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Wisconsin Juniors

The Conflict of Spring Volleyball (WIAA High School)

By Kelly Lehman, 09/01/20, 7:45PM CDT

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Why You Should Prioritize Club Volleyball in 2020-21

WIAA Spring Volleyball Season Complications
Earlier this week, I received an email from a parent that read to the effect: My daughters’ high school
has decided to participate in the WIAA Spring Season – How will that work with club volleyball? An easy
response didn’t come to me right away and I expected there were many people struggling with this
question, so that led me to thinking and writing my thoughts and ideas through this Beacon article.
Through this process I have come to the conclusion that a player that goes to a high school that will be
playing Spring Volleyball should prioritize club volleyball over high school. I historically have been a big
supporter of high school sports and I understand the value that players get for playing for their schools
and the community pride that comes from that, but in this situation, I believe we need to prioritize club
sports instead of moving the high school seasons to the Spring. These thoughts are not necessarily the
thoughts of the region or of a specific club, but rather just my personal thoughts on this issue. This
article also does not address the threats and risks of COVID-19 and is not part of a political agenda to
sway this fall election results��
I want to give a little recap, as I know it, of the WIAA decision. The WIAA is planning on having fall
sports seasons with fall championship series for all sports. But, there were many schools that were
pressuring the WIAA to cancel the fall seasons and then a group of those schools presented the WIAA
with the potential of moving the Fall season to the Spring and then the usual Spring sports seasons to
the late Spring and into the Summer. Although the WIAA originally tried to move away from this option,
continued school pressure mounted and they then consented partially in that they were going to keep
the Fall season, but also offer a shortened Spring season for those schools that wanted to move their
Fall sports seasons to March to April. In the information that I have found, at this point it looks like
there will be roughly 350-400 girls’ highs schools choosing to stay with Fall volleyball and 100-150 girls’
high schools suspending volleyball until the Spring. For the Boys high schools, it looks more like close to
a 40 (Fall) and 20 (Spring) split. These numbers could change to more in the Spring if teams start their
seasons and then are forced to suspend their seasons due to COVID outbreak, but I think you can clearly
see that this is going to get messy.
The reason why I believe it is better to prioritize club volleyball over high school volleyball in the Spring
is three-fold:
One, there are no guarantees there will be a Spring high school season. When the WIAA first
cancelled the Spring Sports season a few months back, there was a plan that there would be a
shortened summer season starting July 1 st for those teams, but in almost all cases that didn’t happen
because the COVID concerns that ended the schools seasons in March were still present in July and the
high schools couldn’t risk the sports teams increasing the chances of students contracting COVID. This
could very well happen again this winter with COVID concerns still being present in January and
February and hence cancelling the high school seasons scheduled to begin in March.
Two, the Spring season is going to be shortened with likely only limited conference matches and few
if any multi-school tournaments or no state tournament series which usually highlight the fall seasons.
With such unknowns about the schedule and no large events currently scheduled and no state
tournament being planned on it would be a shame to miss an opportunity in a club season to only be
disappointed in what the high school has to offer. I don’t feel it is worth missing the great high school
aged club events that usually happen in February, March, and April to play a shortened limited high
school season.

Three, with a shorter season and without the higher profile high school events there won’t be as
much opportunity for improvement or opportunity for recruiting. Many players hope to aspire to be
greater volleyball players than they currently are, but I don’t think the Spring season as it is being
offered by the WIAA is a very good environment to get players to their goals.
In no way do I think that I have all the answers on this topic, but I hope you may find value in my
viewpoint. If you agree – great. If you disagree – great as well. What I truly hope is that every volleyball
player finds a great volleyball environment for them to play in for this upcoming year, during this very
difficult time. I believe that that the Badger Region and the Badger Region clubs will be able to provide
that for middle school and high school players, and I am not sure if schools will be able to make this
happen if they move their seasons to the Spring.