JVA, AAU, or USAV: What’s the Best Path for Our Volleyball Community?
Over the past several weeks, it has come to our attention that a few local clubs have decided to commit to affiliating with JVA. As the process has unfolded, both misunderstanding and rumors have spread. We felt that it was necessary to share our stance on affiliation and express our excitement for this upcoming club season.
Our position on USAV vs. AAU is simple. We believe both organizations have positive and negative aspects in regards to our affiliation. We’ve actually contemplated this issue for more than two years. This last year, we actually sent two teams to AAU Nationals. Those teams reported that their overall experience was positive. From our perspective, this experience opened up the door to allow individual teams to choose which event best meets their needs.
In regards to JVA (Junior Volleyball Association), we have examined the travel requirements and competition opportunities and have determined that the commitment is more than simply playing in many of the events that we currently participate in. Participating in USAV events does not hinder teams from participating in JVA or AAU events. In 2013, our teams will compete in the Asics President’s Day Classic (included in club fees) and multiple local USAV tournaments that do not require driving beyond Lincoln. Our teams that choose to participate in a USAV national qualifier will have the opportunity to attend an event within driving distance (Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, and St. Louis). Some teams may choose additional travel events, but that will be at the discretion of each individual team.
We know that club volleyball is expensive. We know that parent’s money is hard earned. We spend considerable time every year examining our club costs to make Elite Club Volleyball more affordable. If you examine what’s included in our price, you’ll quickly see that cost versus your return on investment is far greater with Nebraska Elite. Our price includes practices twice per week, optional additional positional specific training for all age groups and our practices begin in November for most teams. Our price also includes the tournament entry fee for the President’s Day Classic. If you want Elite Quality training in an atmosphere that stresses attention to detail, a strong work ethic, and sacrifice to be successful, then we are your best choice.
After spending considerable time examining which organization best represents the interest of our volleyball community, it become clear to us that this decision needs to be based on individual team dynamics. Each team has different objectives. Some of our teams have aspirations of winning a true open championship, while other teams are looking for controlled cost and extended training. Therefore, we’ve determined that we will compete in USAV qualifiers and allow our individual teams to decide which route (USAV or AAU Nationals) their team will pursue.
AAU Nationals are a great opportunity to compete in a National Championship with a fixed cost and early travel commitment. USAV Junior Olympics provide high quality competition through its qualification requirements. USAV is also the same organization that fundraises and provides resources for USA National Team. A percentage of all junior fees go to support Olympians like former-Nebraska Elite player Jordan Larson.
It is the position of Nebraska Elite to maintain a professional stance on issues regarding affiliation. We look forward to great competition this year with all clubs regardless of affiliation. At the end of the day, we are committed to training every player to compete at the highest level and providing an experience that will last forever.