Zona Volleyball Club Suspends Operations for the 2021 Season Citing Lack of Facilities due to the Pima County COVID Directive

The Pima County Administrator recommended a shutdown of all Fall athletics on Nov. 23 but with that was also a request to “prohibit the use of all public school facilities where these facilities are unavailable for public use from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am each day throughout the week.”

The domino effect of closing facilities to outside groups went beyond high school athletics and it has had a drastic effect on club teams that depend on high school facilities to host tryouts, practices and games.

As with the AIA, the lack of direct knowledge of the level of COVID measures taken by various clubs caused uncertainty for public institutions.

The memo sent out by Zona Volleyball included:

“Zona Volleyball Club has been serving families in Southern Arizona for the past 25 years. This current situation of multiple facility shutdowns in the past 8 months has forced us to the precipice. We are writing you today to let you know that Zona will be suspending team operations for the 2021 season. This means we will not be forming teams for the upcoming club season. When facilities open up and are consistently more available for activities, Zona will resume operations with skills clinics and camps. Our hope is to weather this pandemic storm and be able to resume team offerings for the 2022 club season.

Our Board did not make this decision lightly as we are committed to our families and our community. However, when we considered our mission, it became more clear. Zona’s mission is “to promote and encourage the growth and development of volleyball in the Tucson area.” We cannot accomplish our mission for our student-athletes without a reliable gym rental. We did not feel that it is fair or reasonable to ask athletes/families to commit to our club without knowing with a high level of certainty that we will be able to provide volleyball training for the entire season. By suspending operations, we are putting the needs of our athletes/families first by allowing them to pursue other volleyball opportunities in Tucson and Southern Arizona.”

Zona Volleyball began in the fall of 1995 with former University of Arizona standout Michelle Malis and former Wildcat assistant coach A.J. Malis serving as directors.



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 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and was given the Amphi Distinguished Service Award. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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