USA Volleyball issued a “Return to play Guideline” on Wednesday, May 13 with hopes of sanctioning events on Friday, May 15 but the organization announced the cancellation of the remaining indoor championships earlier tonight, Wednesday, May 20:
“It is with a heavy heart that USA Volleyball must announce the cancellation of the remaining USA Volleyball Indoor National Championships for the 2020 season. This includes the Girls 18s Junior National Championship, Girls Junior National Championship, Boys Junior National Championship and High Performance Championship. With safety as our top priority and upon further evaluation of the current and projected status of the COVID-19 virus in each of our respective cities, we cannot be assured of each venue’s ability to host safe and restriction-free environments for our events in June and July. We want to thank Dallas, Reno and Pittsburgh for their partnership and wonderful support as we navigated through this difficult decision. Most importantly, we want to thank our athletes, coaches, club directors and officials for their passion and patience throughout. We miss you already.”
For longtime Ironwood Ridge girls indoor volleyball coach, Ironwood Ridge beach volleyball coach and Club Cactus Juniors Mizuno director/coach Bill Lang, the loss the national tournaments was just the latest in a string of heartbreaking cancellations.
“It’s definitely disappointing to have our season-ending events canceled,” Lang said. “We were prepared mentally for USAV to join all the other sporting events and finally cancel. However, the real disappointment is the entire junior club season shutting down. The players missed all the training and competitions that included three recruiting tournaments in addition to Nationals. It’s sad for our players, and we feel for all athletes were affected the same but losing their respective seasons.”
Junior volleyball, like other youth sports, was operating under “Phase One” rules set out to combat COVID-19 which didn’t allow for facility usage for youth sports. The Arizona Region of UA Volleyball issued this statement:
“It must be stated upfront that the primary concern of the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball during these unprecedented times is the health and safety of the members of the Arizona Region. The Region is bound by the decisions of USA Volleyball and guidelines established by the State of Arizona however the Region can only do so much to protect its members. The Region views its role as one of disseminating the latest and most relevant information to our members so they can make informed decisions with respect to getting back on the court. Each member and their family needs to carefully consider the information and then make an informed decision after comparing the risks and rewards of returning to the court. Ultimately, this is an individual voluntary decision and each member and their family will have to decide how best to proceed in this environment.”
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org