👋 Hello SoCal Members!
Every month, Scott and I try to give you a comprehensive view of the work that’s gone into the previous month, where we are, and what’s next…
For the most part, it’s been limited to what’s gone into the last month and where we are presently. We’re now ready for “what’s next” − so let’s get started!
There is a lot of information here so maybe put this aside until you have time to read it all.
Government, Governing Bodies and Our Peers
The hardest part of determining our emergence path has been trying to figure out how our business is defined. We’ve concluded, with our peers and government officials that the youth sports industry and specifically, our facility and business is undefined.
So our goal over the past month has been to create definitions based on the local, county and state guidelines to develop a Health and Safety Plan for our industry. We sit on multiple councils and industry groups and provide guidance to Congress, local mayors and county supervisors.
The objective has been to take the guidelines of defined industries, overlay them on ours and then exceed the requirements that one could reasonably expect in order to safely return to our facility. We believe we’ve done that.
There is a political divide between California Governor Newsom and our local leaders like County Supervisors Gaspar and Desmond and most of the city mayors like San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones (a big fan of our program).
Our task is complicated by this divide but we’ve worked through the state and county requirements for businesses, filed our request to open with the county and have used all of the governing body health guidelines to return to sport. This is a phased approach with willingness to scale back immediately as required by health and safety concerns.
We also have the ability to monitor other clubs and programs across the country and even some clubs in Riverside County that are taking a similar, phased and cautious step forward. Viper and Forza1 in Temecula are moving to re-open as early as next week, May 18th. This comes with the support of the San Diego and Los Angeles clubs and was made possible because Riverside County has taken measures to open businesses.
We are not far behind.
In addition to following government guidance, we are working with USAV’s guidelines for returning to the sport, and we monitor The Aspen Institute – Project Play, Game On San Diego, Play Sports Coalition, San Diego County Health Department, JVA and AAU organizations among many others.
Programming and Facility
We anticipate further state and county guidance that will allow us, and others, to open in a few weeks. We’re planning for June 1st. If that is the case, our training season will extend until the end of July.
We recognize that returning to SoCal, or any public facility for that matter, is a personal decision made by each family. There is no “right” or “wrong” decision, it is yours and has our full support.
Our goal with the first two phases is to provide families with an outlet for physical and mental wellness and put your decision to participate in your hands. We are here, ready, motivated and yearning to see you, but only when you are ready.
- Phase 1 – Allow persons in the same household to reserve a court for their family, small group training and private lessons.
- Phase 2 – Low density team training (i.e. small groups spread over all courts). No spectators.
- Phase 3 – Team training with no spectators. Practices streamed for viewing.
- Phase 4 – Team training with spectators
In preparation for your use, the facility has been professionally sanitized and we have removed tables, chairs, bleachers, all whiteboard accessories, and wood boxes; the water fountain is covered, Peace Cafe is closed, the store is closed and administrative offices are closed to the public.
Hand sanitizer is available on each court and at the entrance. Both court bathrooms remain open for “emergencies” only and are sanitized after each training session: toilet, sink, and door handles.
We will have at least one additional Customer Service Representative (CSR) staff member on site strictly for sanitizing, tracking player activity and cleaning after training ends. We will be allowing a minimum of 30 mins between training for cleaning purposes with two CSR’s present during Phases 3 and 4 to ensure these cleaning services happen and are effective. Before returning to the gym, we’ll ask that members sign a new health waiver (online, or at the door).
We’ve worked hard getting the facility ready for you. It’s still the warm inviting space it has always been but we’ve taken extra precautions. It’s been professionally disinfected and adheres to all of the county requirements for reopening and suggested best-practices by our industry. A few things you will notice:
- Sanitizing supplies on each court
- TV screens provide health messaging
- Clearance of extra equipment from gym
- No spectators until Phase 4 of our plan
- Entrance and Exit Procedures
- Streaming video service for parental viewing of practice
- Front and rear video doorbells
- New waiver
- Color coded balls on each court
- Full-time staff for gym monitoring of health standards
- Courts separated by dasher boards
WE SEE YOU!!! And, boy, do we miss you. Yes, we will be doing your commitment banners in the gym just as soon as we are allowed to provide the celebration that you all deserve. In the meantime, we will continue to use our media outlets…and maybe a few surprises…to show you that we are thinking of you.
Most of the USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Qualifiers have been cancelled even though the USA Junior Olympics in Dallas is still on the calendar along with the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix. SCVA Mandatory Tournaments and Local Tournaments are being rescheduled into July although we think they may ultimately be cancelled.
So, will we get to compete against other clubs? Very likely. SoCal is working with other large clubs in our region to develop a series of tournaments that will not require that we travel outside the region and will play at each other’s facilities in specific age groups and levels.
This regional approach may be how the SCVA operates in the future with the addition of a Power Pool for gold level teams.
Our position on participating with your schools in the fall has not changed. Representing your school and playing with your classmates is a memorable experience.
In any case, SoCal’s Fall Ball program can provide additional programming to support any volleyball that may be cancelled by CIF and your university. This is to say that we may expand the Fall Ball program to allow for specific teams of students from a particular high school to train and compete together.
Also, there may be a number of college student-athletes that remain in the San Diego area that do not report to their fall college semester. SoCal is considering expanded programming in the USAV Open Division to support your continued training.
Our membership has done a great job maintaining tuition payments through this and has given us time to develop the process for credits and refunds. Some of the information and assumptions we are using include but are not limited to:
- SoCal will offer a majority of the training contracted by the members through July.
- Multi-day and tournaments requiring airline travel may not happen. These may be replaced by alternative tournaments we can drive to.
- The SCVA tournament season may be cancelled. These may be replaced by friendly tournaments between clubs in our region.
- SoCal will offer refunds for the tournaments fees portion of tuition paid and cancelled. We are currently tracking and waiting on the refunds from the tournament organizers for events that SoCal pre-paid.
- SoCal will be offering credit for any portion of the training that is not provided to the member. These credits can be used for any SoCal service.
- Credits will be based on the member being in good payment standing and will be based on the full cost of tuition for a given program.
You should expect statements to come out by the end of July since we will have received any tournament refunds for end of year tournaments by then. We will also know how much team training we have successfully provided by then.
Is our process perfect? No, but we are guided, in some ways, by many of the same unknowns that you are.
We welcome feedback and communication on how we are doing…good or bad. We understand that aside from your children, your personal finances may be the next most personal and sensitive issue to your family.
No matter what your financial standing with the club, your daughter will be welcome to attend all activities associated with her current team through July. We have always prided ourselves on working with our members − that isn’t changing.
Could it change? Of course and should not be surprising if it does.
As community stewards, our responsibility is to listen to the guidance of our healthcare professionals. We don’t need to be heroes in a crisis that jeopardizes the health of your children. We do need to be their heroes of support and recovery when the time comes.
SoCal is still the warm, colorful, supportive club-house and second home it’s always been for you and your family. We can’t wait to be there with you, no matter what that looks like.
See you soon, SoCaliens!
SoCal Volleyball Club Director