COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 4, 2012) – The USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC), the premier annual volleyball event for youth club volleyball across the United States, will undergo several modifications starting with the 2013 event being held at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas. In total, the GJNC will have five divisions raising the possible tournament field size from 816 teams in 2012 to approximately 1,200 in 2013.
While the Open Division will not change from the 32-team format for each age group from 14s to 18s, the National and American Divisions will have modifications to their formats. In addition, a fourth and fifth division – USA and Patriot – have been added to the GJNC starting in 2013.
“The changes for the 2013 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships will greatly add to the excitement and competitive experience of the teams not only attending the event, but also the qualifying events that lead to the Championships – both at the Region level and at National Qualifiers,” USA Volleyball Senior Director Tom Pingel said. “There is now a division for everyone, which allows more teams to participate in the USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships.”
The new National Division format will have 48 teams per age group with all bids awarded through the regions based on 2012 registration numbers. The National Division will be comprised generally of the top teams in the regions that do not obtain an Open Division bid. Previously, teams could earn bids into the National Division through the national qualifier process.
The newly formed USA Division will have a 24-team field per age group with all bids awarded at National Qualifiers. This division will replace the former National Division at National Qualifiers.
The American Division will continue in 2013 without any modifications. A total of 48 teams will be awarded via Regions and the National Qualifiers per age group. The American Division targets teams that are competitive Regionally and typically do not travel far from their geographic area of the country.
The GJNC will debut a fifth division, the Patriot Division, in 2013 as an open access division where teams do not need to qualify. This new championship flight will have field sizes between 24 and 48 teams per age group. Should a team entered in the Patriot Division later qualify for a higher tournament, the team’s entry and fee will be transferred to the higher tournament. This tournament will be offered for five age levels (11s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 17s) in 2013. This division is ideal for teams looking to finish their season at the GJNC without waiting to see if they will obtain a bid in the higher divisions of if they wish to not pursue qualifying bids.
Per the recommendation of the Junior Assembly in May, USA Volleyball has created an 11-and-under age group in the Patriot Division starting in 2013. This division will be a three-day championship.
All championships within an age group for each division (Open, National, USA, American and Patriot where applicable) will be contested on the same days at the Dallas Convention Center. This will allow teams to plan in advance to play during that time frame before the club season begins, regardless if they bids are earned in a higher division.
While all USA Volleyball National Championships and divisions will still be subject to USA Volleyball’s Stay to Play policy, THS and USA Volleyball will be meeting to work on refining the process. An update on any chances to procedures will be communicated in October, if not sooner.
Among other Stay to Play updates, the lottery for club access to the room block for both USA Volleyball Boys’ and Girls’ Junior National Championships will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with the possibility of a live video stream. While the Patriot Division will be Stay to Play, the nuances of the new division with regard to Stay to Play will be examined. In addition, additional opportunities for clubs or Regions to block rooms through Stay to Play will be examined.
A list of the 2013 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Qualifiers with dates can be found at click here.