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AAU Nationals Has Been Postponed; JVA World Challenge Cancelled

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AAU Nationals is charging on (as of May 15th) but is postponed until July.

On Friday, May 15th, changes to two events were announced. Orlando’s 47th Annual AAU National Championship event has been postponed until July and the JVA World Challenge in Louisville has been cancelled.

In recent weeks, AAU Volleyball has announced a strategic plan to continue on with the large event despite public push-back. Fewer than half of the number of teams in last year’s event are scheduled to attend since the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, the event is set to begin on July 14th with detailed dates and information to follow.

The AAU Volleyball website released a statement followed by one on the AAU Sports page.

AAU Volleyball Nationals has been postponed until July. The new event start date will be July 14th. The division breakdown with specific dates will be posted as soon as it is available. Status changes will be sent out to volleyball members, and will also be updated right here. Our first priority is the safety and welfare of all of our members. 

The AAU Sports website has made the following announcement:

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 15, 2020) – Upon further conversation, and taking into consideration the ongoing findings of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) and the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, Inc. (AAU) have mutually postponed the 47th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships to a later date.

The priority is to keep guests, employees, and the community safe as the OCCC continues to monitor policy changes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Task Force, state and federal mandates.

This decision will allow the OCCC time to implement its Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines and receive its Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™ provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment and biorisk situations.

“Since 1888, the AAU has prided itself on providing quality event participation opportunities to millions of athletes in a safe environment,” said AAU President & CEO Dr. Roger J. Goudy. “Our goal has always been to host the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships when, and where, it was deemed safe to do so and with all necessary containment and mitigation measures in place.  In working with OCCC, we recognize the current status of the disease precludes us from meeting that goal by the original dates in June. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to move the AAU Volleyball event to start July 14. We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters during this time.”     

The event is subject to the governor’s reopening orders and the continued flattening of the COVID-19 curve. The AAU and OCCC will continue to work and consult with partners on the event including Orange County Government, Orlando Health and Visit Orlando.   

 “We care deeply about our employees, clients and guests and we will always do what is in the best interest of our community,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “We remain committed to the economic resiliency of our clients and appreciate the AAU’s continued commitment and support of the center.”

The OCCC will continue to work with clients on a day-to-day basis on their trade shows and events.

The AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships event will begin July 14, 2020. Age division breakdown and length of event information will be available soon.

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The Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) had previously rescheduled the World Challenge event from April to June with hopes that the public health circumstances would change. Unfortunately, it hadn’t and after cancelling the West Coast Cup and Summerfest earlier this spring, the JVA announced the World Challenge, hosted in Louisville, would also become unable to occur. The following is a letter by JVA Executive Director Jenny Hahn, on the JVA website, along with recommendations on how to proceed safely.

Members of the Junior Volleyball Community,

We hope that during these extremely difficult and strenuous times, you, your loved ones, and close volleyball community are safe and healthy. As many of you know, yesterday, the JVA made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 JVA World Challenge. We were hopeful to be in a position by this time to host the JVA World Challenge.

Our reason to cancel our remaining three events was based on the current guidelines, both nationally and locally in Long Beach, Columbus and Louisville. In discussions with our staff, our board and member clubs, we feel this decision is best for the safety of all club staff, athletes, their families and the communities in those respective cities.

Aside from being a financial burden on our organization, the cancellation of the JVA West Coast Cup, SummerFest and now World Challenge, is emotionally devastating for our staff. The JVA World Challenge is a year-long planning process. We put our heart and soul into trying to make each of our events an experience for the teams.

We will truly miss: team check-in where we get to see so many familiar faces and meet many new ones; when we hit “play” on the warm-up music, open the doors and the teams flood in; the late nights waiting for the last tie breaker set to finish; the proud parents watching the awards presentation; and our quality time as a staff before, during and after the final score sheet gets turned in.

We miss all of you.

We know so many were looking forward to the JVA World Challenge, so we are excited to announce plans to host a 2020 Virtual JVA World Challenge on June 12-13 that will include team challenges, contests, prizes, and a great way to unite clubs and teams around the world in a safe and fun way.

Team registration will open on Monday along with event details, so keep an eye on your inbox! All teams and clubs are invited to participate and join us in the Virtual World Challenge!

2021 JVA Hosted event dates are posted on the JVA website and AES. We are truly thankful for your support and understanding during these times. We know that better days are ahead, and through continued perseverance we will come out stronger and further united in our sport.

We hope you will ALL join us on June 12-13 in the VIRTUAL JVA WORLD CHALLENGE!

Warmest regards,

Jenny Hahn
JVA Executive Director

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