From the JVA Office: JVA World Challenge Delivers a Game Changing Event Once Again
Until 2010 the JVA World Challenge was a year-end championship in mid-June. Fast forward to 2017 and the JVA World Challenge is the largest in history with 800 competing teams from 170 clubs across 32 states, as well as Mexico and Canada.
In 2007, 2008 and 2009 JVDA hosted a year-end championship in Louisville. In the summer of 2009, the leadership of the JVDA held a multi-day strategic planning meeting. Out of that meeting came the re-branding of JVDA to JVA and the decision to move our major event from year-end to mid-year. Since the majority of clubs were still ending their season at the AAU Championships or the USAV Championships, we decided to move our event to mid-year, beginning in 2010 and the JVA World Challenge was born.
The event stands for everything the JVA believes in and is guided by: Member Driven. Player Welfare. Affordability and Financial Responsibility. Transparency and Best Practices. From the quality of seeding and the event schedule, to the numerous one-of-a-kind experiences including dancing with the JVA Mascot Jinx, hearing the official bugler of the Kentucky Derby Steven Buttleman play the National Anthem and Call to Post, to the cost savings compared to other three day volleyball tournaments, the event is first and foremost about the players, the teams and the spectators.
The JVA believes in the importance of making a volleyball tournament an event that is enjoyable and feasible for everyone participating.
PrepVolleyball Author Chris Tobolski shares why he loves covering an event like the JVA World Challenge from a personal perspective, and how it is truly as event. Other than the ease and format of the playing schedule Chris adds "the JVA goes all out for the World Challenge. There is the popular hit, mimicking Family Feud. It's called Team Feud, but it uses real Family Feud questions. Two clubs compete against each other, just like in the famous Game Show."
Over 20 teams had the opportunity to play Team Feud run by title sponsor Rox Volleyball, and the team that scored the highest received a $250 shopping spree to the Rox Volleyball store. Teams as young as 12 and as old as 18 had fun competing in a well-run, identical scenario to the actual Game Show 'Family Feud'.
The midyear championship is always one of the most recruited events of the season. It features most of the top junior volleyball clubs in the country, many who only compete in JVA events during the regular season, and the JVA World Challenge is the opportunity to see them compete under one roof for the first time before AAU Nationals.
The 18 Open division was the strongest 18 Open field in JVA history. Every match was like a championship match, and all matches were professionally live streamed on FloVolleyball all weekend. Teams among all divisions who had not lost a tournament all season or were used to finishing in Gold were knocked off their pedestal. View this year's Wall of Champions. The top two teams in each division earn a paid entry to the 2017 AAU National Championships in June.
Chris adds "the JVA also added full production value to the championship courts for Sunday, having the matches streamed live from multiple camera angles, as well as announcers introducing players ahead of the finals. As a reporter, none of that really matters to me, but from a production value and making the tournament an 'event' for the participating teams, that's awesome for them."
Until this year, the JVA World Challenge rotated playing sites to allow for new clubs and new regions to experience the event. Past World Challenge events have been held in Louisville, New Orleans, Houston, and Kansas City. Now that the JVA has established events with a similar model in various locations across the U.S., the JVA World Challenge is scheduled to stay in Louisville through 2021.
"JVA's economic impact on the city of Louisville is substantial, over $11 million each year to be exact. As JVA events continue to grow at the scale that newer events JVA Rock 'N Rumble and JVA SummerFest have in their second year, JVA's multi-million dollar economic impact on host-cities is sure to be a trend. JVA Director of Events Zach Colston is proud of the positive impact JVA events are having on these cities and had this to say about this seasons' JVA World Challenge:
"We were absolutely thrilled with this years' JVA World Challenge event and making our return to Louisville. Although we host multiple events throughout each club season, World Challenge is our mid-year championship and our premier event of the year. From the TeamSnap Coaches Lounge to Team Feud hosted by Rox Volleyball to the Kentucky Derby's official bugler playing the national anthem, we do our best to make this a memorable experience for everyone in attendance. We are excited to return to Louisville again next year and beyond."
Team of the Day contestant "hitting the dab" to enter the Snapchat Contest
The JVA guarantees that teams leave the World Challenge with a lasting impact, even if they didn't win the highly fought after championship. Team of the Day contests, t-shirt give-aways, raffles, and clever social media engagement allows for fun team bonding and memories to last a lifetime.
JVA Club Director Joe Steenhuysen from FaRout who's teams won the 16 Premier and 15 Premier divisions shares his experience:
"A wonderful JVA World event we really enjoyed ourselves. You and your team ran a fantastic tournament. Great communication, great officiating, great level of competition, venue, etc. were all outstanding. Thanks for all your efforts and have a great rest your week."
A spectator feels the same.
There is already something special in the works for next season that, if all goes according to plan, could make the JVA World Challenge stand alone.
Save the date for next year: April 6-8, 2018
About the Junior Volleyball Association
The Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the growth of youth and junior volleyball through program and resource development, education and events. The organization was formed in 2006 with a primary focus of being a voice for junior volleyball club directors and coaches, and to this day is the only organization that is focused entirely on youth and junior volleyball.