Changes announced to NVL format

20th March 2018

Changes announced to NVL format

The National Volleyball League (NVL) is to be restructured for the 2018/2019 season.

The biggest change comes at the top of the pyramid with the men’s and women’s Super 8s to be expanded to ten teams. The competition will be rebranded and given a new name which will be announced soon. With a more extensive league competition, there will no longer be the Super 8 Playoffs at the end of the 2018-19 season, instead the winners of the top tier will be crowned as the champions of England.

“As most people know, Volleyball England, like many sports, has had its funding cut,” explains Freda Bussey, Volleyball England’s competitions and events director. “Unfortunately, the cost of running the Super 8 Finals is unsustainable and while some of the top clubs were approached to see if they could host the event, none are currently in the position to be able to. The board has agreed to ‘mothball’ the Super 8 Finals until a sponsor can be found or a team is able to host the finals.

“The top divisions in the men’s and women’s game will still be a showcase of the top level of volleyball in this country. With more matches and more teams, there will be more action on court and more players will get to test themselves against the very best talents in the NVL."

Promotions up for grabs

The change to the top tiers adds an interesting spice to the end of the current campaign, as more teams are needed to be promoted to create the new league structure, and there will still be relegations.

Teams will be promoted from the divisions below to get leagues up to the ideal number of ten. While there will be promotion/relegation playoffs between some divisions to promote more teams, or give teams the chance of swapping divisions. The bottom teams in each league will still be relegated.

As the current men’s and women’s league structure is different, the system for deciding promotions and relegations varies. To find out exactly how the promotions and relegations will work, you can download ‘NVL Promotion and Relegation Regulation Amendment for Men’ and the ‘NVL Promotion and Relegation Regulation Amendment for Women,’ from the NVL competitions page.


Coaching rule

The 2018/2019 season will also see the regulation requiring all NVL clubs to be supported by a Level 2 qualified and registered coach come into focus.

The rule was brought in several years ago to help drive forward the standards of coaching and playing of volleyball in this country. However, recent research revealed that over a third of NVL clubs still need to find a Level 2 qualified coach.

To help clubs become compliant with the regulation, the full implementation of the rule has been staggered:

  •          Clubs who currently have a level two registered coach must remain compliant.
  •          All teams in the top tier and Division 1 need to have a Level 2 qualified coach by the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
  •          For Division 2 teams, their deadline is the start of the 2019/20 season.
  •          Division 3 teams have an extra year and must have a Level 2 coach by the start of the 2020/21 season.

The deadlines apply to teams based on the division they will be playing in next season.

To be considered compliant with the rule, a team must have a coach who is at least registered as a learner on a Level 2 coaching course, appearing on their team’s Volleyball England page.

Teams which fail to meet the deadline will be sanctioned and deducted one league point for each match it plays until they become compliant.

“The mission of Volleyball England is to be ‘committed to leading the growth of, and excellence in, all disciplines of volleyball in England,’” explains competitions working group lead, James Murphy. “The rule change was added to the regulations a number of years ago to support this aim and teams have had several years to become compliant.”

“By delaying full implementation of the rule, we’re helping teams to become compliant and having a level two coach will benefit their team. The Volleyball England HUB are ready to support clubs by offering level two coaching courses.”

Teams who need to become compliant and have a coach interested in taking a Level 2 course are asked to email coaching@volleyballengland.org to register their interest so courses can be organised.

“We’re ready to support the clubs and offer level two courses,” says technical and talent coordinator, Gillian Harrison. “We ask that clubs contact us to register their interest and we can organise courses when we have enough attendees.”

“Teams can often receive grants from sporting organisations which can help to send their coaches on courses. Check out the UK Coaching ‘Funding Opportunities for Coaching in the UK’ guide and also contact your local County Sports Partnership about funding for coaching courses.”

“For some teams, their coach may have an equivalent coaching qualification from another country. Visit the Overseas Qualifications page on the Volleyball England website which has more information and explains how you can find out if a qualification is classed as an equivalent to an English award.”

Changes announced to NVL format