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What is MAVA?

Mahtomedi Area Volleyball Association is a non-profit Junior Olympic Volleyball Club run by a volunteer board. MAVA strives to provide a place and opportunity for all girls who want to play volleyball after the typical school season ends in November. MAVA Board members and contact information is found on our website – there is also a general email to utilize if necessary.

Who is the governing body of JO Volleyball?

MAVA is registered with North Country Region JO Volleyball and must follow their rules, guidelines and tournament schedules to utilize their program offerings.

Why are try-outs scheduled in November?

We have to follow the rules of a ‘school club’ VB association. We are not allowed to host try-outs until after the State HS VB tournament. This timing also provides our potential players a chance to try-out in various clubs and ultimately land where they want.

What is the try-out process?

This day is a true try-out day - there may not be a spot for every player. Coaches come to choose their teams from the players available. We have guidelines for the coaches, no more than 12/team for younger ages and no more than 10/team for HS girls. The coaches decide who will fill the positions and work best together for their team. While we accommodate for those who cannot make try-out day, it can be difficult to create a team without all players present. We have to respect the coach’s choices and their roster, the coaches have a plan and MAVA and parents cannot make their team.

Note: Since we do not know exactly how many players will try-out, we are not 100% sure how many teams we will have for each age level – or if we have enough girls for a team at each age level. Many families register at the last minute which makes the process fluid and flexible. Therefore, we may create a team of players who would otherwise not be able to play for MAVA. Rules state we have to pull the youngest to the oldest level and call it a 2s team as there can only be one 1s team and one 2s team etc. We do this to make every effort to offer each girl a team if they want to play. This can be upsetting and confusing if the girls are not prepared. It is best to prepare your player for this possibility before try-out day.

How are practices scheduled?

Gym space is at a premium in Mahtomedi. We must share the gyms with the basketball and wrestling teams. The practice schedule is not solidified until mid-Nov. when all relevant sports have their potential days and times to discuss and arrange; which means MAVA may not be able to inform teams of the practice schedule prior to try-out day. The school district allows us to rent the space for (two) one and half hour sessions per team during the week. We cannot have practices on non-school days.  

Are all week-end days called tournaments?

No. Any of our teams can play a power league or play date. Basically, this is a shorter day with pool play only and no bracket play (play until you lose). Usually these days are about 4 hours long and attended by the 12s, 13s, and possibly 14s. A true tournament day is some form of pool play first to determine each team’s level and then the team moves on to bracket play for championship at their level (more than 5 hour days). The majority of our teams attend tournaments only. However, some teams will do a combination of the two.

  • The 11s & 12s schedule from North Country does not offer many options for true tournaments and most coaches and players feel it is very tiring to play for more than 3 – 4 hours. The 11s & 12s days are usually called play dates and the Select Rahlia facility in Maple Grove is our best option so far. We will try to find one tournament for this team.
  • The 13s will mostly attend tournaments but may utilize power league days.
  • The 14s only use power league days if necessary for scheduling.
  • The 15s, 16s and 17s will go for true tournaments every time.

How are tournaments scheduled?

Our coaches need to offer a preferred schedule according to their availability on week-ends. Some coaches may require only Saturdays or only Sundays. MAVA also asks the coaches to avoid Spring Break and three day holiday week-ends UNLESS their team agrees to attend two day tournaments. The coaches also want to look at the caliber of their team and choose appropriate tournaments if possible, which is difficult to do before practices begin. Practices begin in late Nov. or early Dec. We are not allowed to practice Winter Break, which makes it difficult to ask our teams to begin tournaments any earlier than mid-Jan. The number of tournaments attended is based on how many are available and the cost per player MAVA requires. Many families have expressed the length of a tournament day as a deterrent for more tournament days in a season. The Team Director works with the North Country schedule for available area tournaments at the correct age level to will secure a spot. MAVA does not have any control over when or where the tournaments are and how many teams can join. All of this process takes time and effort and MAVA will do our best to expedite this process for more options.

What determines the length of our season?

Again, this is a balancing act of coach’s availability and JO tournament availability. Larger JO Clubs have a season that actually goes through June. MAVA tries to work within the winter season as many of our players move on to another sport in April. We also recognize that we have limited hours for practice and consequently, will not be one of the more competitive clubs in the area.

How do coaches choose their rosters, line-ups and substitutions?

North Country Region does not allow players to play ‘down’ or at a younger level than their age/grade, regardless of their ability; however, we can move players ‘up’ to the next age/grade level to allow for more room instead of outright cutting players. Coaches have their own process and choose the players they believe will fit their strategy best. Our coaches have ultimate control with-in MAVA guidelines. MAVA does not allow more than 10 - 12 on a team so there is more direct coach attention at practice and more available play time at tournaments. These numbers also allow for team building and hopefully, seamless substitutions and transitions. Your player at 12, 13, and 14 levels should receive equal play time in play dates or pool play at tournaments based on attendance and attentiveness at practices. All bracket play at tournaments will be at the coach’s discretion. The 15, 16, and 17 levels play based on coach’s discretion. Unfortunately, not every coach works for every player and there is potential for disappointment at all levels. Please communicate with your coaches regarding play time questions. If you need assistance with communication, please contact the MAVA Team Director.

What is the best way to communicate between coaches and families?

The website is a good tool for the schedule and tournament information (and is improved this season). Most coaches utilize posting announcements on their team page. We are making an effort to work with future coaches to ensure better communication and website usage.

What does MAVA do with my money?

There are many costs for each player: JO registration with North Country, uniforms, equipment, and facilities for practice, tournament fees and coaches. MAVA pays our coaches to develop their teams and invest in our players. MAVA is not for profit and we intend to use your money for your player each year.