One way in which the JVA promotes the growth of junior volleyball is through high quality, well organized events. In 2019 2,400 teams from 606 clubs across the country participated in 6 JVA hosted events. Most of the events sold out shortly after registration opened.
As clubs continue to purchase, lease or rent facilities, and collaborate to co-host events together, the selection of tournaments will grow. Some club directors have a hard time deciding which tournaments to enter their teams in.
As you plan your tournament schedule for 2020, here are 4 ways to create a balanced and ideal tournament schedule for your teams.
Being able to map out your season in advance is huge, not only for your sanity as a club director, but for your staff, coaches, and families. Anticipate what new events you want to try this year, events to return to, and events to pass on. By having a good grasp on this well in advance, you will have a much better shot at getting into events that may sell out before the first of the year. Also anticipate the possibility of having to pay for those events entry fees before you start receiving this seasons club dues from your athletes and families.
The best way to get your teams into JVA events, is to register and submit payment right away. Registration for all JVA events will open on October 1st, 2019. Acceptance Policy/Criteria: Teams will be accepted for our events as payment is received in the JVA office, priority given to JVA Member Clubs.
Compete in a Power League
We always recommend finding a solid power league in your general geographic area. The main goal of a power league format is to provide a cost-effective solution to the grinding travel schedule of the club season, while teams compete in a drivable geographical area. Plus, power leagues are structured to provide a core schedule of matched competition, so teams play to their level and have the opportunity to move up or down in pool strength depending on performance.
From there, you can fill in your “must attend” tournaments whether that be JVA events, USAV qualifiers, or AAU events.
Train and Compete in Phases
As the club season gets longer and longer it is important that teams train and compete in phases. A typical phase for the club season is heavy training December/early January with a couple power league dates or smaller events to get the teams accustomed to playing together. Late January begins the first competition phase gearing up for Presidents’ Day Weekend. The last couple weeks of February is focused on correcting consistent issues that may have held a team back from performing at a consistent level. March and April is a heavy competition phase as teams are working to build national rankings or qualify for the end of season championships. The beginning of May is back to low impact training to allow players to rest while keeping them focused on the end of season championship goals. Memorial Day and first weekend of June begins the final phase of heavy competition to keep teams in full competition mindset headed into their National Championships.
Scheduling events in these phases help keep your payers mental and physically fresh to compete at the highest levels throughout the entire club season.
Leave Gaps in Your Competition Cycle
Once you have the core schedule mapped out, I would advise filling the large holes in your schedule. As a previous coach myself, having 2 or 3 weeks of training only built into your schedule a couple times throughout the season will help keep your players rested and motivated.
If you are curious of what events are out there on certain dates or certain areas of the country, you can usually find nearly every medium to large scale juniors volleyball event on three websites where you can search past, present and future events:
- AES https://www.advancedeventsystems.com
- SportsWrench https://sportwrench.com
- TM2 http://results.tm2sign.com
If you have any questions or are looking for unbiased recommendations in creating the most ideal schedule for your teams, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Steve is no stranger to junior volleyball, having been around the sport for 18 years. He has many years of experience in club operations as former full time Associate Club Director for Michigan Volleyball Academy the past two seasons. In addition, he has collegiate women’s coaching experience at Grand Valley State and Kent State University. A Chicago native, Steve spent five seasons coaching at Club Fusion in Marengo, IL.