COVID-19 has devastated every aspect of our sport: from the 2020 Olympics to the beginner volleyball programs; from the small 4 court tournament down the road to national qualifiers and championships.
JVA, an association for club directors and their staff, along with many of our partners and members, have been holding virtual meetings in every part of the country. In every discussion, the club directors have come together to share ideas to keep their athletes and families engaged. The topic that comes up most often on these virtual meetings is the struggle to hold on to their staff and their facilities while the doors are closed and the lights are turned off. At the same time, they know many of their families are also struggling with parents furloughed, laid off, or having to close their offices, resulting in no billable hours.
How do they balance the needs of their families with their need to be able to open their doors again and live for the next season?
We felt it would be helpful to share some information on how member dues are allocated throughout the season. Below is a list of the expenses that are covered from club dues. Not every club has every item on this list. This outline is in line with our industry standards. As you’ll see from the information below, you can’t just look at an eight-month season and assume that 2/8’s or 1/4 of your membership dues will be refunded because you weren’t in the gym for 2 months.
Expenses that are paid out in the first 1-3 months of the season and can’t be refunded:
- Membership dues for coach and staff associations
- Background screenings for coaches and staff
- Coaches’ certifications and trainings
- Coach development costs already expended
- Uniforms and Coaches Gear
- Tournament Entry Fees
- Hotel Deposits
- Equipment such as balls, carts, medical kits, antennas, nets, training aids, strength training equipment, etc.*
*not all equipment is purchased annually; nets and ball carts for example can be replaced every 2-3 years.
- Medical Supplies
- Airfare for fly-to Tournaments (airlines are allowing credits but few to none refunds)
- Annual Website Fees
- Annual fees for software and technology used for registration and club dues, as well as member management platform.
- Annual fees for athlete benefits that may be built into club dues such as HUDL, NCSA, strength training and fitness programs, etc.
Expenses that are paid out throughout the season but don’t end if the season ends early:
- Staff salaries, payroll taxes, health and/or retirement benefits
- Contracted coaches’ fees*
- Lease or mortgage payments on a facility
- Property Taxes (if a facility is owned or leased)
- Commercial Insurance
- Building maintenance: building and grounds upkeep costs, cleaning supplies, equipment repair, HVAC maintenance
- Utilities (electric, gas, water, internet, telephone)
- Service fees for web site, accounting, payroll, etc.*The vast majority of clubs are doing everything possible to take care of their staff and coaches. They want to have a quality program with qualified staff for the athletes when they return.
What could potentially be refunded or credited?
- Player’s share of refunded tournament entry fees
- Player’s share of refunded hotel deposits
- Player’s share of travel costs for cancelled tournaments
- Refund of players share of court time if your club rents courts from a school or public facility that closed
If your club is a 501c3, non-profit, you might want to consider helping them out by donating any refundable fees you may have coming. Most club directors have been open and honest with parents, letting them know their options for refunds and/or credits. If your club has not yet decided, it is most likely due to the unknown outcome of the remainder of the season, and the next couple of weeks should hopefully yield some answers.
In the meantime, clubs need to focus on ways to keep their doors open, and help their athletes stay engaged physically, mentally, and emotionally while social distancing.
COVID-19 will pass. We will be on the courts together. We want all of our clubs and youth sports organizations to survive and all of our athletes to return to a quality program.
About the Author
Jenny has served as the JVA Executive Director since 2010. She co-founded Milwaukee Sting VBC in 1989 serving as director, head coach and board member through today. She served as Operations Director and then Executive Director of Badger Region Volleyball Association from 1998-2010. Jenny is passionate about junior volleyball and sees the JVA as a vehicle to improve the junior club experience for club directors, coaches and the club member families.