Multiple National Championships

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11 years 9 months ago #30407 by vb101
Multiple National Championships was created by vb101
Okay, I just discovered that many people didn't know about the division in USA junior girls' volleyball.

After the 2007 season, a lot of disharmony was expressed in USA volleyball circles. What had just occurring was that USA volleyball was in the process of restructuring their board of directors, cutting back on the quantity of their officers. There were too many concerned people involved & the meetings were unproductive, long and rambling.

Junior girl's volleyball, however, wanted more of a voice. They sure didn't want to lose one. They reasoned, "Hey, we are the number one money maker for USA volleyball. Look at how many tournaments we put on and how many gals we have contributing to the USA volleyball programs. We should have several voices."

Combine this with the situation where two club leaders of two of the best US junior programs are a little chuffed with USA volleyball and things were about to get interesting.

The JVDA (Junior Volleyball Director's Association) formed, an organization that links the directors of Sports Performance, Team Z, Munciana, KIVA and many other mid-east juggernauts together. They had a few beefs with USA volleyball.

They wanted:
...the National championships moved into June
...more bids awarded at National Qualifiers
...the money made from National Qualifiers to filter back into JO volleyball
...more of a voice in the decision USA volleyball made for Jr girls

Their position was presented and someone at USA volleyball lit a fuse under the JVDA by saying something like, "Well if you don't come, someone else will." When the dust cleared, two National championships occurred this past summer.

What the JVDA didn't take into consideration, when their positions came out, was the schooling situation in California and New York. New York and California are in high school into the midst of June and then there is graduation. We are unable to attend the "prep volleyball classic" in the Dells, the "AAU championships" in Walt Disney World, and now the JVDA championships, as they conflict with our children's education.

Now, in JVDA land, school is over before June begins so waiting until July just means a situation where their summer vacation is eaten into, by waiting for Nationals; and club ball is made more expensive as it has to go another month.
JVDA reasons that they could have a less busy summer for their volleyball athletes, who already might have commitments to "high performance," European travel, or college camp visiting and etc...

Many of the top JVDA squads wanted to get Open level bids to Nationals. Junior volleyball was in the process of scaling back the number of Open bids from 3 per NQ to 2, while adding more NQs to allow more teams to Qualify.
JVDA reasoned that this would mean attending more NQs ( an expensive proposition to be sure ) and were rightfully upset at the needless costs it could cost their players and their families.
So, they then argued everyone should go to the National Championships if they want to.

The problem we've had for several years are the NQs (National Qualifiers) themselves. They are bears to put on and require tons of work and sacrifice. Over the years, some NQs have been run by their regions, such as the SCVA; some have been run by organizations, such as East Coast volleyball; while some have been run by clubs, such as Northern Lights and the Big South.
In truth, running these events have become huge chores and the people profiting for them, sure do earn it.

But, additionally, these tournaments, beyond being chores, have become money making businesses, and as such they are being judged.
JVDA reasons that the money made from these tourneys should be kicked back into Junior volleyball, instead of creating a font of finances to the clubs that put them on.
USA reasons that some of that is being done, but how can you tell people that do that much work, that they should get little or nothing out of it.
We live in a capitalistic society. Work, good work, equates to a salary and profit.

So, what do think happened?

The JVDA had their own championships, around the same time as the Davis Festival and the Junior National Championships.

Amusingly enough some teams had split from the JOs years ago and are officially "Festival" clubs, so I guess there are now three National championships, all at the end of June/beginning of July, but I guess that is a story for another time.

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11 years 9 months ago #22943 by vb101
Replied by vb101 on topic Multiple National Championships
Some of us already knew about this.

The quick upshot of this whole thing, this past summer, was the moving of the National Championships back a few days or so from the previous summer.

USA volleyball made this move in an attempt to keep the JO field together. USA volleyball, also, did not change the Open Qualification to 2 per NQ, but rather kept it at 3 bids.

Because of this, many New York squads (WEVA and IREVA) did not attend the Junior National championships.

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11 years 9 months ago #22944 by vb101
Replied by vb101 on topic Multiple National Championships
So, and this isn't a surprise to many junior girl's squads, many NY squads did not go to Nationals this year because the date of Nationals conflicted with their schooling.

If you've been reading "prep volleyball" and "volleytalk," you know that there is a huge to-do over who the real National champions are.

I was fortunate enough to attend both events, both the JVDA championships in Louisville, Kentucky and the JOs in Dallas, Texas.

There were pros and cons for each.

The pros for Louisville:
the site was huge, plenty of room between courts to spectate (even when a lightning storm knocked out the electricity in a portion of the halls, there was still enough room to keep on going).
vendors came into the site from the region (vendors weren't shy about the food they served funnel cakes through pulled pork were available in the hall and they prices weren't extravagant).
Louisville was accessible... once you figured out the highways, you could avail yourself of the hospitality of Louisville and see a little of the culture.
The level of play was strong. It looks as though many middling teams have greatly benefitted from playing against the strong, well developed clubs. It was amazing watching middling to average clubs playing good ball. & the strong teams have become even stronger. Spry, the Samaurai and Team Z were very, very formidable in the 18s. & it was cute to watch the Japanese high school team.
18 open, 18 club, 17 open, 17 club, 16 open, 15 open, 14s, 13s and 12s were all strong.
The referring was generous, smooth and efficient. I didn't note a poor ref.
You could watch everyone. You could see all the levels of play.

The cons:
Getting into Louisville itself.
The airport is out of the way and it costs more to fly there than many other venues.
Many teams got routed through Chicago and then the standbys were ridiculous and frequently delayed.
The lack of netting between courts. Although there was plenty of room, there was no netting. Balls were everywhere.
16 club and 15 club were weak.

The pros of JOs Nationals:
You got to see the talent of Texas and California/Hawaii.
There was netting between the courts.

The cons of JO Nationals:
They packed the courts in there like sardines. There was little to no space to spectate.
The food was awful and expensive in the Convention Center.
The referring was inexplicably poor. I saw missed calls made in final matches, by referees who were just not consistent or in some cases knowledgeable enough. It was shocking to see this. Usually, the Nationals features the best officials. This year, it seems, we didn't have enough officials to cover all the events.
The tournament tees and accessories were gone before the 16s arrived and there were no more to come. Absolutely unacceptable. Only half of the age brackets got to get these souvenirs.
Downtown Dallas is inexplicably boring. There is no one there and the few people you meet aren't even Texans. There is little to no Texas feel to the place. Absolutely surprising.

Both sites had poor announcing capabilities. Hearing the star spangled banner being sung, depended on your location.

Where was there better play? I believe it was at the JVDA championships. There was just a deeper field of stronger teams there.

The festival is moving out of Reno next year. Reno was not a popular locale for the "festival." & now that the five year contract to Reno is completed, it may be moved to a more popular locale.
If this occurs and the cost of living continues as it has, it wouldn't be a surprise if more Cali teams stay home and further dilute the field of the JOs.

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11 years 9 months ago #22946 by capital
Replied by capital on topic Multiple National Championships

the Festival year-in, year-out is about a 15, maybe 20 team deep tourney. If you can't finish top 10-15 there, you're not very good. Come on, at 18's there were maybe 15 pretty solid teams but WAY fewer teams that could make a splash on the national scene.

Also, the NY teams who did not attend (and it was only about 3-4 18's teams who were affected, did not choose to bypass USA Nationals because they moved the dates up or back; it was due to the decision to begin the tourney with the 18s and not the lower age groups. DID YOU NOT NOTICE IN ALL YOUR OBSERVATIONS that for the first time in years the tourney began with 18's and 17's and not 13's and 14's? The reason for this move supposedly was the result of a complaint voiced by many clubs that their graduated 18's players did not have enough down time between the end of Nationals and the time their D-I college teams were calling them to show up for summer camps/early training, etc. those D-I schools want to get their hands on these kids ASAP.

Even still, USAV definitely looked at NY school end times and tried to avoid conflict. What they forgot completely about were graduation dates. That's where the conflicts arose. As for IREVA, we've already had a history of NOT sending teams to JOs or to any national tourney. In our region, I think the Southerntier club (Perone) sends her teams to the Festival every so often. Never to JO's that I know of. Lots of reallocated bids coming from IREVA for years. Maybe GEVA too. I don't know.

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11 years 9 months ago #22947 by vb101
Replied by vb101 on topic Multiple National Championships

Yep, you're right.

The "festival" has been weak for many years, but that may change. Not because of the JVDA and USA, but because of our economy and the possible change to a more favorable locale.
Which is logical and a potential new trend, because in recent years, more and more "festival teams" have been attending JOs.

Additionally, the moving back of the season was also tied into the desire to see the 18s and 17s championships attended by fans. When the 18s finished the tourney, in years past, some of the finals were poorly attended, as many of the younger teams had departed.

So, changes in the season to yes... end season earlier, get more fans in the stands, & not so coincidentally to hope to placate the JVDA teams.

& yes, IREVA has not sent many teams to JOs, as is true of many other North East organizations, but moving back the championships does not make a future possibility more possible.

I did see Patti Blacklock and Chuck there, though, with their squad

However, if the JOs, as they were this year continue to be so diluted, maybe more teams might like to attend these year ending events. They are truly a blast.

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