2020 has been a challenge for sporting events and for the gyms and facilities that host them. This is true for the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball, too.
We want to take a moment to explain why we have a Spectator Policy in place this season.
Our current spectator policy states, “A maximum of 3 (three) spectators per team will be allowed per tournament’” if allowed and depending on the facility’s occupancy guidelines.
The policy was approved in September at the beginning of the junior boys’ tournaments and has been working. The cities of Tempe and Chandler have said we’re doing a “good job” with managing COVID protocols at the boys’ tourneys and we’ll be evaluating this policy as often as possible and throughout the girls’ club season.
You may be wondering why cities would be weighing in on how we’re doing.
Arizona’s city and state governments are in control of occupancy levels at local gyms and facilities. Not the region.
In fact, not a single facility has been cleared for 100% occupancy to date.
We're actually very grateful to be able to allow 3 spectators per team as we were originally told we would not be able to allow ANY spectators.
The facilities want to stay in business. And we want to help them stay in business so the kids can continue to play volleyball.
In addition to spectator guidelines, the Arizona Region has COVID waivers, check-in procedures, temperature checks, etc. You can find more information here.
We completely understand why parents don’t like these restrictions. We understand this is a hurdle for families traveling from far away. We understand the additional frustration that comes along with losing our freedoms during this pandemic.
The policies are not meant to keep parents away. In fact, it's just the opposite. We are wanting for parents to help us keep the kids active. Parents and guardians are the ones doing the leg work of making sure their kids are coming to practices and games healthy and ready to play without further spreading the virus.
We know how difficult it was for families to find out we had to cancel tournaments and end the last season early. We don't want to make these difficult decisions again.
It is our responsibility at the region to keep down the spread of the virus. Period. The consequences of not abiding by government regulations mean the loss of club volleyball for all kids. So, we’re working diligently behind the scenes to make sure the kids can play. We’ll have to keep these policies in place until we’re told otherwise.
One final clarification. Club volleyball and high school volleyball have two completely different set of circumstances regarding spectator policies.
A high school volleyball match has one court and two teams competing in a gym. Bleachers are available with lots of room for spectators to socially distance themselves. A club volleyball tournament, on the other hand, has anywhere from two to six courts in one gym. Bleachers typically are not available and courts are in close proximity to each other. These two scenarios are not comparable.
Also note, school districts work and operate sports in conjunction with their local health districts and the AIA to host high school volleyball matches.
We at the Arizona Region, which oversees club volleyball, must work directly with gym facility owners and schools. The facility owners are working with the local and state governments to maintain their ability to remain open.
We are incredibly appreciative of the parents, clubs, coaches, and officials who follow the guidelines. Our only goal throughout all of this is to keep our teams healthy so they can continue to play.
Feel free to contact us at the Arizona Region anytime. We're always looking for volunteers and great ideas!