NVVA's plan for an in-person winter season experience with adjustments for the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, parents, and staff.
Practices, camps, and clinics
Teams are now allowed to play 2x2, 3x3, and 4x4 team drills. This will allow coaches to run some of the athletes’ favorite drills. While this is still not the full team of players on the court, it provides more game-like situations for the players. We will continue to avoid drills that require having athletes face to face close to the net.
We will continue to require athletes to wear masks at all times in the facility. It takes time to adjust to them, but our players are doing well, and we feel that this precaution is still necessary to prevent possible transmission within the facility.
We feel safe in loosening this restriction now, however, we may need to bring court spacing back following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. With the holidays in mind, we have decided to substitute the first two tournament weekends in January (01/02-03 and 01/09-10) with extra practices for our teams. We don’t think it is safe to invite other teams to play against our athletes in our facility, or to bring our athletes to the tournament within the first few weeks after the holiday when cases have the potential to surge. What that means to your family is that instead of a tournament that weekend, we will be hosting an internal activity with the teams, to be decided in the next couple of weeks, based on cases.
I want to thank all of our families, coaches, and athletes for following our guidelines and communicating openly and quickly with our staff. Because of this cooperation, we have not had notifications of COVID spread within our facility. Parents have been helpful in keeping athletes that had been exposed outside of the facility away from practices and the other athletes. While the numbers of COVID cases in the larger community continue to increase, the measures we have taken at NVVA are working, and we feel that decreasing the spacing requirements on the court is safe at this time.
Consistent with the state's department of health Loudoun County has been designated as a phase 3 area. NVVA is adhering to all applicable public health guidance for this designation.
All in-person tournaments require face masks and physical distancing. NVVA’s President/CEO has approved very few in-person, NVVA organized tournaments. Weekend tournaments will have NO spectators, and coaches MUST wear masks at ALL times. Athletes must wear masks at all times and may remove their masks while playing and are free to keep their masks on if desired. Tournament schedules have been modified to lower the hours’ athletes and coaches are in the facility.
Practices, camps, and clinics
NVVA has limited the number of programs and team offerings to avoid overcrowding our facilities. Athletes must wear masks at all times and may remove their masks while playing and are free to keep their masks on if desired. Coaches MUST wear masks at ALL times. No spectators are allowed to watch practices.
Winter season is quickly approaching. NVVA plans to continue with an in-person winter semester with the same modes of instruction as the current fall semester. This is subject to change depending on trends in disease prevalence and guidance from state and local governments. Athletes can begin registering for winter programs now.
The end of the 2020 volleyball season will be marked in history as one of the most difficult for every volleyball club in the nation. Trying to figure out the unknown future with COVID-19 was challenging for every volleyball club manager, parent, and athlete. As the President/CEO of the Northern Virginia Volleyball Association (NVVA), an organization with more than 2500 members, I had to make quick and tough decisions to keep our participipants, coaches, and staff safe.
At the beginning of March, when the pandemic was quickly spreading, we made the difficult choice to close our 40,000 square feet facility even before the government ordered it. My team and I immediately launched into planning mode. We recorded hundreds of hours of content for athletes to consume virtually, including podcasts and training videos. We published a COVID-19 resource website, arranged for volleyball and weight-training equipment to be picked up by NVVA families, strategize how to build outdoor courts in our parking lot, and researched every possible safety precaution for when we were able to return.
Though the athletes were not physically at our facility, we could virtually connect with them by using tools we were already familiar with like Google Meet, Youtube, team genius and Ecamm live, among other technologies we work with daily.
I have always placed a strong focus on establishing robust processes and utilizing automation for our organization. But now more than ever, I realized the importance of these tools. During the mist of the pandemic, my wife and I were gifted with our first child's birth, which has undoubtedly been more than a blessing. To keep my newborn child safe, I could not physically be at the club side-by-side with my team. But because of our technology platforms and an excellent team of staff and coaches, we were able to adapt quickly to the pandemic's constraints, and I could lead remotely.
I wish the best of luck to our volleyball clubs for the upcoming club volleyball season as we embark on this unknown journey. We play an essential role in our athletes' mental and physical health during these uncertain times. Keep in mind that the more robust your management process, the better your organization will handle challenging situations and make the best decisions.