Club News

Opinion: When Adults Let Young Women Down

Lindsay Krause’s uniform was washed and ready for her. The 6-3 outside hitter, who committed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in July 2017, knew where her white kneepads, black arm sleeve and adidas shoes were.  The 16-year-old sophomore, playing club this season for Premier Nebraska 16 Gold, possessed the headband and rubber bands to keep her long blonde hair out of her face and tie most of it in the ponytail that would cascade down her back.

She was healthy and yearning to play for her team Sunday and Monday at the 2019 Asics Show Me National Qualifier in Kansas City, more than 200 miles southeast of her Omaha home. Krause, one of the elite players nationally in the 2021 class, had come for the express purpose of playing volleyball.

Because of adult decisions, however, Krause not only was barred from playing for her team the last two days at Show Me, she was not even allowed on her team’s bench!


Premier Nebraska was having a terrific Saturday morning in KC. The team did not drop a set in their first 16 Open pool at Show Me, sweeping Excel, Houston Juniors South and Encore as the No. 1 seed in Pool 5.

“The girls were firing on all cylinders, playing amazing volleyball,” said head coach Sarah Lusk. “They were finding their offensive rhythm and truly enjoying the moment with each other. I can’t tell you how excited they were for this weekend.”

Lusk and her charges had long since left the convention center for the day when Premier Nebraska’s club director called with some bad news. Krause, who had played in all three matches, was not listed on the official Show Me roster for 16 Gold. The tournament desk determined that Premier Gold was playing with an “illegal roster.” The team had to forfeit all three Saturday wins.

A two-hour appeal proved fruitless. The forfeits were upheld. Moreover, Krause could no longer play for her team that weekend.

How did this happen? How was it permitted to happen?

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  1. Avatar


    April 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Maybe the lesson for young women is that mistakes happen but rules are rules. Multiple steps were there to catch the omission and premier Nebraska failed each time.

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    April 10, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Looks like Achenbrenners comment shows why these things happen, and nobody can be counted on to use common sense to do what’s right for the kids. Remember them? It’s supposed to be fun. It’s not fair to hold the kids responsible for an adult error, especially when it’s such a non—issue. My daughter played for a team at JO’s a few years back, and the parent club forgot to check her team in. The team had earned the bid, and the coaches had done their part, but because of a mistake by the parent club the team had to forfeit the first game of the day. Fortunately the girls were allowed to play the rest of the tournament. I can’t tell you how upset i’d be if that happened to my daughter. Thanks for another great article!

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    April 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    This also happened to a player in 15 USA Division… She was listed with the wrong jersey number.

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    April 10, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    My point is it totally sucks for this young woman, but the fault is of premier Nebraska. They not only put in the wrong roster, they then confirmed it and signed it at check in. So twice at least they made errors. The article brings up the HJV coach as if it’s their fault. No, Nebraska premier is at fault.

  5. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    April 11, 2019 at 4:32 am

    Everybody’s at fault. But one was an act of omission; another an act of commission.

    Personally, I despise the “rules are rules” argument. What if punishment for the violation was banishment from club volleyball the rest of the year? Would you still be saying “well the club broke the rule?” My point is this was a nothing violation — an absolute nothing, given the submitted, frozen roster — and yet a club coach decided to report it and a tournament committee decided to hurt (incidentally) a kid as a result. For a nothing when doing the right thing would be so easy…and so human.

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    April 11, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Agreed. Everyone is at fault, however the HJV coach showed the ugly side of competitive volleyball (and sports in general). That coach reminded us that at all costs, people will throw you under the bus for their gain (and a win). I guess that’s life?

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    April 11, 2019 at 5:15 am

    And not to equate this to cheating because by what I’m reading here Premiere Nebraska wasn’t cheating at all…but this scenario reminds me of when someone cheats on their GF/BF and someone tells on the offender…who ends up looking bad and silly in the end when the couple stays together? The person who stuck their nose in it.

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    April 11, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Achenbrenner, I did not see anyone say the Premier NE did NOT mess up. Seems like everyone pointed out that the mistake was made; including Premier. The question is what penalty for the mistake in this context? The article accurately points out that the rostering rules are in place to prevent clubs from swinging up a “ringer” or two to help their club teams artificially obtain qualifying bids. That is quite clearly not the case here; for a team that has been together the entire season, already qualified for nationals, qualified in the same division (highest division) and was playing in KC with the exact same “frozen” roster it qualified with. In many contexts penalties for rule infractions are essentially “declined.” The Houston club coach is rightfully saying that is what would have been the right thing to do here. The competition on the court was settled. No one engaged in nefarious conduct to obtain the result on the court. Point out the rostering mistake, let the administrators consider the circumstances (including verifying continuity of the roster) correct it, and move on to the next day’s competition.

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    April 11, 2019 at 6:12 am

    This scenario is my worst nightmare as a club director. I totally agree that the 3 different registration platforms for USAV events are 2 too many. It is too easy to make a mistake like the one made. Many years ago, I did something similar, only I forgot to register a team for a qualifier and did not figure it out until the schedules came out. It was an expensive mistake for me personally and the club. This scenario is awful on so many levels. Bad for Nebraska Elite for not submitting a correct roster. Bad for whoever checked the team in and did not catch the error. Bad for the coach who turned them in. Bad for USAV who look like the bad guys for enforcing a well established rule, but mostly bad for the player and her team. It sounds like the player and the team and the club handled the ruling with dignity and class. I applaud them for that. I also applaud the HJV club director for reaching out. I am sure the coach who turned the team in feels pretty darn bad about it. The most disturbing thing in that scenario is she was “highly encouraged” to report it when it had no impact on her team’s standing or ability to get a bid. What is wrong with people?

    I am not sure what USAV could have done differently after it was brought to their attention. I do not fault them for enforcing the rules. It is very black and white. We can debate that their roster was frozen at an earlier qualifier, but every club director knows you have to turn in and sign a correct roster at every event before your team can play. If we start making value judgements on the rules- frozen roster, been on roster since 14, on all other rosters, etc. you are opening a can of worms for the next case. What USAV can do differently is streamline the registration process and insist that qualifiers all use the same system. There will be all sorts of complaints if they do that from the qualifier owners who have a financial stake in their own registration and reporting systems.

    Thank you to John and PVB for an excellent editorial.

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    April 11, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Buckeyevb, very sensible and fair response.

    Regarding the HJV coach being “highly encouraged” … as an adult coach it’s your job to make tough and sometimes controversial judgement calls on a consistent basis (regardless of coercion, etc) . Obviously the coach didn’t think this one through at all, and unfortunately has to live with that decision. I also feel a little bad for this person because the volleyball world is a small one and he/she won’t be able to hide from this incident.

    But I agree with you USAV was left with no choice and go by the book.

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    April 11, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I am disgusted that the HJV Coach was even named or in anyway being discussed! Or that it is being implied that everyone should have just turned a blind eye and not reported the error. The error was on the part of Nebraska Premier and rules must be followed! Many things happen in an athlete life’s that are ‘out of their control’ such as equipment failures, coaching failures, lost uniforms, shoes, luggage, etc… in the end that’s the way it is. Writing a whole article implying that the rules should have been broken ‘because the kids shouldn’t be punished” is not the real world.

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    April 11, 2019 at 6:57 am

    mhaines4 even the HJV Club director would have handled it differently…that says a lot right there.

  13. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    April 11, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Turned a blind eye to what exactly? I favor punishing people for big mistakes not infinitesimally small ones.

    While I agree that rules must be followed I do not agree with your use of the exclamation point, which suggests they must be followed “or else.” The club unintentionally broke a rule. If there was a penalty meted out, this should not have been it. Much too severe.

    I liken it to the express checkout at a grocery story. If I show up with 11 items thinking I had only 10, I should be entitled to apologize and go on my way. If I had 30 items and knew I did, then by all means send me to another checker and report the violation over the store’s public address system. Do you see my point?

  14. sosocal


    April 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    I agree with @mhaines4 that the HJV coach should not even be in the article, and the repeated shaming of them while absolving the club that made the mistake is really distasteful.

    The mistake was already being talked about and was going to come out. It had to be dealt with, and it is infinitely better to deal with it on day 1 as opposed to day 2 or (god forbid) day 3. It was not a minor equipment violation that could be quietly corrected if nobody brought it up. This was not correctable without going through the tournament officials, and it had to be corrected before the end.

    Pointing to the HJV director as justification for shaming the coach is misguided. Any competent director would weigh the benefit to the club against the potential negative publicity. HJV gained no advantage, so it was not a smart move. That doesn’t mean that someone else at some point would not have brought up the issue. There is nothing courageous about that stance, it is purely club self-preservation to let someone else be the one to bring up the issue.

    I completely agree that there should have been a different penalty (or a warning with no penalty) from the hearing with the officials, and hopefully something reasonable can come out of this for the future. The team should have been allowed to keep their wins and the player should have been allowed to continue to play. However, it was correct to hold the hearing in the first place. It had to occur. It wasn’t a mistake that could or should have been just ignored by everybody.

  15. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    April 11, 2019 at 8:36 am

    “It wasn’t a mistake that could or should have been just ignored by everybody.”

    Actually, it could have. Since Premier already had qualified and wasn’t using an illegal player, they should have just been allowed to play. The trickle down to eighth place would take care of who qualified from the event.

  16. Avatar


    April 11, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Again, no one is saying that the issues didn’t need to be dealt with. There seem to be two issues being conflated into one. The first is this: Once the mistake was brought to the attention of the Houston coach by the unnamed “college coach,” what should be done. The Houston club director is saying that the coach should have called her, the club director. The Houston coach admitted she got “caught up in the moment.” The Premier coach said “I just would have liked a courtesy nod when someone saw the mistake,” said Lusk. “I would have let a coach or club know if I caught the mistake instead of going straight to tournament desk, because I would want the same.” So the two clubs seems to be in agreement that the Houston coach (and query why the “college coach” didn’t point out the error to the team with the error rather than one of its opponents…) should have gone through different channels rather than go directly to the tournament officials first.

    The second issue is what remedy should have been applied for the admitted violation of the rule. It absolutely needed to be dealt with. It is clear that the premise of the article is that the rule is unfairly draconian for what, in this particular instance, was a minor, honest, human mistake. It certainly seems to me that what this article does best is advocate for a change in how violations of minor rules can be handled. If wiping out three games AND disallowing the player’s participation going forward in the rest of the tournament the best we can do here? I don’t think so.

  17. sosocal


    April 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

    “they should have just been allowed to play”

    Correct. The roster should have been corrected and she should have been allowed to play. They made the wrong decision, and if there was no way within the rules to make the right decision, then the rules need to change. Continuing to play her once you realize she is not on the roster is NOT OK. Pretending she was on the roster when she wasn’t is not “allowing” her to play, it is turning a blind eye which could cause problems downstream. As to your contention that it didn’t matter because of trickle down, in fact the bid allocation may have been altered because of the decision. If Premier was allowed to continue at full strength, it is likely that Mintonette loses to Premier and possible that Northern Lights would have lost to Excel, which would have knocked them out of the gold pools and would have completely changed the match for the 3rd bid. Yes, it was a complete shame that they made the wrong decision, but the decision mattered, so ignoring the situation was NOT the right answer. The HJV coach was not the problem, had no part in the decision and should not have been dragged through the mud.

  18. sosocal


    April 11, 2019 at 10:10 am

    @VBfan, I agree with the Premier coach saying “I just would have liked a courtesy nod when someone saw the mistake,”. I doubt anything else would have changed, but it would have allowed them to get out in front of the issue and own it by going to officials themselves. That is the sole complaint with the HJV coach, and I find it very minor.

  19. Avatar


    April 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    I agree with question why does USA Volleyball allow for different registration systems? All qualifiers and national tournaments should be managed through one system whether it’s AES, SportsWrench etc.

  20. Avatar


    April 14, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Anyone who says rules are rules is not and never was a real volleyball player. USAV continues to destroy the game and only care about rules and money. It used to be about the player. It’s why in the beach world they are failing miserably!!! They use the BS term Grow the Game the only thing they care about is grow their pockets

  21. Avatar


    April 29, 2019 at 11:19 am

    A similar thing happened to us last year at a JNQ. Adults trying to “lawyer” their team to a win that they were not confident enough their team could do on merits. Here is the Summary: Playing with 8 girls (yes we need more) in the gold bracket of a qualifier, we were undefeated into day 3. The team was wearing black jersies (as they had each day) and the libero was were a Royal Blue (not Navy and quite bright, even in BW photos you can clearly see contrast). Teams are both allowed to warm up, but as they did two tournament admins were standing a little bit away watching the court. Handshakes and starters get on the floor. About to start first serve and the Up Ref “suddenly” decides the libero jersey is illegal. We protest (same uniforms for two previous days) and tournament officials magically appear to consult with up ref. Roster is handed in so Libero must have same number. Bags are all packed and checked (last day of tourney). An obvious set up. Worst sportsmanship I have ever seen out of a region and team. We played without a libero while two moms ran to find her suitcase/dig through it/find a white jersey and run back to the convention center.
    While the team did not lose a match the whole tournament, that was their most satisfying win even though it took three sets. Adults trying to intervene achieved a win in the first set, but they got rolled in the next two when they could not complain about anything.

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