Delta Region News: January 15, 2006

Since most junior teams have either begun play or will begin in the next couple of weeks, we wanted to pass along a few pieces of information.

1)  New clubs:  Jackson, Tennessee doubled the number of Junior volleyball teams with Jackson Spirits and Jackson Jrs.  Keith Haney is launching a new club in Tupelo, Mississippi and Daisey Acosta is starting the Mississippi Impact club in Jackson, Mississippi.  Please do your best to encourage these new clubs and players in their inaugural season.

2)  New name:  Delta Force-Collierville VBC is now Delta Force.  Rebecca Kuntzmann is the club director.

3)  On-line registration update:  Club directors should be able to download roster information into an Excel format to create lists for rosters, birthdays, phone lists, etc.  Uniform numbers, shoe sizes, jump reach and other information can be added to your database.  Big thanks to all of the club administrators who helped make this conversion to on-line registration successful.

4)  Bid Qualifier:  April 8 in Jonesboro at ASU.  Competing teams must commit to attending the Junior National Championships in Atlanta.  Deadline for entry will be in February; more details coming soon to club directors.

5) Open tournament dates:  If you want to host a tournament, contact the Delta Region office for details.  There is a tremendous need for non-elite tournaments–especially for #2 teams and non-established programs.  Hosting a quality event is hard work, but the need exists.  Memphis Metro has added an April 22 tournament for 12s-17s and Golden Trianagle is hosting their first tournament for 13s & 15s on March 4 in Starkville.  Little Rock Juniors are hosting their first tournament in the Little Rock Convention Center on March 18-19 for 13s-18s.  All of these are noted on the Events Schedule on the Region web site.

6)  Officiating video:  Each club director should have received a copy of the “We R1” junior officiating video, which is great tool for club officiating clinics.  This video gives practical guidance to young officials.  Junior Official and Junior Scorekeeper pins have been ordered for those juniors who complete their officiating requirements.  Club Directors can keep up with their juniors’ completion of requirements and notify the Region office of their junior officials and scorekeepers.

7)  PowerPoint Scorekeeping presentation:  Available on the Delta Region web site, this is a great way to learn to keep score properly.  Done in a group setting with a video projector, clubs can teach their scorekeepers good techniques. The on-line scorekeepers’ exam will help determine your scorekeepers’ understanding of the rules.

8)  Adults as refs and scorekeepers:  Any parents who plan to help their teams by officiating and scorekeeping need to become members of the Delta Region.  Otherwise, they are not insured during matches, nor are they protected from liability if a player is injured due to their error during a match.  It just isn’t worth it.  Adults working with children must complete the background screening, join the Delta Region and pass the officiating or scorekeeping requirements.

9)  Junior players as coaches:  Must be at least 18 years old and go through background screening to be a coach in the Delta Region.  Must also complete IMPACT training.

10)  High Performance update:  Due to changes in the national USA Volleyball HP Championships, the Delta Region will not field a HP team, but will instead offer a tryout for the 2006 HP Camp to be held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas in May.  Coach Justin Dee will again host this camp, which will be open to 14 & under players.  More information to come on these tryouts and the 2006 HP Camp.

11)  Delta Region Board of Directors positions are open.  Nominations will soon be solicited on the Region web site and votes will be cast by team representatives.  Nominations will be include the nominee’s volleyball resume and their qualifications for serving on the Board of this non-profit corporation.  With our reach across three states, having a wide representation of members is important.

12)  Having an issue finding volleyballs at a reasonable price?  Tachikara is offering a discount on most of their balls and accessories when ordered in bulk.  Their SV5W Gold is priced at $33.20 plus shipping and their hammock-style ball cart (BC-HAM) is $79.95.  If these prices are significantly better than what you’re paying, e-mail the Region office and we’ll send you direct ordering information.

13)  Some inquiries have been made about hosting a CAP I and II coaching clinic in the Delta Region, perhaps during the month of May.  The break-even point for these clinics is about 25 coaches, due to the expense of bringing in CAP cadre instructors and site expenses.  If you think you’d like to take on this task, we’ll try to get on the national calendar for 2006 or 2007–just let the office know if you would be interested in the clinic and whether CAP I or CAP II.  We’ll review the possible sites and come up with a plan.

14)  Tournament directors are not required to provide medical care for injured athletes, but it is recommended that site managers have emergency phone numbers and the site address available, plus directions to the nearest hospital.  Incident reports should be carried by all coaches and maintained at all tournament sites–these should be submitted whenever an injury occurs, even if as simple as a sprained knee.  This is the first line of defense for club coaches and directors and should not be ignored.

15)  Coaches are reminded they have an obligation to fulfill their officiating requirements at the end of a tournament.  If a team simply leaves after their last match and does not stay for their officiating assignment, they are subject to suspension and penalties from the Region.  Most of all, it teaches athletes a poor lesson about responsibility. Please encourage your parents & coaches to support this.

16)  We’ll be adding a new page to the Delta Region web site for college contacts.  Matt Linebarger is the new head coach at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS (Div III) and is looking for academically-gifted athletes for the 2006 fall season.  Same goes for Bill Burnside at Lambuth University (NAIA) in Jackson, TN.  There are examples of  great volleyball opportunities in smaller schools located across this part of the country.

17)  Parental/fan behavior is an issue in all sports.  However, club directors and coaches can help curb unreasonable behavior by reminding their team members that sportsmanship is a part of youth athletics.  If you haven’t seen the videos on the 2006 USA Volleyball program CD, check with your club director. There are some great examples of kids turning the tables on adults. We cannot emulate the behaviors we see in professional athletics, nor can we allow poor attitudes to damage a young athlete’s enjoyment of the game.  Remind your fans and athletes:

  • Calls almost never get changed.  It’s generally a wasted effort anyway.
  • If they are lousy officials, then a call will probably fall your way pretty soon.
  • Sometimes a poor reaction translates into multiple points–teams must learn to let one point be one point.
  • A fan at a volleyball match does not have the right to yell at another person’s child–it isn’t right.
  • If yelling at kids works so well, why doesn’t the English instructor scream at them and throw chairs?

18)  Finally, since tournament play is beginning, please remind your parents that we do not live in a safe world.   Remind them to avoid carrying valuables to tournaments and leaving them in plain view in the front seat of their car…or in the gym.  (Insurance does not cover such losses or broken car windows.)  More importantly, remind players to observe caution when they “just run outside to their car” or “dash to the bathroom.”  There is strength in numbers and keeping your athletes safe is your #1 priority.

Have a great season!

Joe