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CEVA Blue Ribbon Club Program

CEVA started the Blue Ribbon Club program last year. It is a voluntary, incentive-based program, that has been designed to begin to address a number of areas the CEVA staff have identified that will help continue to grow Junior Girls’ volleyball in the region in a positive and forward-thinking manner.

Before we get to the specifics of the program, we think that you should have a little background information.

Our staff has done some broad-based research into trends in youth sports in general, trends in other USAV regions around the country, as well as more specific research involving CEVA itself.  While all of youth sports and all of the USAV regions around the country have some shared issues to deal with, here in the Columbia Empire Region we have a couple of trends that you need to know about.

The first of these trends shows that during the past five (5) years, we have averaged over 200 registered, certified coaches per year that have not returned to coach in a CEVA club the following year. While a number of these can be attributed to “life” circumstances that prevent them from returning, a majority of those contacted by our staff stated one or two main reasons for not returning. The first reason was a lack of organization and communication within their club. The second, and by far the greatest number cited, was the behavior of the parents.

Before you roll your eyes and say to yourself “no kidding,” think about those numbers for a minute. Over 200 coaches per year are choosing not to return to work with the young volleyball players in this region. That is an alarming situation.

The second noteworthy trend involves our CEVA officials. Our officials’ cadre numbers are down and the age of our officials is up. In speaking with our Officials’ Chair and our Scorers’ Chair, both highly regarded National Officials in their own careers, they are having a difficult time recruiting new, younger officials. Some quality candidates will come on board for a year and then decide it is not what they want to be involved with.

In talking with some of the officials that have left our cadre, whether old or new, the overwhelming reason for them deciding to leave is the negative behavior of coaches and parents. While some of you may have concerns about the quality of some of our CEVA officials, if this trend continues, in the future, you and your coaches may be officiating your own matches all season long including the CEVA Regional Championships.

The third trend that we all know about involves the cost of club volleyball. While there is not a quick solution to this issue (club have to pay coaches, facility rent, etc), and we as a region have similar financial responsibilities, the CEVA Junior Girls’ Committee has requested additional funds from CEVA to assist teams that qualify for the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC). This is an understandable request given the fact that we had 12 CEVA teams compete at USAV GJNC in 2017 (and 14 the year before), up from a previous high of 4.  

Along with this we are also aware that the majority of our CEVA clubs do not attend USAV GJNC so we want to assist those clubs as well.

The three main issues of decreasing coaching numbers, decreasing officials numbers, and the cost of club volleyball combined to work as the catalyst for the CEVA “Blue Ribbon Club” Program. We have examined these issues and put together a program that we believe will appeal to a broad range of clubs, that is incentive-based rather than punishment-based, and can have a positive impact for everyone while addressing some of the most pressing issues for the CEVA region.

We want you to know that this program can only work if Club Directors decide that these issues are important. They have the most contact with and impact on coaches and parents.

You have the opportunity to help create change within your own club that will in turn help create change within the region as a whole. We are hoping that the “Blue Ribbon Club” Program is another tool for you to use to help with this change.



To reinforce & incentivize club compliance with CEVA regional procedures, best practices, and guidelines, including, but not limited to, rules pertaining to conduct of coaches, parents and players.

Incentives For All Clubs:

All clubs meeting the “Blue Ribbon” standard are eligible for publicity and marketing of their club by having the “Blue Ribbon Club” designation placed on their individual websites and/or social media channels, as well as on the CEVA online club directory and/or social media channels (see our current Club Directory for an example of how this looks).

Teams from clubs who attain “Blue Ribbon Club” status in the CEVA region are eligible to have their entry fees to USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships (GJNC) reimbursed by the Region, if they earn and accept an Open or National level bid at the CEVA Bid Tournament or a National Qualifier (NQ) Tournament. 

Teams from clubs who attain “Blue Ribbon Club” status in the CEVA region are eligible to have $500 of their entry fees to GJNC reimbursed if they earn and accept an American or USA bid at the CEVA Bid Tournament or a National Qualifier (NQ) Tournament.  Note that CEVA only distributes National and American bids at our Regional Bid Tournament (no Open or USA bids).

Teams from clubs who do not earn or accept a bid at the CEVA Bid Tournament or a NQ, but earn and accept a bid at the CEVA Regional Championships, will be eligible to receive funds from a pool of money allocated by the Region, equally split among all teams qualifying for those funds. 

All “Blue Ribbon Club” teams that earn and accept bids to GJNC and compete in the tournament, will be required to submit an article and team photo involving their experience to the CEVA office to be posted on the CEVA website in order to receive funds from CEVA. The article and photo must be submitted by July 31, 2018.

All clubs who attain Blue Ribbon status will be eligible to receive equipment from Baden at the end of the year.  More details about this particular incentive will be announced soon.

“Blue Ribbon Club” Criteria:

  • Clubs must develop a Club Handbook and submit an electronic copy to the Region (will not be shared without permission). The Club Handbook must be made available to all coaches, players and parents within the club, either in hard copy form or on the club website.  This handbook must include the text of the USAV Spectator/Parent Code of Conduct, and the USAV Junior Club Personnel Code of Ethics as well as a dispute resolution and fee refund policy (Sample Club Handbook available on CEVA website, Word doc available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • Clubs must have all first and second year coaches officiate a scrimmage or match situation (a set to 25) with a Certified CEVA Head Official in attendance to give advice and feedback. This may be done during a normally scheduled practice time, a club hosted tournament, or the CEVA Friendship Tournament.  This must be completed by the end of January, 2018. Head Official will be coordinated/scheduled by the CEVA Staff and our CEVA Head of Officials and will be paid for by CEVA.
  • Clubs must adhere to all guidelines in the Junior Girls Handbook, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Coaches (or another rostered adult of the team) must attend coaches meetings prior to all CEVA Friendship/Power League Tournaments.
    • Teams must have the correct number of scorers and officials on their roster prior to the Power League Qualifier in January.
    • Rosters presented by coaches must be current (as outlined in Junior Girls Handbook).
  • Individual coaches in clubs may accumulate no more than two (2) yellow cards in a season (as reported by CEVA officials on their post-tournament TIFs).
  • Individual coaches in clubs may be assessed zero (0) red cards in a season (as reported by CEVA officials on their post-tournament TIFs).
  • Clubs may have no coaches or players disqualified from a match.
  • Clubs may have no coach, parent or player ejected from an event or facility by a CEVA Head Official, Tournament Director or facility host, due to violations of the USAV Spectator/Parent Code of Conduct, USAV Junior Club Personnel Code of Ethics, and/or USAV Participant Code of Conduct.
  • Clubs may have no personnel on probation or suspension within a two-year period.
  • Clubs who host club-hosted tournaments must abide by all sanctioning guidelines, including the submission of results, rosters and insurance requirements.
  • Individual teams within clubs may have no more than two (2) reports/complaints about parents or spectators from CEVA Head Officials, Tournament Directors, or Facility Hosts.
  • The CEVA Executive Director has the authority to revoke the Blue Ribbon Club status of clubs at any time for just cause, after communication with the Club Director (such as an accumulation of cards, parent complaints, etc).
  • There will be an appeal process for disputed revocation of status.


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CEVA grad Nicole Peterson's journey to ASU

Columbia Empire Volleyball Association
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