Glendale Arena Hosts Girl's High School State
to all the participants of the AIA State Championships.
to all who supported this event at the Glendale Arena. It makes
a difference for our sport!
on the Division to see the tournament bracket finish.
It was first brought up in 2002.
venue, over 100 high school volleyball teams, and the best
each division has to offer.
till 2005, but this past November, the dream became a reality.
Arizona High School Volleyball Championships crowned 7 different
division champions over the weekend of November
4th and 5th as the Glendale arena was
the one-stop shop for athletes, parents, coaches, fans, recruiters and
of Arizona head coach Dave Rubio attended the event and said, “Overall,
it was a very positive step for high school volleyball for the state of
Arizona. I could feel the energy level as soon as I walked
into the arena! I thought that
all the teams and the players, parents and support groups made for a lively
Schmidt, the Assistant Executive Director of the Arizona Interscholastic
Association, (AIA), which is the governing
body of high school athletics
in Arizona, was equally upbeat about his organizations first crack at
a one venue
From a lot of the feedback I’ve received, the kids really enjoyed the event
and coaches as well.” Schmidt said. “The 1A kids were on the same
stage as the 5A kids and the crowd had an opportunity to witness all that and
the energy in the facility was absolutely fantastic. You had crowds cheering
all the time. It was a lot of fun.”
were distressed about the scheduling which became erratic at
times. In some cases, teams that were scheduled to
play at a certain time
hours before, much to the dismay of parents and fans who had driven
great distances and bought tickets to enter only to find their team
Schmidt states, “In all of our correspondence with the schools, we had
thrown out information to the athletic administrators and the coaches that this
event is a first come first serve court basis and we needed a worse case scenario
of approximate game time. At one point, we were actually about two hours ahead
of schedule which is what we told most of the 4A and 5A coaches where we would
be. But then we had a few teams show up late and that caused us to have to wait
and then we got into the worst case scenario. Had we been able to stay and fill
the courts and keep it moving, we wouldn’t have had those issues.”
criticism was the televising of just the 4A Division II and
the 5A Division I matches. Schmidt understands
the concerns of the
teams, but was bound
by a contractual agreement.
We’ve had a contract with Cox Communications for the past three years.
The division split occurred after we had signed that agreement.” Schmidt
recalled. “What ended up happening were the conferences that got split
into the divisions, we already had a contract in place for the televising of
volleyball for both 4A and 5A. So Cox can televise two games, which have historically
been the 4A and 5A games. And while we are trying to give equal exposure to each
division we have to sometimes choose between which sport is going to be televised.
As an example, we did 4A division II volleyball, but in softball we’ll
probably do 4A division I. That was out of our control.”
Canyon University head coach Kris Naber enjoyed the chance
to see so many high level athletes in one venue. “As
a college recruiter, the format was very beneficial to seeing
a ton of teams in one location, on one day. Playing
at the Glendale Arena had to have given the athletes a feeling
of playing in the big time.”
Her only complaint was the playing of several of the finals at
the same time. “I
felt like having that many championship matches going at the same time, it overshadowed
the specialty of being one of the two finalists.” Naber
We’re going to evaluate the overall format of the tournament and I think
we can make some positive changes to how we’ll schedule those games.” Schmidt
says, but acknowledges that the AIA’s hands are tied until the legislative
council agrees on a 2 out of 3 game format or a 3 out of 5 game format for the
2006 season. Until that decision is made, the AIA will take a wait and see attitude.
Yet Schmidt agrees, “There are definitely some things that
we are going to improve on as we do with all of our tournaments.”
I think the biggest thing I’d like to improve on is creating a scenario
where the event is a little more fan friendly and a little more specific as far
as how it will work. But we have to wait and see what will happen with the 2
out of 3 or 3 out of 5.” Schmidt says.
Schmidt is proud to call this first time around a success and
think next year we’re going to have an even bigger
and better event.”
Girl's Open Division Format Offering More Play in Less Tourneys
teams that are entering the Open Division this 2005-2006 season
are in for some changes.
Junior Board of the Arizona Region voted this summer to overhaul
the way Open Division tournaments are played to give those
Open teams more matches and still allow for enough free weekends
to play the variety of National tournaments and Qualifiers
that dot the landscape of the club calendar.
format was the 6 or 8 team bracket currently used in the Club
Division. The new format will consist of pool play in the morning
followed by a tournament bracket. This gives those Open Division
teams a minimum of 5 matches in the all-day tournament as opposed
to the three they previously played with the Club format.
though the Junior Board gave the Open Division one less tournament
than last season they will play more matches - 20 matches in
four tournaments versus the 15 matches they played last year
in five tournaments - an increase of 25% more matches for the
Junior Board was joined by various college coaches in seeing
the need for the Open Division to garner more matches throughout
the season. With this change, the Region is on it's way
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