No women teams have participated to date 

Featuring at the ongoing national volleyball championship for the third time is Nima Yoezer Choeten from Punakha Dzongkhag Sports Association (DSA). 

The 27-year old, who is known among the players for his solid spikes and blocks, claimed that he had been playing the sport for the last 12 years. He was named the most valuable player of the championship last year and has two national championship titles.

“This edition of the championship has equally strong teams despite few teams participating,” he said. “Volleyball is one of the oldest sports in the country but the game is not so popular today.”

In the last two editions of the championship, 10 teams took part in the annual competition. However, the championship has not featured a single women’s team so far. 

The national volleyball championship is one of the few tournaments played on a synthetic court in the county according to Bhutan Volleyball Federation officials. 

Of the 14 DSAs affiliated with Bhutan Olympic Committee, eight teams from Paro, Phuentsholing, Punakha, Wangdue, Samdrupjongkhar, Samtse, Trashigang, and Sarpang-Gelephu are taking part at the championship that is underway at Changlinigmithang, Thimphu.

The opening match between Samdrupjongkhar DSA and Samtse DSA saw Samtse defeat Samdrupjongkhar when it won three sets, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-12 of the total four sets. 

The three-day long championship is played in league and knock out format where four best teams, will qualify for the semi-final, which will be played in a knock out format. 

Yesterday, Punakha defeated Paro 3-1 to enter the championship. The rainfall during the first set halted the match for few minutes.

In the third match, Trashigang DSA came back from losing two continuous sets to Wangdue DSA when it won the third and fourth sets to extend the match to a deciding set. But Trashigang lost to Wangdue 13-15 in the final set. 

Trashigang DSA suffered another loss to Samdrupjongkhar DSA 1-3 sets while playing its second match yesterday.  

In the second game against Phuentsholing DSA, Paro DSA came back strong when the team defeated Phuentsholing DSA in three continuous sets of 25-17, 25-12 and 25-22 to keep their championship hope alive. 

It was Phuentsholing DSA’s second loss after it lost to Sarpang-Gelephu in three straight sets in the previous game. 

To revive the game of volleyball, Bhutan Volleyball Federation (BVF) started the annual championship in 2016. 

The federation and BOC supported the participating teams with team grant to take part in the championship. The finals will be played tomorrow.