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european leagues

Posted by markleb on November 1, 2008

Phill asked me a while ago to rate the European leagues.  This is my attempt.

There is a huge range of leagues within Europe in virtually every way.  Leagues vary between (and within) countries in terms of professionalism, salaries, standard of play, standard and amount of practice, standard of resources within clubs and leagues and standard of living among other things.

Professionalism is a BIG variability.  The ability of a club to drop a few hundred euros in someone’s pocket at the end of the month does NOT make the club, or the player receiving the money, ‘professional’.  To me ‘professional’ means the ability to train twice a day.  Professional clubs have two training sessions a day and professional players are available to train twice a day.

Standard is, of course, also variable.  And comparing leagues in terms of standard is often quite difficult.  You can get a pretty good idea by looking at results in European Cups, by the level of the foreign players in the leagues and sometimes also results from friendly matches between teams from different leagues.  Although friendly matches are notoriously and wildly unpredictable.

I know most of the western European leagues quite well, and some of the eastern ones.  I’ve tried to rate them on the basis of professionalism (as I’ve defined it) and standard of play.  There are some educated (hopefully) guesses (eg Ukraine, Finland).  There is obviously some overlap.  For example, the top teams in Germany and Belgium are at the similar level to top teams in Greece, Poland and France but I’ve tried to rate the league as a whole.

Here goes…

LEVEL 1A (fully professional, highest standard)

Italy, Russia

LEVEL 1B (fully professional, very high standard)

Greece, Poland, France

LEVEL 2A (fully professional, high to very high standard)

Ukraine, MEVZA**, Turkey

LEVEL 2B (fully professional, high to very high standard at the top -> variable professionalism and standard at the bottom)

Germany, Belgium, Spain

LEVEL 2C (mostly professional, high standard at the top)

Holland, Czech Republic, Finland, Serbia, Montenegro,

LEVEL 3A (mostly professional, good standard at the top)

Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, other eastern European leagues (not including MEVZA teams)

LEVEL 3B (some professional players, good standard at the top)

Austria (not including MEVZA teams), Switzerland

LEVEL 4 (some professional players, variable standard)

Sweden, Denmark

**Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association, the best teams from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary do not actually play in their home leagues but in MEVZA.  They only join their home leagues for the playoffs

3 Responses to “european leagues”

  1. I definitly agree that LEVEL 1A is Italy and Russia. They are very good…

  2. Bob said

    Devo is now officially THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. devo said

    Bob,
    The internet is a strange place where all is not always as it seems. But thanks for the vote of confidence.

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