From the JVA Office: Collaboration Breeds Success for JVA Clubs


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In 2007 a group of clubs joined together to create a new championship event. That group then formed into what is now the JVA, an organization of nearly 1,100 junior volleyball clubs advocating for the improvement of the junior volleyball experience for clubs, coaches, players and the junior community. It all began with the collaboration of the Club Directors.

35% of JVA member clubs host more than four tournaments per year and nearly one third of JVA clubs host 1-4 tournaments per year. That is a great number of volleyball tournaments, creating opportunities for our sport to continue to thrive. As our young industry continues to grow, we can learn from examples of success and strive to replicate that success in other clubs and regions across the country.

The Mideast Power League is one of the strongest, if not THE STRONGEST, junior volleyball power leagues in the country. Clubs and teams at all levels realize the benefits of a power league: matched competition, core tournament schedule, scheduling predictability, and lower cost of travel and participation. Let's not forget the collaboration of clubs, which is arguably the most challenging benefit to establish and maintain, but is essential to a power league's success over time.

Since it's inception in 2010, the core of the MEPL's success lies the partnerships of the host clubs.

Background information on the Mideast Power League:

Original Partners: KIVA, Munciana, TI & Team Z.
Original Locations: Louisville, Muncie, Indianapolis, Cincinnati
Current Locations: Louisville, Lexington, Muncie, Indianapolis, Knoxville, & Cincinnati.
Participation numbers:

2018 – 145 teams
2017 – 141
2016 – 153
2015 – 173
2014 – 168
2013 – 179
2012 – 147
2011 – 147
2010 – 149

Strength of teams:

2017 - 30 participants finished top 10 at either AAU or USA Nationals
2016 - 40 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals
2015 - 23 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals
2014 - 27 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals
2013 - 28 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals
2012 - 23 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals
2011 - 22 participants finished top ten at AAU Nationals

Divisions: 17/18's, 15/16's, 13/14's, 12 & Under

Play Dates:

13-18's play 4 dates
12 & Under play 3
Originally teams could pick and choose the play dates. However, as the league became so strong in competition it became a full schedule league.

From the MEPL's inception, each host club had an important responsibility. Team Indiana handled the schedule and website, KIVA handled all the business affairs, Munciana handled the advertising and awards. Today, Team Indiana still handles the website and advertising, KIVA handles the business affairs and schedule, and Munciana still handles the advertising and awards.

The strength of competition makes the power league a huge draw, as well as the rotation of states. Everyone understands some stop will come closer to home. The use of AES makes schedules easier to access, and the world of social media makes information much easier to send out and receive.

The JVA has been instrumental in helping it's member clubs unite and work together, to be one voice for advocacy, and to grow the game at the regional and national level. 

In 2014 the SAVL (Southeast Alliance Volleyball League) formed with the help of the JVA.  It's current member clubs are Upward Stars, Grand Strand Juniors, Magnum, Xcel, Carolina Islanders, MVP, and Axis Elite.

"Jenny and the JVA were instrumental in helping us form the league" states Grand Strand Juniors Club Director Alex Sing. "They gave us the resources and confidence needed to run successful tournaments."

"The SAVL originated from a group of clubs who were committed to raising the level of play in our region. Our goal was to compete nationally and not be content with success locally. We researched what other national level clubs were doing and came across the JVA and its Power leagues like the MEPL and GLPL."

7 of the original 9 members are still involved in the SAVL and use the power league events as their core schedule each season. The league manages both a Club Level and a Power Level schedule with a season ending Championship event. The SAVL Club Level consists of 5 tournaments and the Championships. There is an average of 90 teams participating in the Club Level events. The SAVL Power Level consists of 3 tournaments and the Championships, with an average of 85 teams participating in Power Level events. The SAVL locations are Spartanburg, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia SC and Hendersonville and Charlotte, NC.

Like the MEPL, the SAVL's success relies on the collaboration of clubs. The league selects a manager to run the day to day from among the member clubs. All members have input on larger decisions for the league. 

SAVL Accomplishments over 4 years:

5 National Champions
45 + top 10 finishes at AAU Nationals
Draws top teams from across the south to compete 

The MEPL, and now the SAVL are examples of the power of clubs uniting together to increase the level of competition and also to enhance the individual clubs' successes. Although the clubs are competitors on the court, they reap the numerous benefits as a result of collaborating and sharing responsibilities with their competing clubs.

"While we know that we will compete fiercely on the courts, we have also found great strength in working together to better the junior volleyball experience" shares JVA Executive Director Jenny Hahn. " JVA promotes the unity of JVA member clubs. By growing our membership, we will grow the strength of our voice and be able to have a stronger impact on our sport. We invite all clubs to be JVA - All United."

The MEPL and SAVL are both insured by the JVA, and because of this, teams of any affiliation can participate and will be insured. For related reading on running a junior volleyball club click here. For related reading on junior volleyball events click here. To learn more about Power Leagues click here.


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