIVB gave a nod and announced that in fact, PVF is the FIVB member and not LVPI in its general assembly. 

After such a declaration, deciding who is the official National Sports Association (NSA) for volleyball is still in a deadlock. 

More confusing than ever, LVPI is the recognized NSA for volleyball by POC and AVC. At the same time, PVF upholds its title as Philippine representative given FIVB’s decision announced during its general assembly. 

Supposedly, FIVB is to arrive in the country by the end of the first quarter, however, with the pandemic stuck outside our doorsteps, so are the Philippine volleyball sports trapped in a hiatus. Thus, no settlement has still been made for the matter.

Just like any other athletes, aspiring to play in an international scheme will give more recognition to Philippine sports. But because of the disorientation from both volleyball federations, players are dazed of where to schlepp along.

Before ending the month of November, POC presided over an election putting Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino as the re-elected President of POC. Honestly, since this issue is long overdue, Tolentino should prioritize the settlement of tiff between two groups of who is the rightful NSA along with his plans for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics campaign. 

The problem in Philippine volleyball is the lack of unity from the stakeholders. This could be the grassroots reason for no proper plans for the Philippine team that resulted in a lack of preparation. From the unsynchronized volleyball calendar schedule of LVPI and PVF to who is the more legitimate group to send players internationally stir up confusion and hesitation to the players. 

Leaders of Philippine Volleyball like LVPI and PVF should be the ones setting the example and not the other way around. If only these groups could merge into one and start planning a long-term vision for the Philippine sport. Who knows, the national team could even bag more medals than they ever won. 

It is time to end the crossfire of who is the most deserving NSA for volleyball. If players could unite for the sake of the future of volleyball, why can’t LVPI and PVF do the same?

Each group should take the initiative to set aside personal agendas and not be compromised by politics.

We know that everything depends on the decisions from POC, AVC, and FIVB, but no one beats a great effort.