Finalised: Volleyball England’s 2019-20 competitions
30th April 2020
A decision has been made on how Volleyball England competitions that were left unresolved because of the coronavirus will be concluded.
For the past 5 weeks, the Competitions Working Group has worked tirelessly to gather enough information to be able to reach a decision that is fair, transparent, and applied equally across Volleyball England leagues and cup competitions.
By pooling together research from decisions made by other sporting bodies and feedback from a consultation with team secretaries, we have explored 8 different options and, following Board approval, have come to the following decisions.
National Volleyball League
Each unplayed fixture has been scored a draw, splitting the available points equally between both sides. It is important to stress that while this decision finalises league standings, it does not automatically determine which teams are promoted and relegated. Promotions and relegations are impacted by other factors, such as the number of confirmed league teams for the 2020/21 season, and this decision will be made in due course. There will be no MVP award winners this season.
Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix
The Competitions Working Group has decided the best option is to conclude the season, with the current standings being the finals results, because all teams have had an equal opportunity to play the same number of matches.
Age grade championships
With so few games left unplayed, we feel it is not right to award joint winners. Instead, we are giving teams the option of arranging a final. For the U18’s competition, other unresolved matches must be played before the final can be staged. For the U15’s competition, as this has not reached the same stage as others, it is again not possible to declare winners. We are looking into the possibility of holding a one-day tournament, per gender, which would enable the competition to be concluded.
NVL Cup and Shield
The only matches yet to be contested in the Cup and Shield competitions are the finals. We feel that awarding joint winners is not the right thing to do and we are therefore looking to rearrange these games when it is appropriate to do so. Rearranged finals are dependent on finalists agreeing to these fixtures.
The Competitions Working Group chose to apply a mathematical formula rather than looking at matches subjectively. If you would like to find out more about how these decisions were reached and what it means for each competition, click here.
Where appropriate, medals will be awarded to the winners and runners-up of finalised competitions.
Please note that the Inter Regional Championships, Sitting Cup and beach competitions were not within the scope of this solution-finding process because they were not in progress. Volleyball England will assess the possibility of running the Inter Regional Championships and Sitting Cup as ‘return to volleyball’ events. This will be subject to teams’ desire, venue availability and other considerations. We will also be working with UK Beach Tour and other beach volleyball providers to assist where we can when the lockdown is over.
Appeals on the decisions to finalise competitions must be submitted by 5pm on Thursday, 7th May 2020. These will then be considered by a judicial panel in line with NVL Regulation G7. Once the appeals process has been completed, finalised tables will be published.
Difficult times, difficult decisions
James Murphy, Competitions Working Group Lead, said: “Finalising this year’s competitions is one of the hardest things this working group has ever been tasked to do.
“We believe our process has been very detailed and inclusive and want to thank everyone that’s engaged with us. In these extraordinary times we have had to make some tough calls and understand the impact these decisions may have on teams.
“Some countries have decided to void seasons, but we felt that it was extremely important that the hard work teams have put in this season needed to be rewarded.
“In these uncertain times, we anticipate this will be the first of a number of tough decisions we will have to make.”