Saturday, 3 June 2023

International Volleyball

Tawa’s Club Dots: Club volleyball teams cashing in on second chances

Tawa’s Club Dots: Club volleyball teams cashing in on second chances

This is “Dots,”’s weekly look at 10 things in club volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Look for Dots every week through Junior Nationals this summer:

• “What are my chances?”

“Not good”

“Meaning not good, like one out of a hundred?”

“I’d say more like one out of a million.”

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance … Yeah!!”

Those are the lines from an unforgettable scene between Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly in the 1994 cult classic, Dumb and Dumber.

They sum up what teams are feeling that qualified with At-Large bids for the Open divisions at USA Volleyball Junior Nationals this summer in Chicago, and their odds of turning an At-Large bid into Gold.

• USA Volleyball’s system is designed so that all teams vying for Open Division placement at Junior Nationals will qualify at one of 12 National Qualifiers.

Three bids per qualifier. Twelve qualifiers. Thirty-six Open teams per age. Easy.

Sometimes, with multiple qualifiers stacked on the same weekend, field sizes are not large enough for three bids to be awarded. There must be a minimum of 24 teams registered to play Open for the qualifier to give out three bids.

Other times, the field is large enough, but there are many teams in the field already with Open bids. Bids are allowed to “trickle down,” but not beyond eighth place (or 50 percent of field size). If six or more already-qualified teams finish high, there might not be three bid-seeking teams finishing among the top eight.

That’s how At-Large bids are created. They are for the best teams that did not qualify for Open at a National Qualifier.

The history-making Flying Chickens:
First Row: Samantha Bird, Heather Lyon, Katie York
Second Row: Joselyn Johnson, Kasey Goth
Third Row: Amanda McCormick, Abbi Blackburn, Dave Pilkington (head coach), Kimi Freeburg, Stacie Baldwin (assistant coach)

• In 2002, I attended my first USA Volleyball Junior Olympic National Championships. They were held that year in Sandy, Utah, just south of Salt Lake City.

Two years before, a Munciana team had won the 15 Open national championship. The same core group, known officially as the “Munciana Hokies,” in 2002, failed to qualify for the 24-team 17 Open field through the national qualifying process. There were only eight qualifiers at that time: SCVA, Far Western, Crossroads, Lone Star, Northern Lights, Mideast, Northeast and Tampa Bay. 8…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at…