The summer break has been over in Greece. The national championship has started.
This season, the league will be played in a new format.
The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences affected the Greek championship in the last season. The competition was interrupted a few times due to the lockdowns. The championship was shortened. Only the first half of the regular season (13 rounds) and the playoffs were held.
Because of that, the Greek Federation decided to change the format for this season. There was no relegation in the last season, and the Federation expanded the league to 16 clubs (14 which played in the season 2020/21 and two promoted from the second league).
The 2021/22 championship consist of three phases.
The 16 clubs are split into two groups of eight (A and B). After 14 rounds of the first phase, four new groups will be created: the group for places 1st – 4th (teams placed 1st and 2nd in the groups of the first phase will play here), the group for the places 5th-8th (A3, A4, B3, B4), the group for 9th-12th (A5,A6, B5,B6), and the group for the places 13th-16th (A7, A8, B7, B8).
Six rounds will be played in each group in the second phase. Then, the playoffs for the title and the relegation playoffs will be held. The top four teams will advance to the quarterfinals, while teams from groups for places 5th-8th and 9th-12th will start in the eighth-finals.
Losing teams in the eighth-finals and the teams ranked 13th-16th will take part in the relegation playoffs.
PAOK – Olympiacos 10:17 (2:3, 1:5, 4:4,3:6)
Ethnikos – Aris 16:9 (2:2, 4:2, 5:2, 5:3)
Apollon Smyrnis – Glyfada 17:12 (5:2, 3:3, 4:4, 5:3)
AEK – Palaio Faliro on October 6 (AEK played in the LEN Euro Cup)
Chania – Panionios 12:17 (4:5, 3:4, 2:4, 3:4)
Volos – Vouliagmeni 5:23 (2:6, 1:5, 2:5, 0:7)
Ydraikos – Panathinaikos postponed due to coronavirus
Peristeri – Chios on October 6 (Peristeri played in the LEN Euro Cup)
There were no surprises in the first round.
The reigning champion Olympiacos defeated PAOK in Thessaloniki (17:10). The best scorer in the winning team was Chrysopathis with five goals. Ioannis Fountoulis added four. Two newcomers Filip Filipovic and Marko Bijac didn’t play in the first game. Returnee Andro Buslje was on the team. Djuro Radovic debuted for Olympiacos scoring one goal.
There were a lot of goals in an encounter between Apollon and Glyfada, but Apollon recorded a clear victory.
Vouliagmeni, the runner-up in the last season, cruised to a win over Volos.