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 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 6/04/2006 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 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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