As part of our mission to showcase exceptional volleyball anywhere and everywhere it can be found, it’s time to head to France and give Men’s Ligue A the same five reasons treatment we gave German men’s Bundesliga. Here’s why we think any screen time volleyball fans spend tracking one of the best pro leagues in the world will be screen time well-spent:
- Supercoupe Sounds Super Cool. And it’s just one of three championship games played each season, the others being the Men’s Pro A league championship and the French Cup. Supercoupe, which is contested before the official start of the new season, typically features the previous season’s league champ against the winner of the French Cup, a tournament during the season that includes both Pro A and Pro B teams. This year’s Supercoupe will feature Chaumont VB 52 against GFC Ajaccio Volleyball.
- Twin Powers. Historically, the two powerhouse sides are Tours VB and Paris Volley. The last time one of these teams wasn’t in the league championship finals was 2005 (until last May, that is).
- Upset Cities. Unlike many professional leagues, French Pro A is competitive from top to bottom. In last year’s playoffs, three of the top four seeds lost in the first round of the playoffs. The eventual league champion, Chaumont VB 52, won the “May Madness” finals against No. 6 seed, Spacer’s Toulouse VB.
- An American in Paris (And Others Elsewhere). We’re referring, of course, to former UCLA Bruin, Mitch Stahl, who signed his first pro contract with Paris Volley. Other Americans competing in their first Pro A season include Chaumont’s Michael Saeta (UC-Irvine) and Greg Petty (Lewis), who’s transferring to Rennes Volley 35 from Pamvochaikos V.C. in Greece.
- Stream Teams. The league streams almost every game throughout the season with the exception of those on French TV. When you visit the league site during the season, just look for the link in red that says, Voir Les Lives, and you’ll be enjoying all the action.
Ready to start following Men’s Ligue A? Great. We’ll be profiling teams and players between now and the start of the season. Not sold yet? No worries. Consider clicking over occasionally to see if anything piques your interest. Already a fan? Leave a comment to let us know what gets you most excited about the coming season.