Volleyball England’ board has announced plans for the coming indoor season’s national competition format and explains with regret that it will not include the knock-out formats of our game. The article giving the news explains that the late start to the season, the need to free up weekends for the National League and the potential for postponements caused by local lockdowns means that neither National Cups nor National Shields will be up for grabs. 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.
Many fewer matches are in prospect but the board and the various committees are keen to see as much play as possible and are aiming for National League fixtures to start in late October and the Super League will be played as an season-long division, not splitting into two halves at Christmas as last year: another reduction in the total number of games to be played. This is seen as essential as a number of teams may find their sports centre is late in reopening after lockdown or has to close for a short time if there is a local spike in infections.
Junior volleyball’s national competition will be organised in a two-tiered grand prix format rather than the familiar elimination pools. Entry is being encouraged with a reduction in player registration fee from £15 to £5 for the season.
Consultation with regional committees is ongoing in respect of the Inter-Regional Championships and the Sitting Grand Prix, the Board being especially anxious to see a sound return for sitting volleyball.
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.”
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton
Source: Volleyball England
Picture, Volleyball England