The 2024 season of China’s Village Super League (VSL) kicked off in Rongjiang County, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, on Saturday.

This year, a total of 62 teams will compete in 10 groups during the preliminary round from January 6 to February 24. The two-two teams of each group will qualify for the knockout competitions.

Organized and played by locals in Guizhou, the VSL and its basketball counterpart, the Village Basketball Association (VBA) in Taijiang County, gained tremendous popularity around the country in 2023. China Media Group (CMG) signed strategic partnerships with both of them last week.

Lu Yongzheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Guizhou Provincial Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee, believes that as both the VBA and the VSL became hits both domestically and internationally, they not only brought more attention to the two counties and the province, but also stimulated local economic development. In 2023 alone, there were over 12 million tourist visits to Rongjiang and Taijiang. Local comprehensive tourist revenues surpassed 15 billion yuan (about $2.1 billion).

(Cover photo: Players compete in the Village Super League game in Rongjiang County, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, January 6, 2024. /CFP)

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