Thursday, March 02, 2006

Volleyball (parent issues)

"Parents Near Lancaster, Pennsylvania Even Had a Say in Uniform Design (photo on right)"
I've been a junior volleyball parent for 14 years and more or less woke up while my daughter's team had to ref and realized I had no idea how the club/Region system actually worked. Apparently that was true of a number of parents from a lot of different clubs in my region, Northern California. We then put together a group of parents to explore how parents might better communicate with their Regional Organization and get information about why and how things work beyond the club level.
I'm putting the proposed agenda of the meeting below, partly to make sure other parents in the region get a chance to supply input, but also to not be one of these bloggers who analyzes and complains, but doesn't actually do anything. I do want to be clear that the below is not the work of Chancelucky, but of a group of parents collaborating around common concerns. Also be aware that none of my other views on other posts here, represent any of their views.
Anyway, here's Link to Chancelucky more normal volleyball stories if that's what you'd rather see.

Improving Communication with Parents
We believe that some direct communication between parents and the region is necessary and essential to the improvement of the junior experience.
The How #1 Finding a Form for that Communication
Inbound (from clubs, players and parents)
a)Single point of contact within NCVA – feedback form on website?
b)Clear parameters on the website for the types of concerns that go directly to region and the kind that should go to club directors first.
Outbound (to clubs, players and parents)
a)Single voice back out to customers as Official Region response via website updates and responses. “Latest News” page on website?
b)Need for timely and reliable feedback (improving the sense that the concern was acknowledged, investigated, and dealt with) If this is a resource issue, how can we possibly help with that?
Principal Parent-Region Issues a.k.a. “The What”
What #1: Safety & Standards:
Court & facility standards:
e.g. Custodians, trainers, restrooms, court surfaces & surroundings, length +distance of tournaments, food rules, sanitation,
  1. What are the standards?  (are they posted anywhere?)

  2. Parent role in setting and monitoring the standards and need for direct parent input.

  3. How are priorities set in making tradeoffs when necessary?
Background +Conduct of Adults who have contact with players
  1. Parents need access to certain types of information to make judgments for their children.

  2. Some concerns can’t go directly to the Club

  3. The Club itself may not be the most reliable source of information
What #2: Need for transparency within NCVA:
As the people who pay the bills, parents have a right to know the following at a minimum.
a) Budgets (where does our money go?)
b) Personnel; duties and responsibilities of Region Staff and Tournament staff (clarified and posted) and role of Board
  1. Time, place, agenda, minutes of Board Meeting (access to board meetings themselves)

  2. Generally available copy of the bylaws to understand the structure and purpose of the organization along with the duties of the National, Regional, and Local Club.
What #3: Club Tryouts:
Parents want the current system improved. Less like recruiting and more like college admissions
  1. no club tryout before the end of high school season

  2. players should be able to try out for multiple clubs

  3. players should be able to find out what choices they do have before being forced to choose without complete information

  4. Possible monitoring integrity and consistency of what clubs promise and deliver
If time allows:
What #4:  Rules and Referees:

Parents sometimes don’t understand protocols and rules of the sport itself
  1. Possible FAQ on website to explain how and why calls are made. (easier more graphical access to the rules)

  2. Better understanding of when Region provides refs or expects peer reffing  
c) Fatigue issues on the girls (peer reffing in the context of the day length etc. what are the considerations?)


At 3/02/2006 05:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Boris, its sounds like you've covered it all. Thanks for taking on this task and reducing everyone's level of frustration. Maybe we will have to change your name to "Fearless Leader"

At 3/02/2006 08:14:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Again, this wasn't my doing, it's a group of parents who put the agenda together and I'm just the point of contact in this.

I think there are many things about Pottsylvanian culture that can be imported to America.

and the process really has just started, the hard thing is sticking to it and following through.

At 3/05/2006 10:22:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for stopping by here and commenting. I'll be posting some about where things stand, but the bottom line is that the process has just started and I think it will take the involvement of a number of parents.


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