VolleyZone: what's the aim?
14th November 2019
The online portal VolleyZone was introduced in the summer as Volleyball England strives to create a platform that is the home of the volleyball community.
Since the VolleyZone project commenced, creating such an important resource has come with challenges.
“There is no hiding that implementing VolleyZone has had some challenges,” says Sam Jamieson, Deputy CEO of Volleyball England. “We have learned a lot and each week we are gaining a better understanding of what is required to be successful with this project to create the portal volleyball needs.
“We would like to thank the membership for their patience as we have moved to the new system. We’re very grateful for your support, so many of you are using the system and working with us to resolve issues you have found. We continue to work hard with the contracted developers to readdress the timelines and help deliver a platform that gives the volleyball community the services it needs.”
Several thousand users are already active on VolleyZone and the system provides access to all memberships, including club, coach and referee, as well as having been used for team and player registrations across all competitions.
Encouraging even more people to have a VolleyZone account is an important goal, as Volleyball England looks to gain a better understanding of who is part of the volleyball community.
“The aim is to have a portal which all those involved in the sport can be part of,” says Sam. “There are so many people out there making the sport happen, many of whom we don’t have contact with or even know of. Volleyball England wants to provide a great service to as many people in our sport as possible and to do this we need to know who you are and what services you would like.
“If volleyball is to make a bigger impact in this country then we, as a sport, need to bring everyone together in a central platform that is the home of volleyball resources and services. This will also strengthen volleyball’s case when it comes to approaching potential partners and funders, which could help boost the sport’s impact.”
Creating a platform that will help change the sport was always going to be a big task, but Sam admits with that big ambition has come big challenges.
“We regret that many of you have encountered problems with the system and that this has caused frustrations. As the system develops, there may be other hiccups but the developers are becoming better at ironing them out and understand more what is required. This season’s experience of using VolleyZone has been invaluable. Now the system is becoming more established, processes will get easier for everyone and the system will keep improving.”
“It will take time but having this type of platform is something that the sport is missing – and it will play a big part in creating new opportunities for volleyball.”
With reduced central funding, there is more pressure on all sports to become more self-sufficient so it was imperative that the system launched for the 2019-20 season to begin to move forward with creating this portal. It was also important to alter processes to be more efficient, saving time for hub staff and members. This included Volleyball England only accepting card payments through VolleyZone.
“As we operate under tighter financial constraints, the hub needs to work as efficiently as possible,” says Sam. “Only accepting card payments has become commonplace for many businesses and it makes the process of handling payments more streamlined for the hub. The labour intensity of accepting payments through multiple platforms is inefficient and means more time is spent on administration and less time on volleyball development.”
“Change is challenging, but everything Volleyball England is striving towards is about being able to have a bigger impact on volleyball. This means becoming more efficient and insight driven so that we can take the sport to the next level in a sustainable way.”
For anyone needing assistance, there is a VolleyZone Guides section which has helpful tutorial videos and the hub staff are on hand on 01509 227722 to offer support too. There are also some VolleyZone FAQs which cna help too.