The Northeast Point Series is entering its inaugural season with the creation of a boys power league hosted by its four founding clubs (1) Niagara Frontier Volleyball (Buffalo, NY), (2) A-10 Volleyball (Pittsburgh, PA), (3) Advancement Academy/A2 (Columbus, OH) and (4) Phoenix Volleyball Club (Cleveland, OH). The JVA and AAU have been integral in the collaboration to create this club-hosted league, as well as the format for the series based on matched competition.
“The influx of AAU boys volleyball has begun to positively change the landscape of boys volleyball in the Northeast and across the country, giving us all different options and allowing us as directors to break away from the norm and/or mundane feeling of our schedules. It’s been an incredible breath of fresh air,” said Dan Johnson, Boys Club Director for Niagara Frontier Volleyball Club and Board Member of the National Boys Volleyball Association.
The series consists of 3 events in total:
- A 2-day event with split age divisions in Cleveland, OH (17U-18U) and Pittsburgh (14U-16U), Dec. 3-4, 2022.
- A 2-day event in Buffalo, NY on January 28-29, 2023 with 48 teams 14U-18U.
- A two-day finale event in Columbus, OH on June 10-11, 2023 with 56 teams 14U-18U.
Teams will gain points based on set wins and tournament finishes. These points gained will then lead to seeding points gained for the finale in Columbus, OH. The Northeast Point Series point system was influenced by a few different models, The Point Series in Chicago was one of them. The directors looked at some other sports and grabbed some ideas from them as well.
In addition to the host clubs, participating clubs include Syracuse VBC (Syracuse NY), Legion (Albany NY), LVC (Lockport NY), Hot Shots (Rochester) and Pace (Rochester NY). Clubs from Canada have also reached out with interest. The series has the ability to impact another 12-20 clubs in the Northeast region, which is more than any USAV qualifier ran in the Northeast over the last decade.
“We’re hoping to get as many clubs on board for all 3 events as we can,” adds Johnson. “We also have the ability to grow the event series and stretch it out to other regions of the Northeast.”
The road to the Northeast Point Series was created from the collaboration of directors with a similar vision. Johnson took the idea of the point series to Jake Stone at A-10 Volleyball, and with a similar vision, they worked through the following:
- How do they grow volleyball in their areas of the Northeast?
- How do they create competitive tournaments for their clubs within their regions?
- Is it possible to create a competitive group of events that are easily accessible for their families and families close to their club?
These questions were proposed to multiple directors in the Northeast. Logan Jennings from Phoenix Volleyball had some great answers and a similar vision. They proceeded to reach out to Joe Jablonski from AAU who then connected the directors with Lisa Wielebnicki from the JVA. Jablonski encouraged the directors to reach out to Salomon Gicherman from A2 Volleyball. Salomon and A2 Volleyball were a perfect fit for the collaboration. With help from the JVA and AAU, the group created the Northeast Point Series concept.
“If other Directors/Coaches wanted to start up something similar, I would suggest to find “like-minded” leaders looking to create whatever vision you have. Communication is key and to be patient and humble,” shared Johnson.
Johnson’s role on the Board of the National Boys Volleyball Association gave him the confidence to try something new.
“To start something that was in the best interest for my club, my families, my coaches and my players. I had questions and they had answers to help and support. I can’t begin to tell you how empowering it feels to have people in your corner that have similar goals to grow our game.”
The NBVA is a collection of selfless Club Directors that lend their time, knowledge and passion to the growth of the game of boys volleyball. It’s a collective voice from West Coast to East Coast of committed Directors that work together to unify the boys game. All board members bring their own unique perspective.
“We don’t always agree on topics but that’s what makes it special. We’re willing to discuss tough topics and come together as a group to provide a voice for the boys game. I think it’s extraordinarily special. I’m learning everyday I’m around these selfless and dedicated individuals that volunteer their time to the growth and unification of the boys game.”
The Northeast Point Series founding clubs are focused on hosting outstanding events this season. Jake Stone (A-10), Logan Jennings (Phoenix), Salomon Gicherman (A2) and Dan Johnson (Niagara Frontier) communicate weekly. They share a very like-minded view of what their clubs and areas need.
“We’ve created a working partnership and friendship. Very hard working, humble, committed directors that have put a lot of time and thought into this series for the betterment of boys volleyball in the Northeast.“
If your club is interested in participating in the league or learning more click here.
Niagara Frontier Volleyball, A-10 Volleyball Club, Advancement Academy/A2, and Phoenix Volleyball Club are all members of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization that is 100% committed to improving the junior volleyball experience for Directors, Coaches, Players and fans. With nearly 1,300 member clubs, the JVA is the only association that is focused on junior volleyball and needs of the juniors club. Learn more about the Northeast Point Series click here.