An update on Volleyball England’s 20/21 indoor season plans
25th June 2020
Volleyball England’s Competitions Working Group launched a consultation on our 2020/21 indoor season at the end of May. As that process is now complete, we can share the common themes from the feedback and let you know about the next steps.
Thank you to everyone that shared their thoughts, it was an extremely useful exercise which produced several key messages:
- Sacrificing the Cup and Shield competitions to enable as full an NVL programme as possible was viewed as the right thing to do.
- Some people said fixtures meetings are a step forward as they would make the fixtures process quicker and easier while others felt they are a backward step. There were many practical questions about the process.
- There was a lot of concern that when lockdown ends, many facilities would not be open or able to confirm future availability.
- There was concern that university sides and teams using school venues might face additional difficulties when it comes to venues.
- The feedback from UKBT, which surveyed the beach community, and Volleyball England’s Beach Volleyball Lead Phil Smith was clear and unequivocal: please allow the beach season to run as normal, particularly in the run up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The feedback fell into three main categories: 1) The beach season is short enough as it is and is also dependent on the weather, so it needs to be protected. 2) Players would not let their indoor team mates down so they would prioritise indoor. 3) Do not make it either/or, if they overlap, players will manage.
- Junior competitions are important and not enough is being said about them.
- Several teams said they would like to play two or three games in a weekend, where possible, to reduce costs and the number of weekends required to complete the season.
- Concern over cost from Volleyball England and what impact coronavirus would have on clubs’ finances.
- Questions were raised as to what would happen if regional lockdowns were enforced or if teams were unable to field a team because players had to isolate.
- Request to clarify what would happen if the season was curtailed.
We have also captured the responses we received to the three consultation questions. Anonymised responses can be read here.
The Competitions Working Group met on 11th June to review and consider this feedback and are now working this into their revised plan. Please expect further consultation in the coming weeks.
Since publishing the initial consultation, the deadlines for being able to implement the first few options (the default position and option 1a) have passed.
As of now, with no relaxation in social distancing, no indoor sports facilities opening and no amateur team sports allowed, it seems option 1b is very unlikely too.
Volleyball England continues to monitor the guidance of other volleyball federations as well as the situation in other sports and will update you in due course.
Thank you for your support and patience as we plan the safe return of volleyball.