Club Directors have a vast array of options in volleyball tournaments to provide their teams with a competitive schedule.  More clubs are opening facilities, cities are building large multi-sport venues to host events, and corporate event management groups have discovered the growing market of youth sports.

Some of the factors club directors consider when choosing an event include:

  • Scale of competition – Are you scheduling for an elite team, a mid-level team or a developmental team?
  • Duration of competition – is it a 1-day event or multiples days?
  • Travel required – Is it drivable or is airfare needed?
  • College Recruiting Open Period – Will players have an opportunity to be scouted?
  • Quality of Experience – Will the teams, coaches, and parents get the best experience possible?

These are all important considerations, but the question of where the profits go from your entry fees, admission fares, and hotel rebates is often neglected.

JVA, AAU and USAV are all 501c3 nonprofit organizations. It is easy to see how these groups give back to our sport using event profits. JVA provides education for clubs on best practices, club growth, program development and advocacy with resources that are provided free to members.  AAU is “Sports for all Forever” providing low-cost participation for all sports and physical fitness programs for all ages.  USAV is our sport’s National Governing Body, charged with selecting and training our national teams and providing opportunities for the game’s growth.

Club hosted events are great opportunities for local and regional competition. Your entry fees, admission fees and concession purchases at these tournaments directly fund club facilities, quality coaching, and elevated experiences for athletes, which in turn, draws more youth to our sport and creates a larger pool of athletes for all clubs.

To really know where your event dollars are going, look at who “owns” the event.  Where does the money end up?  Is the national qualifier owned by a region, with money going back into benefits for the region’s member clubs?  Or is it owned by a separate entity, perhaps a for-profit group or individual? Does that group contribute back to our sport? One way to determine this is to look for the host’s 501c3 nonprofit status.  An organization that is a 501c3 is required to make their 990 Tax Returns public, which you can request from the IRS or the organization directly.

If “quality” is your #1 priority in selecting an event, it doesn’t matter where the profits go.  But if you can get both a quality experience for your teams and the profit supports the growth and development of volleyball, you’ve got a win-win.  Add “Profits back to our Sport” to your checklist when building your tournament schedule.

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About the Author

This article was written by JVA Executive Director Jenny Hahn in collaboration with JVA Event Coordinator Lauren Ray.