Men's volleyball employment rate at 47.6% 'all-time low'

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Men's professional volleyball Samsung Fire enjoyed the good fortune of being ranked No. 1 overall. Employment rate hits an all-time low

Men's professional volleyball Samsung Fire enjoyed the good fortune of being ranked No. 1 overall. Employment rate hits an all-time low

The 2023-2024 KOVO Men's Rookie Draft was held on March 30 at Mayfield Hotel in Gangseo-gu, Seoul. Samsung Fire took the top overall pick. They selected Kyunggi University outside hitter Lee Yoon-soo.

A total of 42 players participated in the draft, including 38 college students and graduates, three high school graduates, and one individual participant from an unemployed team. The order of selection was determined by lottery with a probability of 35% for Samsung Fire, 30% for KB Insurance, 20% for OK Financial Group, 8% for Woori Card, 4% for KEPCO, 2% for Hyundai Capital, and 1% for Korean Air, in reverse order of their final standings last season.

However, Korean Air's first-round pick was exercised by Samsung Fire pursuant to an agreement to transfer the first-round draft pick of Korean Air's Son Hyun-jong for the 2023-2024 season and the first-round draft pick of Samsung Fire for the 2024-2025 season. In December 2021, KB Insurance's Kim Jae-hwi and Kim Dong-min and Woori Card's Han Sung-jung in the 2023-2024 rookie draft were transferred, and Woori Card's second-round pick was exercised by KB Insurance.

Samsung Fire won the first pick in the lottery. They called up early draftee Lee Yoon-soo, who is currently a sophomore. Lee Yoon-soo led Gyeonggi University to the title in this year's College Volleyball U-League. She also won the Best Outside Hitter award at the U-20 Asian Championship last September.

Currently, Samsung Fire's homegrown outside hitters include Shin Shin-ho, Kim Jung-ho, Park Sung-jin, and Son Hyun-jong. Lee Yoon-soo will continue to hone his skills and add strength to the wings.

With the second pick, the Woori Cards selected Hanyang University junior Kim Hyung-geun. He can play both outside hitter and middle blocker. He switched to wing attacker this year.

With the third pick, OK Financial Group selected Park Tae-sung, a junior setter from Inha University. At No. 4, it was Korean Air's turn. Following a trade, Samsung Fire took the pick. They selected sophomore middle blocker Yang Soo-hyun from Kyungpook National University.

Fifth-ranked KB Insurance selected Suseong High School outside hitter Yoon Seo-jin, who was considered a high school sensation. Yoon captained the Korean national team at the 2023 FIVB U-19 World Championship in August. They returned with a bronze medal, their first in 30 years.

Sixth-ranked KEPCO selected Myongji University sophomore outside hitter/apogee spiker Shin Sung-ho. No. 7 Hyundai Capital selected Chungnam University sophomore middle blocker Kim Jin-young.

Kyung Hee University sophomore middle blocker Cho Jin-seok, who raised eyebrows as the longest player in Korean volleyball history (216 centimeters), was not selected. Hanyang University fourth-year outside hitter Lee Hyun-jin, the twin brother of Hyundai Capital setter Lee Hyun-seung, wore a Samsung Fire jersey as a trainee.

In total, 20 of the 42 players, including the two trainees, received professional calls. The employment rate was 47.6 percent, the lowest ever. It was significantly lower than the previous record of 56.25% in the 2005-2006 season (16 players participated - 9 started).

Samsung Fire and KB Insurance each nominated five players. OK Financial Group selected three, Woori Card, KEPCO, and Hyundai Capital each selected two, and Korean Air selected one.

Each team has 15 days after the draft to sign a contract and register the player with the Korea Volleyball Federation. Rookies can join a professional team as long as their school attendance is not in question. They are allowed to train and play.

Rookie contracts for the first round are 160 million won for the first two positions, 140 million won for the third and fourth positions, 120 million won for the fifth and sixth positions, and 110 million won for the seventh position. The 먹튀검증 second round is set at 85 million won for the first two rounds, 65 million won for the third and fourth rounds, 45 million won for the fifth and sixth rounds, and 35 million won for the seventh round. The contract for the third round is 15 million won. Trainee players do not have a contract.

In terms of salary, players drafted in the first through third rounds receive 40 million won each, while trainees receive 24 million won.

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