How Do You Earn A Trip to the Junior Olympics?

Here's a quick explanation about how bids are extended for the USAV Junior Olympics Championships


Introduction

The ultimate goal for each team playing in the USAV Juniors division is to earn a spot in the Junior Olympic Girls Volleyball Championships. There are three Junior Olympic tournaments; Open, National and American. National and American are Club Division tournaments. There are 27 Open slots. There are 48 slots in each of the American and National Club divisions. How do you earn a bid? You can win a spot in a National Qualifier. You can be given a spot by the USAV National Competition Committee. Or you can get a spot from your local Region. I'll describe each of these below.

National Qualifiers

There are nine National Qualifier tournaments:

2005 U.S. JR. VOLLEYBALL NATIONAL QUALIFIER SCHEDULE
Colorado Crossroads - Denver, Colo. March 18-20, 2005
Pacific NW Qualifier - Spokane, Wash. March 18-20, 2005
Hoosier Mid East Qualifier - Indianapolis, Ind. March 18-20, 2005 (17O, 17C, 16O, 16C, 15C)
March 25-27, 2005 (18O, 18C, 15O, 14O, 14C, 13C, 12C)
Big South Qualifier (formerly Tampa Bay Qualifier) - Atlanta, Ga. March 25-27, 2005
NorthEast National Qualifier - Baltimore, Md. March 25-27, 2005 (18O, 18C, 17O, 17C, 16O, 15C)
April 1-3 (16C, 15O, 14O, 14C, 13C)
Southern California Qualifier - Anaheim, Calif. April 1-3, 2005 (18O, 18C, 17O, 15O, 15C)
April 8-10, 2005 (16O, 16C, 14O, 14C, 13C, 12C)
Lone Star Classic April 16-18, 2005 (14O, 14C, 13C, 12C) - Austin, Texas
April 23-25, 2005 (18O, 18C, 17O, 17C, 16O, 16C) - Austin, Texas
April 23-25, 2005 (15O, 15C) - Houston, Texas
Far Western - Reno, Nev. April 22-24, 2005
Northern Lights - Minneapolis, Minn. April 22-24, 2005

Eight qualifiers have an Open Division and all nine have a Club Division. Each team decides for themselves which division to enter.

In the Open division, bids are awarded to as many as the top 3 teams that don't already have Open bids. (If the field is small, fewer than 3 bids will be awarded.) If a team in the top 3 already has a bid, that bid "trickles down" the final standings until all three bids are awarded. Any unawarded bids (say the field is too small for 3 bids) roll back to the USAV and are given out by the National Competition Committee after all Qualifiers have been completed.

In Club, there are up to 2 bids awarded (again depending on the field size). The first place team gets a National bid. The second place team gets an American bid. Bids again trickle down, but only through 4th place. So, for example, if the top teams already have bids, there is a chance that both the National and American bids might not be awarded. Any unawarded bids roll back to the USAV for reallocation, which I'll describe below.

If a team has an American bid and wins a National bid, they must take the National bid. Their American bid goes to the USAV for reallocation. If a team has a Club bid and wins an Open bid, they must take the Open bid and their Club bid goes to the USAV for reallocation.

Regional Bids

All of the Open bids are either won in a Qualifier or are given out by the USAV competition committee. For the National and American tournaments, only a maximum of 9 bids are awarded in the Qualifiers. The rest are awarded by the Regions. Each region (except the really small ones) get a National bid to give out. And they get a number of American bids based on how big their region is. Our region, Lone Star, gets one National bid and three American bids for 2005.

It is up to the region to decide how to hand out their bids. For the Lone Star region, we use the Lone Star Regional Championship tournament. The top four teams that do not already have a bid will get the four Lone Star regional bids. First place will get the National bid. The next three will get American bids.

Reallocation Bids

In the Club divisions, there are a couple of circumstances that can cause bids to go unawarded. In a National Qualifier, club bids cannot trickle down past 4th place. And there may be regions that do not use there bids because, for example, they don't have teams that can go. In these cases, these club bids get "reallocated" to the regions as extra bids for those regions. The reallocation process is based on how close a region is to bumping up to the "next size" for a bid. Foe example, Lone Star gets 4 bids based on our size. If we were REALLY close to earning 5 bids, we would have a good chance to get a Reallocation Bid. The first Reallocation Bid for 2005 will go the the Puget Sound Region, who was just 72 players short of getting another bid. Lone Star is #40 in the list for a Reallocation Bid, which is at the bottom of the list. So there is no chance that Lone Star will receive a Reallocation Bid for 2005; we get 1 National and 3 American bids, and that will be it.