These Unsettled Times

Because puppies are what’s right with the world (these are my Maddie’s litter)

On March 11, USA Volleyball recommended that all sanctioned events scheduled through March 22 be postponed or canceled over concern about slowing the transmission of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the nation. The Pacific Northwest Qualifier in Spokane was the first to announce its cancellation. The Mideast Qualifier in St. Louis and Indianapolis, the Windy City Qualifier in Chicago, Crossroads II in Denver and Show Me I in Kansas City have all followed suit. Others are likely to be canceled in the coming days as well.

These are, indeed, difficult times; a period in each of our lives that we will remember forever.  If you were affected by any of the cancelations or will be by any forthcoming decisions, it is fair to be angry and upset at opportunities lost, while at the same time recognizing that containing the spread of the virus is something bigger than any athletic competition.

At, we are currently coming to grips with our new reality. Not only did we have to cancel our Crossroads Recruiting Showcase at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and tell 385 players that they would not be able to impress college coaches with their abilities, we also won’t be traveling in the short term to cover and report on all of the exciting qualifier action across the country. That lies at the heart of what we do each spring.

What will happen next? For any of us? That is the big unknown. We know that five qualifiers have been canceled and other qualifiers and major events likely will be soon. The lost revenues will be enormous, the lost opportunities even greater; and the impact — on college volleyball programs, which rely on these events to recruit players to their programs; on volleyball clubs and their coaches and administrators, for whom this is a fulltime focus; on referees and sport court suppliers and untold others — will be wide-reaching and devastating.

What we don’t know is whether there will be a 2020 club season going forward or a Junior National Championships or AAUs or whether the season will be wiped from the books with one fell swoop of a rubbing alcohol-based sanitizing cloth.

At present, all we can do is hope. Hope that the coronavirus does not spread as rapidly or as comprehensively as some predict. Hope that our immediate families stay safe and that those in our extended communities and the country as a whole do as well. Hope that our emotional healing comes quickly once the immediate threat of infection starts to wane and that our financial healing comes quickly as well.

In these unusual times, we are reminded of how wonderful normalcy can be in our everyday lives. We don’t need volleyball to live, but it is part of who we are and what we do. It’s only been a few days, but we feel its loss and long for its return for myriad reasons, but primarily to reassure us that everything will be okay.

It is okay to feel anger because of how the pause on club volleyball competition affects our plans or our futures or those of our children. At the same time, however, we need to trust that decisions are being made in the best interest of the greater good. Quoting Aaron Fitt of, who wrote a brilliant piece yesterday, “It’s not about the risk any one of us in particular faces, but how we take responsibility for the care of our communities. It would be awful if a game we all love turned into a venue for harming our communities by spreading this disease.”

Hold your loved ones close. Take deep breaths. This too shall pass.

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