October 26, 18
To all Parents, Players, and Club Directors,
In the positive spirit of a growing region, not only in size but in competition, the Arizona Region has elected to move 4 of our 6 days of Open Division competition for our 2019 season to Sundays. This decision is not one we as a committee and board have taken lightly. Due to the many years of discussion, deliberating, and debating, we are inclined to finally make this move to Sundays for the 2019 Open Division. Due to mixed feelings, I would like to take the opportunity to explain the process, circumstances, and reason leading up to our conclusion.
I understand the natural instinct is judgment and assumption upon those who make the “changes” to our schedule - a schedule which seemed perfectly fine to many. Since the inception of my position as Arizona Region Junior Division Coordinator, the concept of playing on Sundays has always been a pressed issue. For many of these years, we were able to sufficiently provide a high quality and safe atmosphere for all divisions participating in Saturday competition. As the Arizona Region continues to grow, however, the time has come to shift a division to Sunday play.
From 2016 to the most recent season of 2018, the quality and quantity of gyms available to our growing program quickly diminished. We also have seen the decline of available officials at all tournament sites and weekends. Many concerns and complaints have been made - and heard - primarily surrounding these two issues of sites and officials.
For the past 20 years, the region has turned down the idea of scheduling a division on Sundays. Now, though, to maintain the safety, overflow, last-minute cancellations of gymnasiums, lack of officials, and ACT/SAT testing, we have voted to move the Open Division to Sunday.
Why the Open division? The majority of Open teams travel more frequently than any other division. Open traveling teams always play away tournaments on Sundays. Therefore, holding Sunday play for the Open Division makes natural sense.
When approaching the Officials Director Committee with the prospect of “Sunday Play”, it was expressed to us the schedule transfer would be a positive move. The forward motion would generate interest among quality officials by providing them the opportunity to officiate back-to-back days… Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, officials who travel from neighboring regions to officiate for us would be more likely to work our local weekend tournaments as it would be well worth their time and effort.
Sunday play is not new throughout the U.S. The Arizona Region is one of the only regions which have maintained Saturday tournaments over all these years. We are proud of this and have been fortunate to be able to handle such a big task which seems impossible for many others. Moving just one division to Sunday provides flexibility to our tournament schedule resulting in little to no facility cancellations allowing us the opportunity to provide teams, clubs, and families a better overall customer experience, as well.
We respectfully acknowledge Sunday is a day of religious affiliation, spiritual worship, and valued family time. Please note these components are very important to myself and all other region board and committee members. It is not our intention to control, upset or to take away those affiliations and opportunities. We preserve Club and Championship division play on Saturdays.
If Sunday play is what you are wanting to avoid, we offer the option of our competitive Championship Division which we foresee to continue to grow the game and competition of the club, team and individual. More participation in the Championship Division will only enhance the top level of competition, therefore providing the similar competition of the more vigorous Open games.
We feel confident and hopeful you will understand our position as a board and committee. This decision has not been an easy process. Given the detailed explanation, we do not expect you to agree or even support Sunday play. We simply ask you to understand the process and years it has taken us to get here.
We look forward to this upcoming season for junior girls. Our purpose remains the same; Promote, govern, oversee, plan and coordinate amateur indoor and outdoor volleyball in the Arizona Region in order to provide a variety of opportunities for all interested parties to participate in a safe, positive and appropriately competitive environment.
Junior Division Coordinator