Sitting volleyball competitions in 2021 and beyond
9th August 2021
Richard Osborne, Volleyball England’s Sitting Volleyball Lead, outlines plans for sitting volleyball competitions after taking onboard community feedback.
As government restrictions continue to ease on the return to playing volleyball, the Sitting Volleyball Working Group (SVWG) has turned its attention to considering the future of sitting volleyball competitions. This includes the Grand Prix series and Sitting Volleyball Cup, which have been the premier events for some years now, but also any new competitions that could be introduced.
As a first step, members of the SVWG were asked to consider a Strawman Paper, which had been created to kickstart thinking around this important subject. Thereafter, a short survey was created and cascaded across the sitting volleyball community to canvass their views on various related subjects. I just want to pause here to express my sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey, which assisted hugely in the discussion that followed. In total, some 47 people contributed their views on sitting volleyball competitions which, given we are a relatively small community, was an incredibly impressive response rate.
The sum of all the feedback was distilled into a further paper that was circulated to SVWG members ahead of a meeting that was held virtually on 29th July. It was clear from the survey responses that there is not a huge appetite to change things at the present time, although there are some changes that can be made to the Grand Prix immediately and the Sitting Volleyball Cup in due course. There is also scope to introduce new competitions but further work is required before that can happen.
In summary, the following conclusions and decisions were made in the following areas:
- Will increase from five to six meetings per season, with effect from the 2021/22 season, with the semi-final being converted to an additional GP;
- The final will be determined by the two teams finishing 1st and 2nd in Tier 1;
- There will be one GP per month;
- The competition will remain at the NVC, Kettering - alternative venues will be scoped for use from the 2022/23 season onwards;
- Will retain 2 tiers – Based on feedback, the WG did not think new teams will struggle in Tier 2 but thought will be given to hosting a one-off competition that new clubs only may participate in;
- Sunday is the preferred day for each GP;
- The costs to enter each GP will increase slightly for the 2021/22 season, to £75 per team – the cost in 2022/23 will be £88 per GP in a further effort to move towards making the competition cost neutral overall.
Sitting Volleyball Cup
- The SV Cup will remain in the current format for 2021/22 and 2022/23;
- The SVWG will scope potential for teams to host SC Cup fixtures from the 2023/24 season onwards.
- The Working Group should consider the architecture and framework around any new competition with a view to introduction in 2022/23;
- That clubs should be encouraged to set up local friendlies to supplement NGB competitions.
- A subgroup will be assembled to consider options to drive down on costs borne by Volleyball England and to supplement income via grants, sponsorship and other income generation options.
Dates for the forthcoming season have now been fixed in the Volleyball England calendar and can be found here. Further information on these competitions will be released shortly.
The minutes from Sitting Volleyball Working Group meetings can also be found here.