From the JVA Office: 3 Ways to Create a Balanced Competition Schedule


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One way in which the JVA promotes the growth of junior volleyball is through high quality, well organized events. In 2017 2,107 teams from 327 clubs across the country participated in 6 JVA hosted events, which is more than double the number of teams in 2016 (1,029 teams participated in three JVA-hosted events). Most of the events sold out shortly after registration opened. As more clubs continue to purchase or lease a facility, and clubs collaborate to co-host events together, the selection of tournaments grows.

As you plan your tournament schedule for 2018, here are a few ways to create a balanced and ideal tournament schedule for your team.

PLAN AHEAD

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.

Currently, 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, 2017 for the 2018 season. We are in the process of reviewing our policies of team acceptance, so stay tuned for any changes, of which would be posted on each event webpage, as well as each event's AES registration page.

COMPETE IN A POWER LEAGUE

I always recommend finding a solid power league in your general geographic area. The original goal of the power league format was to provide a cost-effective solution to the grinding travel schedule of the club season, since 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.

LEAVE GAPS IN YOUR COMPETITION TIME

Once you have the core schedule mapped out, I would advise filling the large holes in your schedule. As a coach myself, I enjoy having 2-3 weeks of just training built into my schedule a couple times throughout the season to avoid back-to-back-to-back competition weekends. But you don't want to have four, five or six weeks off at a time, as you want to keep the players' competitive fire strong. Having small gaps in your schedule also leaves time for rest and recovery, especially after a three day tournament.

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:

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 zach.colston@jvavolleyball.org.

For related reading on junior volleyball events click here. For a list of JVA events, click here.

About the Author

Zach has served as Director of Events for JVA since November 2014. He came onboard after gaining varied experiences with multiple junior volleyball clubs and collegiate programs. Colston has served as Director of Operations at both Mintonette Sports in Columbus, Ohio and K2 Volleyball in Knoxville, Tennessee where he played a key role in overseeing tournament organization and management for both clubs. Colston spent six seasons in the collegiate game while on the sidelines with The Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Maryville College (TN).


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