Viktor Poladenko: «It worries that several First League teams played at home only once during the season»

10 July 2022
Vice-president of the Handball Federation of Russia, the head of Commission on organization and governance of competitions Viktor Poladenko told Handballfast about nuances of preparation for the new season, recently discussed by executive committee of the HFR. It was decided to focus on novelties and competitions of lower leagues. 
 —  To begin with, let’s remind the Super league tournament decisions.
 —  There are no global changes in men’s league, while we gave up last year’s system in the women’s Super league. The clubs wanted to play with each other at least twice — at home and away. Each team including Chinese will hold 24 games at preliminary stage. 
Then the teams will be devided on two groups. There will be 7 teams in group A and 6 teams in group B. In each group will be held own double round tournament, after which the best sextet team will join the seven. 
This group of eight will play for the title of Russian Championship in play-off. Women’s medal matches (as well as men’s) will be held till two wins that is a possibility to play three games. In other play-off stages everything will be the same as last season. 
 —  Will the Chinese team’s participation be important?
 — I’m not sure how appropriate it is to use this word. In my view it’s interesting in circumstances of lack of international matches. Representatives from China assure that they will play two years here. 
It is a normal term. We’ll see how their level corresponds to ours, where we and they are in the current coordinate system. I suppose, this experience will be very useful for the Chinese prior to the Asia championship and selection for the Olympic Games.  
 — Will other competitions undergo changes?
 — The tournament in premier league will also be held under old arrangements. The amount of clubs will be increased, there are nine men’s and ten women’s at the moment. Probably, several wishing teams will join. We are not going to hurry. Perhaps, some of the first league teams would like to play in higher division. 
Now let’s focus on the Russian Cup. After August 1, when the bidding campaign in the first league will be finished, we’ll hold the drawing procedure. We are sure, that many teams will decide to play in this tournament, they already confirm their intent. 
As soon as we understand how many clubs participate, we’ll decide in what format to hold the tournament. Maybe, they will start in the group stage. Hosts will be chosen by lot — who would have the honor. 
In the first league there will be an application fee — 500 rubles for a player. Is that much or little? We discussed that amount with teams’ representatives at finals in Moscow and Protvino. I didn’t get categorical refusal. 
We believe it will allow to discipline the teams.Since you pay money for participation, the attitude is different. 
The clubs’ logos, as well as schedules, will be published on the HFR site, all the clubs will integrate into the overall system and will be obliged to send games protocol which will be placed on the site. We’ll make a unified player base. In one word, little by little we’ll take all necessary steps to achieve everyone’s serious approach.  
 — And what about youth teams?
 — Youth Championship will also be held on last year's scheme. 12 boys teams will play — HC Kaustik Volgograd rostered the team no matter it got to the Premier league. There will be 11 teams in girl’s tournament — it is connected with getting of HC Ufa-Alisa to the Premier League. HC Baltiyskaya Zarya still has the right not to file an application, while the Chinese has no second squad.  
 — Was the possibility of holding a student’s tournament discussed?
 — We talked about it in detail with Oleg Shalaev, the leader of the HFR student’s commission. By the beginning of the school year we will publish the information concerning competitions, the issues are solved routinely now. 
It’s not a student’s league, as the amount of teams is not so high now. Moscow and Saint-Petersburg hold their own competitions, we can’t cancel them. The winners, as well as the representatives of Tatarstan, for example, where own league is also held, will participate in Universiade.
 — We’re going to have a new tournament this summer — Spartakiad.
 — The list of participants and the dates of the tournament are known. I suppose, the schedule will be published within a week. The Ministry of Sport shall send an official call to teams from regions, and after confirmation we can act — the schedule is ready. 
I think, it will be interesting, since foreigners can’t play on these tournaments, so regional teams will be able to show themselves other than club teams. Those who refer to sport organizations of federal subject will play for it. The player may not be registered in this region, but the main point — he has to be in labour relations with the club, study in regional university or sport school. This is the criteria.
 — Let’s get back to lower league tournaments. Are there any problems?
 — We organize competitions and provide all conditions for everyone. Relatively speaking: there are eight teams in Siberia, willing to play. We invent the system how to hold competitions. 
We discuss with clubs, offer to change tour system on classic one with home and away matches. We examine what is interesting to them and if it is convenient in financial terms.  
I am worried that some teams played home only once during the season. While we have to play in native walls, only that way we can get supporters' feedback and their interest to handball. It’s a handball advertisement.
Maybe, it’s better to play less frequently but fully — home and away. Let me repeat, the issue is debated. In the Volga region there are nine teams, each team came to play with each other. And it’s a long way from Glazov to Orenburg. 
 — Is the commission on organizing the competitions concerned of teams applications for new season?
 — We are actively working. Now everyone is filing the applications for players, transferred from one club to another. There are also many issues to be solved connected with Spartakiad. It’s necessary to form proper authorization.
And we are waiting for applications, especially from lower divisions teams. I wish it could happen soon, as we have to draw up a calendar and divide the clubs into areas. And as I’ve mentioned, the Russian Cup is around the corner. 
We are planning to start traditionally in the beginning of September. The season is going to be busy, there is no time for warming up. Therefore we don’t intend to step away from stated timing, whoever submits an application in time, will play.
Photos: press service of HBC CSKA, the HFR, KSK LUCH, HC Ufa-Alisa
Authors: Sergey Makarov, M.Lyubimova     
© 2022 Handball fast. All rights reserved.