Hank Van Arsdale, a regional commissioner within USA Volleyball from 1985-present and past USA Volleyball Board of Director, was presented with the 2009 Harold T. Friermood "Frier" Award, the highest honor USA Volleyball can bestow, at the USA Volleyball Dorothy C. Boyce 64th Annual Awards and Recognitions Banquet on May 21 in Minneapolis. Van Arsdale is the 40th recipient of the "Frier" Award.
Van Arsdale has previously been awarded USA Volleyball's George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball (1994) and Dr. Neville A. "Doc" Booth Commissioner's Award (1995).
"This has to be one of the greatest nights in my life, on a night of the greatest set of USA Volleyball award winners being honored," Arsdale said. "It is great to be a part of it."
Earlier in the evening, Chris Clauss, Cynthia Doyle-Perkins and Sinjin Smith were honored as George J. Fisher Leaders in Volleyball at the Boyce Banquet. Joan Powell was presented with the Glen G. Davies Referee Service Award. Nancy Sommer, Roland "Stoney" Stone (posthumously) and Mario Treibit were recognized with the Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award. Kerry Klostermann was presented his Harry E. Wilson Distinguished Service Award. Larry Bock, Teri Clemens and Sue Gozansky were presented their All-Time Great Coaches Awards, while Arthur Alper, Al Kuhn, Mary Perry and Ernie Suwara were honored with All-Time Great Player Awards.
The Boyce Moment, an annual tradition of the Boyce Banquet which reflects on an important event or individual within the sport of volleyball, recounted the unparalleled success of five medals at the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing last summer. Lloy Ball and Danielle Scott-Arruda, both four-time Olympians, represented their respective Olympic Games squads. Hugh McCutcheon, who led the U.S. Olympic Men's Team to the gold medal and now leads the U.S. Women's National Team, also was on hand to recount the remarkable summer. "Jenny" Lang Ping represented the U.S. Women's National Team coaching staff that assisted the team to the silver medal in Beijing. Denise Van De Walle, an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's Sitting Team that won the silver medal at the Paralympic Games, also was in attendance.
USA Volleyball recognized the host region for the Boyce Banquet with the North Country Region Salute. A total of 32 of 46 selected leaders from the North Country Region were present and shown appreciation for valuable contributions to the sport of volleyball.
Van Arsdale has earned a reputation as a well-respected voice as a past USA Volleyball Board of Director and current member of the Regional Operations Division through the Heart of America Region. He served as associate vice president of the ROD from 1999 through 2007. Van Arsdale also served over a long period of years as associate vice president of the National Championship Division, contributing frequently to improvements in the logistical efforts necessary for successful national tournaments.
Van Ardsale's regional involvement began in 1981 when he helped form the Heart of America Region (HOA) by writing its bylaws, obtaining its not-for-profit status and serving as its treasurer. His first term as HOA Regional Commissioner began in1985, and by virtue of being re-elected five more times, continues in the same position today. During this span, HOA's growth in membership has risen from 500 to its current 10,000-plus members, and includes Van Arsdale's aiding in regional restructuring with the formation of the Gateway Region currently serving more than 8,000 members.
During the early years as Regional Commissioner, Van Arsdale was certified as a Regional Referee and received his National Scorer Certification. He is still certified and active in both categories.
Van Arsdale and the HOA served as the local host for the 1991 USA Adult Open Volleyball Championships in Kansas City. This USA Adult Open Tournament was a significant event for USA Volleyball in that it marked the first use of a Convention Center for providing all tournament playing courts under one roof, utilizing the newly developed Sport Court portable courts (provided by Sport Court Duragrid Corporation). While these courts had been utilized for the prior two years National Open, only two to four courts had been constructed and were used on a trial basis. While current USA Adult Open and USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships continue to use Sport Courts in considerably larger numbers, the 26 courts used in 1991 required a major logistical effort by Van Arsdale, his HOA staff, and the dramatically increased number of necessary volunteers. As the local host, Van Arsdale exhibited a working presence in the preparation and planning leading up to the event itself. The HOA later would host the 1993 USA Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships and 1997 USA Adult Open Championships in Kansas City.
In addition to his great contribution to the increasing success of past USAV National Events, Van Arsdale has ensured that the HOA Region would continue to grow in member size and programs through a system of sales with profits aiding the building a future volleyball headquarters for the Region. Always the innovator, and aided by HOA Board backing, he used merchandise profits, income from new member fees, sponsor money and VIK to enable the Region to initiate budgeting and planning for the purchase of a suitable building, convertible to a multiple-court Volleyball Facility. After almost 10 years of effort, this facility became reality in 2006 when the land and building were purchased, refurbished, and outfitted to accommodate six volleyball courts with the ability to convert to a showcase court with bleacher-type seating for spectators. Besides the Sport Court playing surface, the facility has ample office space for HOA employees, large storage areas, a large work room, and a very spacious multi-purpose room with a separate concession area with considerable seating for players or banquet attendees. The Region-owned facility has excellent lighting and 50-foot ceilings.
Moving to the Outdoor game, Van Arsdale introduced the concept of having a series of Outdoor tournaments in the Region to be known as the "Inland Beach Tour" and to be played in the Kansas City area with courts laid out on grass rather than typical beach sand. Started in 1994, this summer project has continued to present day, currently conducted on 20 courts. Realizing the potential increase in popularity in the game, Van Arsdale and Regional Volunteers were influential in the establishment of the Kansas City Lightening Pro team.
Working with The Kansas City Sports Commission and the NCAA, Van Arsdale is proceeding with preparations for the recently announced NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship to be held in Kansas City in 2010.
Van Arsdale's interest in volleyball began when he started playing in 1967 while competing in local tournaments with the Jewish Community Center Team in Kansas City. His playing career continued in local Rec level tournaments plus co-ed play in the Kansas City-area. In later years, Van Arsdale participated in USVBA Senior Tournaments with the Kansas City Masters. His coaching involvement began in 1975 with AAU Junior boys and girls play, during which time his teams won two National Championships, two silvers and four bronzes. He conducted the first Junior Regional Championships that were held in Kansas City in 1986.