Friday, June 02, 2006

NCVA update Re: Second meeting

The parent group will be meeting with the Regional Commissioner, Donna Donaghy, on Thursday, June 8, 2006 at USF, many thanks to Jeff Nelson, the USF coach for giving us a place to meet.  The agenda for this meeting follows.  The parent group will also be submitting items they’d like to see included on the website.  

The parent group, as mentioned in an earlier post, will be meeting with the NCVA Board on June 12, at the NCVA office.

Please feel free to share suggestions, additions, etc.

Proposed Agenda for June 8th meeting

The first time the parent group met with the Regional Commissioner, we started with an agenda that included one major “how” item with 3 “what” items.

The how: Communication
The Whats
1) Safety + Standards
2) Staying informed about how NCVA works and What it does- some contact with the board.
3) Parent input about the tryout system. e.g. no tryouts or offers before the end of the high school season.

As a goal for the 2nd meeting, the “Whats” remain issues of concern to the parents, but we feel that the priority is to get some closure around the “How”. After checking in with parents, they identified the following reasonable “communication” goals.

1) If they raise a safety concern (part of the player bill of rights), they want their communication acknowledged either by phone, e-mail, or letter. (one repeated concern was that phone, e-mails, and letters to NCVA had not been consistently acknowledged)
2) They want to know who at NCVA is responsible for particular kinds of issues. (the Regional Commissioner might be ultimately responsible, but it’s clear that she’s a very busy individual)
3) They’d like to be able to find standards and protocols explain how and why things are done at tournaments.
4) With serious issues, parents need to know that the problem is being addressed (apparently one issue is that they simply don’t hear about what’s been done or tried) and why the problem might persist. Often the parent community might have resources and answers to help.
5) They want clear guidelines about what’s a Parent-NCVA matter, what’s a Parent-Club matter, and what’s a Club-NCVA matter.


7:00-7:10 10 minutes : introductions

7:10-7:20 10 minutes Appreciating what went well this year and identifying remaining issues ?

7:20-7:40 20 minutes: Acknowledging and responding to correspondence around “legitimate” parent concerns.

1) Who do you contact?
2) How do you contact that person?
3) How to get an answer back that let’s people know that their inquiry was received.
4) How and where to answer questions.
5) How can parents help make this easier?

7:40-8:20 40 minutes: Website information

1) Adding a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section
2) Updating and maintenance of the FAQ
3) What should go into a FAQ? (some items for a FAQ will be attached in a separate e-mail early next week)
4) What “news” should be shared? e.g. Board meetings, agendas, and actions (except closed items), guidelines for facilities
5) Issues of concern from the Region’s side re: parents. e.g. care of the sites, following rules, comportment re: referees etc.
6) Identifying and dealing with ongoing issues-updates on progress, explanations, etc.
7) A wish list? Also a place for members to identify things that are being done well or recognize extraordinary efforts.
8) How to deal with problems with a club?
9) How can parents help shape this and contribute?

8:20-8:25 Break

8:25-9:00 Preparation for the Board Meeting

1) How do board meetings work?
2) What do they want to hear about?
3) Logistics
4) Format for the 30 minutes (powerpoint, question and answer, etc.)
5) Future communications
6) Presentation of progress with these meetings.
7) What is the role of parents in the Region?

Link to my other volleyball articles


At 6/03/2006 03:43:00 PM, Blogger centralcaldad said...

Interested to know how the NCVA handles situations where one of their coaches is a coach at a local high school. Isn`t this a conflict of interest not allowed by about every legitimate business or organization on the planet?The CIF and local districts in our area have turned their cheek to this issue when other districts have stopped this. You people seem very virtuous and aultruistic! How serious are you about doing the right thing for the protection of our student athletes, especially in these cases of undue influence?

At 6/03/2006 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...


the rule, or existence of one, about whether or not a coach may coach the same players in both high school and club seems to vary with region.

I agree, there are some issues. The most extreme was a high school coach who simply told his players that they had to play for his club or expect not to play high school.

it also potentially affects how teams are picked, who gets to play, etc. during club season either consciously or not.

The other side is counties like mine where there aren't as many good coaches as there are club teams.

I think SCVA has a rule prohibiting high school coaches from coaching their own players in club. I'm not sure that NCVA has considered the issue recently. I'm personally not sure where I stand on it either, but I'll take it to the group.

At 6/03/2006 09:17:00 PM, Blogger centralcaldad said...

That is exactly the problem. The clubs and the CIF have no control..If there is a rule there is NO enforcement in my area. Four out of the six prominate volleyball programs have HS coaches who coach, own,operate, or are in "special interest" relationships with one of the four clubs in town.The CIF is chartered to provide equal, fair, consistent oversight. The SD section,per the commissioner, does not allow these conflict of interest relationships because of the chaos the CIF states is its responsibility to prevent. They are in contempt of themselves. The SCVA puts up smoke screens like HS is not our responsibility..Everyone is blaming the other. The HS district says club is not our responsibility. The HS coaches who are involved in club are like the fox watching the a puppy dog suit! We have chaos, we have so much private enterprise interclub hate it is spilling into the amateur HS season when club tryouts occur right in the middle of the HS season. The student athletes are subjected to extremely unfair undue influence and many even quit HS or fear retribution from a club HS/ coach. I would like to know what rational person would not want to set up at a minimum, an independent body to give the student athlete a fair objective hearing concerning the predatory undue influence of often untrained, uncredentialed coaches( 60% walk-ons per CIF). A fair review by someone other than the very guilty parties, the HS, the HS/club coaches, and the CIF who stand to get egg on there face in the public eye for not doing their job is owed the innocent young student athletes who have the most to loose.

At 6/04/2006 08:06:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...


I take it, based on the name, that you're in the part of the state that's southern california for high school and northern california for club.

I've seen high school coaches who coach club and many of them peronsally. My own kid was on a club team with a high school coach who also included a player from her high school who happened to play my daughter's position.
She was very fair about who played when. She had a similar situation with another position and did the same.

It's one of the reasons that I think it is possible for high school coaches to coach club.

I do think they have to be well aware of the ethics and the need to separate the two roles. This gets harder when the coach also actually runs the club. That may well be a point where the Region needs to play a role.

I could see a coach in a place like Exeter (I don't know any club or coach there btw) that's small and somewhat remote basically holding players and families hostage to the club. Parents couldn't complain to the club obviously, if there is too much linkage.

That said, up here, I've noticed that club has become the more important season and the motivation to win there has made some of the high school tie thing less of an issue.

At 6/04/2006 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a problem when a high school volleyball coach who also coaches club ball imposes his or her inappropriate influence on prospective players prior to or during the team selection process for any team. Not every coach does this -- in fact, I would guess that most don't. I am aware of a few who do, and at the very least I think it is unethical.

It is also true that most of the best volleyball coaches are heavily involved in both club and high-school coaching, and this is one of the reasons why they are such good coaches -- they do it all the time and are constantly getting better at it. There will always be good coaches and bad ones, but to impose an artificial barrier preventing high school coaches from coaching club and vice versa will discourage many excellent coaches, and be a terrible mistake in my opinion.

So how to remedy the problem where an unethical coach inappropriately attempts to influence the choices made by their prospective players?

First, someone must identify where the problem is occurring, when it is occurring. Often times there is only one team option for prospective high school or club volleyball players, and so to report perceived unethical behavior on the part of a coach will take great courage (or great anger).

Who can this behavior be reported to? Who is the officially-designated policing agency? What are the procedures? How effective are the responses? It will take a concerted effort to research, document and analyze what has happened in the past, and then come up with recommendations for a good policy and its implementation.

OR, the NCVA could simply formulate a new policy based on input solicited through new, streamlined and efficient feedback-gathering techniques, (website perhaps?) and put that policy in place starting with the 2006-2007 season.

This issue is closely related to existing complaints regarding private club team selection processes (commonly known as tryouts) which currently take place DURING the high school volleyball season. I am hoping that this issue will be on the agenda for discussion with the NCVA staff and Board of Directors during the upcoming meetings.

At 6/05/2006 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Concerns about the tryout process, dates, and structure have always been something the group wanted more of a voice in. I don't know that high school/club conflicts of interest were explicitly high on that list, but the fact that club tryouts have moved into the high school season has only increased the dangers of club/high school influence peddling.

I specifically remember some issues with players getting dropped to the two team the day before a big high school playoff match. That has nothing to do with conflicts of interest, but it's one of many things that can easily be manipulated by the wrong sorts of people.

It's also something that the club itself isn't in a good position to regulate. I would agree, there needs to be a larger body where complaints can be filed for investigation (possibly anonymously).

At 6/06/2006 09:33:00 PM, Blogger centralcaldad said...

Appreciate everyones comments. Guess my main issues involve HS student athletes during the HS season. Problem is coaches from organizations like the NCVA and SCVA are "allowed" to be involved in HS athletics. This potentially, directly or indirectly , sets up an environment that may implicate private enterprises in amateur state activities involving unprotected amateur student athletes. It will take a great amount of energy, will, and righteousness for these organizations to self regulate themselves, not to impose undue influence on our young people in ANY way. In my opinion it is the CIF that should be held accountable. But by who? They are a quasi-legislature , an arm of the department of education, with NO oversight!
Annonymous agrees this relationship is a problem, as most do. But also like most, appears to be willing to overlook the obvious potential problem in favor of the benifits of having talented coaches and a higher level of play, and DO nothing to protect student athletes in California from undue influnce situations.

I like these benifits as well BUT NEVER at the expense of ONE wrongdoing that results in a high school student athlete being subjected unfairly to an adult in an "advantaged postion" who chooses in any way, subliminally or otherwise, to attempt to unduely influence a decision in his/her clubs or HS`s favor. For me this applies to Exeter, Chowchilla, as much as it applies to Fresno, LA , or San Diego. As the private sector expands its competitive base, competion is bound to grow for the "valued resource". In some areas the competion is so intense all rules are off and undue influence becomes more and more innovative.Hence the birth of the professionalization of high school athletics.
There are not enough student athletes, in our area for the number of clubs,until the population grows, to "field" enough "great" teams to compete with the best. Chaos and hate exists.

To talk down the problem and accept high levels of tolerance, area or statewide, because of a few " hardship" cases where coaches are few, does the overall picture no good. Why can`t we at the very least, accept, that if we must allow these conflict of interest relationships to exist the inevidible potential for abuse exists, therefore there MUST be an INDEPENDENT, OBJECTIVE process for the student athletes to get a fair hearing if and when undue influence occurs. This process should not be judged or overseen by the parties involved. Maybe something like the "grand jury" for town government performance review. If such a process was well known,developed by parents teachers and coaches, wouldn`t it serve as a greater deterrent to the attractiveness and temptation to unduely influence? Should we really act as if we are in a vaccuum? As if this will never occur, doesn`t occur "enough" or as if " it will never happen to me"? Shouldn`t we be looking out for all student athletes,not just our own, or those in our own area, or those in your four year tenure wit your HS student athlete? Should we wait for any one group Club,HS,CIF to take action? They will not until they are held accountable by the public!

There is nothing artificial about the cases that are documented and those you only hear about. Let me personalize this for you.

Let`s say this happens to your daughter. Would your " N " number ( number of cases that would convince you there is a problem) all of the sudden be one?

Let`s say, hypothetically, your soph HS daughter gets all league on her HS varsity volleyball team, recieves the coaches award, and finishes high in the performance rankings for the entire county. In her Junior year she again performs very well, leads the team in defense, second in kills, is third in the county in digs, and represents the leadership and competitive team effort needed to make it to the state playoffs. She is well known by all coaches in the league for her exceptional play. BUT after club tryouts in the middle of the season chooses to play for a club different from the club where three out of four of her HS coaches coach,the same club where eight out of nine of her HS teamates play, for these coaches. She all of the sudden is sat in games, matches you lost, during the last half of the HS season, for no reason. Parents from oppsing teams jokingly thanked you for her not playing then asked you what she did wrong.Your daughter has never been a discipline problem. She is respectful of her coaches and teammates and gets along with all. Then in favor of two of the coaches club players is not nominated to all league. Despite three other league coaches asking you why she wasn`t? Then the coach does not even go to the all league meeting , subverting the very process the meeting is intended to prevent and his intentions as well. To top it off lets say then at the HS awards banquet he gives six players awards but nothing for your starting star performer. You can over look the awards, that`s a coaches decision but then he awards all your daugters accomplishments to another player, not recognizing ONE contribution your daughter has made to the team. The coach lies to your daughter stating he did nominate your daughter but is not aware that three other coaches have already implicated him. He states he did not know the stats and never reads the paper.Then at a meeting with the coach, the athletic director, and the school president, the coach is obviously uncomfortable and for two hours cannot answer questions about his behavior with any consistency or credibility and incriminates himself again and again concerning his actions. He cannot and chooses NOT to apologize at any time during the meeting with you. All the time the AD is more concerned with who the coaches were that spoke out about the All league selection meeting, NEVER showing any concern for the devastation this has caused your daughter. On top of that, your credibility , despite the fact that you have had a 33 year family relationship with the HS and have worked for years to achieve a position on the Board of Directors, is questioned by the lack of respect and concern given to you by the AD and President. Later being asked on three separate occasions to " let this go?" There NEVER was even an apology made to you or your daughter for what happened by anyone involved.

Your daughter decides that if there is no support from her coach or the school, she decides to quit volleyball and on further reflection leaves the school ,for the HS in the area she lives knowingly ending her high school VB career due to the CIF`s unfair transfer rules.

You petition the CIF on grounds of undue influence but to no avail.The very undue influence that prevented the Shelton twins from playing at SJM did nothing to protect your daughter when it came from her very HS coach. Your eforts for fairness, culminate in Ms Maria Ishida stating that local conflict of interest relationships are district problems to be dealt with by the districts. Thereby completing the perfect circle of beuracratic tyranny.

The true point here is this problem has existed for a long time and will continue to grow as the population grows. Since the CIF/and some HS districts believe parents are not capable of making good decisions for there student athletes ,they will do it for you. Unfortunately there lack of action on this problem has actually protected its growth, and has most likely contributed to the professionalization of amateur athletics when the CIF is actually challenged to prevent chaos as is outlined in its charter.

Letters and conversations are continuing with state legislators and assemblymen on a few fronts, by people that have an unending passion to do the right thing ,to protect our student athletes and not at the expense of those soft on this issue in order to " promote quality athletics" .I have spoken to many who have suffered the same problems.I don`t know about your organization, your parents, or your charter, but my wife and I are christian people trying to raise our girls , in perspective of sport as a part of there life, to learn respect for others, to have strong character, motivation , and a true empathy for others. Volleyball is part of the equation but the life they live after volleyball,softball, school, or whatever is far more important to us, despite the CIF and others trying to tell us anything different. Thanks for listening and good luck at you meeting. Hopefully it will be productive and touch base on issues that continue to harm our young student athletes. It would be great to see someone lead by example, see the greater picture and not forget these are impressionable young people who need the healthiest positive growth environments we as responsible parents can provide.

At 6/06/2006 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Central Cal Dad,
wow, that was the longest comment ever posted to my website :}.
After I read your scenario (I'm assuming it wasn't made up) I thought about a parallel situation.
Say a band or drama teacher tells kids they have to take private lessons from his "private academy" during the summer. If you don't, you don't get solos and don't get into the play.

Most Districts wouldn't allow this. Teachers, for instance, can't tutor current students for money....They are free to work with the student after school hours on a voluntary basis.

I honestly don't know what coaching contracts look like. One big difference is that classroom teachers allegedly get a living wage. High school coaching pays pretty poorly in most places. Still, most districts do have conflict of interest policies that apply to all employees.

Yes, once in a while I do step back and ask if volleyball demands too much of a focus at too early an age. Those who want to compete are expected to treat it as an 11 month activity.

Also, to be clear, the NCVA parent group is very informal. IT's really just parents who came forward to help iron out problems in the region with the region itself.

fwiw, it sounds like you've been down that road, but I would look at school district conflict of interest policies. You might be surprised.

There's a surprising amount of money in junior and high school sports. I've seen some surprising amounts involved in things like band candy sales.

At 10/11/2006 02:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that if there were controls and enforcement like centralcaldad wants to see in place it would result in far fewer high schools or clubs fielding teams. There would be effectively half the number of volleyball coaches available for either club or high-school volleyball programs, and therefore all girls who want to play volleyball will suffer the consequences.

The question to ask and answer (haven't seen that here yet): "Shall we prohibit coaches from coaching both high school and club volleyball and accept that half the clubs or high schools will permanently close their programs?"

At 1/24/2008 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I do think there are two routes. One can have effective enforcement mechanisms in place to deal with coaches who abuse the dual role of being both club and high school coach or you can have a simple ban to prevent the problem.

I'd like to see the first approach, but I find that the people who actually enforce these things don't do it all that well at least on the club side. CIF isn't all that bad imo.


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