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From the JVA Office: Have You Discovered the New Route?


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Many club directors begin every season the same way, with the same routine, a driver's route from point A to point B so to speak, and it's the only route they've ever known existed.

Imagine if one day you discovered another route. Do you hesitate? Or do you try it?

When presented with a new route, a new option, some naturally do hesitate to try it. The members of JVA saw potential for a new option and took it! JVA is comprised of a variety of members varying from first time club owners, experienced club owners, high school/club coaches, and tournament directors, that opted for a new route, one that suits a specific business need. These members continue to find value in their membership for different reasons.

I love that JVA creates more and different opportunities for our athletes to compete.
~Brennan Dean, Wave Volleyball Club, CA

I value JVA because it puts players first. JVA also allows clubs freedom to run tournaments the way they choose because we know first hand what our players and parents need in our areas.
~Justeen Coulson, Team Six VBC, TX

I love the JVA because they really bring a level of professionalism to the volleyball community. Great online resources, attention to detail, and a true commitment to bringing clubs from across the country together to improve the club experience for all.
~Derek Jensen, D1 Volleyball Club, IL

The coaching staff at The Volleyball Practice (TVP) draws from the professional development resources offered by JVA and it's network. Our work with our indoor boys teams is informed by regular and timely JVA communications via email and the JVA website. JVA's insurance programs help us offer greater access to TVP programs at a low cost to boys that want to play volleyball. The JVA staff is part of our team.
~John Hartranft, The Volleyball Practice, MD, (Boys club owner)

Last year was our first year as JVA (member) and the value has been tremendous, being able to allow teams of all affiliations to enter (our tournaments). Our philosophy has always been to be "inclusive" supporting all levels and abilities of volleyball, not "exclusive" to only one group. JVA has allowed us the avenue to accept teams that are AAU, JVA, USAV or non-affiliated at all. The response was overwhelmingly positive year one, and that momentum has carried over already to entries this year. The JVA staff was a tremendous help in the transition last year, patiently and speedily answering all our questions!
~Deb DiMatteo, Midwest Jr Volleyball, IL (Tournament Director) "

My club and I love the JVA. The educational materials for club directors are awesome. We also love the AVCA membership (included) and support staff.
'~Kim Norman, High Country, UT (Club Director)

I am a member of the JVA because I love how they support the growth of girls volleyball at all levels both indoor and on the beach. They have an extremely helpful staff who are very easy to work with.
~Kelly Drobeck, Sand Volleyball Association, CA (Beach league coordinator)

The JVA provides an unparalleled platform for club directors, coaches and players. The distinct objective of "Growing the Game" is evident as the coaching resources are endless. From educational webinars, drill footage from the best clubs in the country, all the way down to the weekly newsletter, the JVA is focused on the success of ALL its members. We are proud to be a JVA member club and compete in some of the most competitive tournaments in the United States.
~Dan Dierking, Tennessee Performance, TN (first year club owner)

Being a member of the JVA is not a choice you have to make, it is simply opting to add value to what you currently have in place, and wanting it to be even better.

The value add is endless...

The JVA wears a variety of hats that match the needs of our members. Each business is different, and your needs are going to be directly related to your own members; we recognize that. 

JVA Executive Director Jenny Hahn shares the history of how a group of clubs went off the path to discover the new route of JVA:

(2005-2009) The JVDA was established as a new route to advocate for better conditions for junior volleyball. The three main objectives that were advocated for were:

  1. True Junior Representation for junior volleyball clubs in the USAV organization.
    In 2005 there was no elected junior representative on the board. The Junior Assembly was comprised of three members from each region. However, there was no requirement that the regions send anyone related to a junior club.

  2. Earlier end to the volleyball season.
    The USAV Championships often went well into July, often over and past the July 4th holiday. With the majority of high school programs beginning in mid-August, this left only 4-6 weeks of a summer break.

  3. Elimination or Reform of the Qualifier System.
    The problems with the qualifier system were multiple: Families had no way of knowing when their season would end so advance planning of summer vacations, camp programs, summer jobs, etc. was difficult. Teams that did not qualify until late in the process were faced with higher travel costs and with the Stay to Play policies, the worst hotel options. Teams were faced with traveling to multiple qualifiers in an attempt to qualify, often traveling to less competitive qualifiers to increase their chance for a bid. This resulted in families' spending money to travel to events to play lesser competition.

A committee of JVDA directors held discussions and meetings with the leadership of USAV beginning in the fall of 2005. After more than a year of discussions, it was apparent that no changes were going to happen. The JVDA decided to just what we felt was best for our club members. We planned our own championship that required no qualification in Louisville, KY for mid-June. As all the clubs were USAV member clubs, the tournament was sanctioned as a USAV tournament by the Pioneer Region. In May 2007, during the USAV Annual Meetings, we were informed that the USAV Board of Directors had voted to pull the sanction. The Board was forced to go out and find alternate insurance and the event went on as planned with just over 600 teams.

JVDA was perceived as rebels and rogues. I can understand the perception that JVDA was a rogue association. We did rebel against the status quo. We did look outside the box to find a new route... We did take a stand and did something different.

(2009 – 2017) 
In 2009, we re-branded from JVDA to JVA (Junior Volleyball Association). We advocate for better policies for our clubs with their USAV region and their AAU district. We are simply an association of club directors, working together to keep pushing the envelope for ways to improve our businesses and better serve our athletes and their families.

We are grateful for the recognition and support of the AVCA. Our association with AVCA provides a network with the high school and college community of coaches, as well as the benefits of educational resources and annual convention for our members. We are grateful for the recognition and support of AAU. AAU embraced JVA as their educational partner. We share our resources with AAU adult members and contribute to AAU publications. AAU provides added value to our annual World Challenge providing paid entries into the AAU Girls National Championships, t-shirts, medals, etc. AAU welcomes our input on policy and events.

We depend on our members to strengthen our organization and keep us on the right road. If you do not see what you are looking for...just ask, we will get it for you!

So, let us make the hard choices that will best serve you, while you continue to help your young athletes and grow the sport.

Our goal is for Junior Volleyball Club Directors to recognize the need for an independent association for junior volleyball clubs. Clubs do NOT need to choose JVA or AAU, JVA or USAV. Clubs should not have fear to try a new route. Be a member of the JVA. Give yourself an option and value add for your club, your coaches, and your players. 

It is JVA and AAU.  JVA and USAV. JVA is All Clubs United!

#BeJVAUnited

About the Authors

This article was written by Jenny Hahn, Executive Director of the JVA and Lisa Wielebnicki, Director of Member Development. Jenny, Lisa and the JVA staff are passionate about improving the junior volleyball experience for our members and the junior volleyball community. We are excited when new members join the JVA and it's even better when our members get involved and realize we are all working together. JVA is all united, we work for all clubs, all coaches, and all players. #BeJVAUnited


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