SIXTEEN teams from five associations have confirmed their participation in this weekend's Western Volleyball Rally competition to be staged at Lautoka's multi-purpose courts.
The five associations are Nadi, Lautoka, Nadroga, Ba, Kenani and Topline.
Tournament official Charlie Samisoni said competition was expected to be tough as all teams were targeting the annual event.
He said neighbours Nadi and Lautoka were the hot favourites for the top award but would face strong challenge from Nadroga and Ba.
"The tournament will determine the West volleyball champion and we anticipate tough games from pool play," said Samisoni.
"Lautoka and Nadi have been consistent during the past years and they stand a good chance in this weekend's competition.
"There are many talented players in the West and it will be interesting to see the standard of teams from Nadroga and Ba.
"We are hopeful of a good and tough competition."
Samisoni said the Western Volleyball Association was planning to hold an under-23 junior competiton, adding that development and coaching clinics were needed to lift the game to another level.
"We have the talent here in the West but we lack the necessary coaching clinics and development programs to keep these talents in the sport.
"Most of these talented players have switched to other sports such as rugby, mainly because there is no development program and junior competition to keep them focused on volleyball.
"We are planning to host the under-23 competition before the Easter games."