Board backs plans for 2020/21 indoor competitions

4th September 2020

Board backs plans for 2020/21 indoor competitions

The return of indoor volleyball competitions is one step closer after plans for the 2020/21 season were backed by the Volleyball England Board.

While there are still many difficulties and uncertainties to overcome, the Board, the Hub staff and Competitions and Children and Young Persons Working Groups are keen for competitions to return as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

As a result of the Board’s backing, major decisions have now been made on next season’s competitions schedule. The aim is for the National Volleyball League to return in late October – although that is dependent on the availability of club players and venues – and for junior competitions to switch from a cup to a two-tiered grand prix format.

Unfortunately, due to the late season start, the need to free up weekends for the NVL and the potential for complications caused by local lockdowns, the difficult decision has been made to not run the National Cup or National Shield. The Student Cup will not be organised for 2020/21 either because many university sides are not expected to return until later in the season.

We understand these competitions provide great development opportunities for players, coaches and officials and look forward to their return next season.

Each of these decisions was informed by a consultation process with the membership.

Decisions on the 2020 and 2021 Inter-Regional Championships and the Sitting Grand Prix series are yet to be finalised. Regions will be consulted on the former while work is still taking place to pave the way for sitting volleyball to return.

Sue Storey, Chief Executive of Volleyball England, said: “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that the wait for our indoor competitions to return is almost over.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure it is safe and practical to do so, however, I know this news will be music to the ears of the thousands of people who have long-awaited the return of the NVL and junior competitions.”

What other decisions have been made for next year’s competitions?

National Volleyball League

We were really encouraged to hear from teams that they are eager to return as soon as possible. However, we know that many clubs are still struggling to access indoor playing facilities, and this is something Volleyball England has lobbied the Government for support on.

Where that issue cannot be overcome, and for other exceptional circumstances, NVL teams will be able to pause their entry for the 2020/21 season. If this applies to you, please talk to your divisional lead. Please note that if more than 20% of teams in any one division seeks to pause their entry, there will be no promotion or relegation.

Additionally, it has been agreed that the Super League, the top tier of the English volleyball league system, will run as a straight league with no mid-season split this season. Volleyball England will award the winners of the league. A decision on play-offs hosted by the clubs will be made in December.

Junior competitions

Another big change is that by working closely with the Children and Young Persons Working Group, we have agreed to lower the individual registration fee for juniors from £15 to £5 for 2020/21. The impact of this decision will be reviewed at the end of the season. There will also be no team entry fee for U15s Tier 2 entering the first event of our junior competitions. More detail to follow.

Further information on all of Volleyball England’s 2020/21 competitions will be released to teams in due course.

Note: This article was amended on to reflect that Volleyball England will award the winner of the Super League and that a decisions on play-offs, hosted by clubs, will be made in December.

Board backs plans for 2020/21 indoor competitions