Reporter Park Dae-ro = The Dodram 2022-2023 V-League All-Star Game held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on the 29th ended in great success, recording a sold-out case. However, if you look closely at the game, the gap between the women’s and men’s divisions is striking.
The men’s division was pushed back from the selection of venues and the order of matches.
This All-Star Game was held at Incheon Samsan World Gymnasium, the home stadium of Heungkuk Life Insurance. The All-Star Game, which has been held since 2005, has been held in neutral areas such as gymnasiums shared by both men and women’s teams and Seoul Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium. Because of this, there were relatively more spectators cheering for the women’s team.
In addition, last year’s All-Star Game was held with 15 points per set, 1st set women’s, 2nd set men’s and women’s, 3rd set men’s, but this year, 1st and 2nd sets were women’s and 3rd and 4th sets were men’s.
Following the splendid pre-events and invitational performances, exciting ceremonies were held by the female players in the 1st and 2nd sets. After the Spike Serve Contest, the crowd’s concentration gradually decreased, and the cheering sound became significantly smaller in the men’s match in the 3rd and 4th sets.
In the women’s game, it was difficult to find empty seats in the spectator stands, but in the men’s game, vacancies were found everywhere.
There was also a difference in the vitality of the All-Star players.
The women’s players made the volleyball court into a concert hall by dancing prepared in advance whenever a goal was scored, but the men’s players were intimidated and hardly performed the ceremony itself. Kim Ji-han came out with her hair dyed yellow, but there were not enough opportunities to show off her talent.
As interest in the men’s game declined, Kwon Min-ji and Lee Joo-ah appeared as line referees in the women’s division, and Elisabeth took over as the chief referee to lighten the mood. Ironically, this attempt led to the result of the women’s players stealing the gaze towards the men’s players.
The Korea Volleyball Federation tried to gain popularity in men’s volleyball by introducing new generation players such as Lim Seong-jin, Lim Dong-hyuk, Kim Ji-han, and Heo Soo-bong, but it failed in practice.
The alienation of men was predicted. The men’s team has already overtaken the women’s team in terms of TV ratings and spectators.
Looking at the average viewership in the first half of this season, where a total of 126 games of 63 male and female divisions were held until the 3rd round until the 3rd round, the male division was 0.58%, which is half of the female division (1.05%).
The men’s viewership rating fell to 0.58% this time, following 0.81% in the 2020-2021 season and 0.71% in the 2021-2022 season. On the other hand, the ratings for the women’s division are 1.17%, 1.15%, and 1.05% during the same period, exceeding 1%.
The number of spectators is half that of the men’s and women’s divisions. 88,869 people came to the men’s game in the first half of this season, when 100% spectators were allowed to enter, while the number of spectators in the women’s division reached 149,215.
The decline in male spectators is serious. In the first half of the 2019-2020 season, there were more male spectators with 143,986 spectators and 103,574 female spectators, but after the Corona 19 period, this year the male spectators were less than 60,000. 안전놀이터
As of 2018, the popularity of the women’s division, which has surpassed the men’s division, continues to this day. After advancing to the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics, good news continued to the domestic stage of volleyball empress Kim Yeon-kyung. As Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Hee-jin attracted female volleyball fans, the popularity of the women’s division increased.
On the other hand, the men’s division is in a situation where there is not enough talk amid deteriorating performance in international competitions. Stars such as Moon Seong-min (Hyundai Capital), Han Seon-seon (Korean Air), and Park Cheol-woo (KEPCO) are nearing retirement, but no players who are more popular than them have been produced. The newly influx of female fans is also focusing on the female division, not the male division.
In addition, the men’s division has not been able to participate in the Olympics since finishing ninth in the 2000 Sydney Olympics due to a decline in international competition. It is virtually impossible to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
An opportunity to rebound in popularity is the Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China in September. If the national team, which lost to Iran at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, wins the gold medal in this tournament, there is a possibility that it will attract the attention of volleyball fans again.