July 13, 2018

Dear Infinity Players and Parents:

As you may have seen KRVA has recently posted new rules for the 2018-2019 tryout season. These new rules were voted on by the KRVA club directors. We wanted to be upfront and honest with our club members about Infinity’s position on the various rule changes.

As directors of Infinity, we supported those rule changes where we felt both the players/parents and clubs benefited. Our hope is that these rule changes help pave the way for a more efficient and smoother tryout period. Please read the below for helpful tips on navigating the rule changes and tryouts! (And feel free to share this document with others, especially at other clubs!)

With that said, along with several other club directors in KRVA, we took serious exception to the new Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer option. This new option allows clubs to make binding offers only to those players who were affiliated with their club for the prior season. Pre-Season Offers can be made during a specified time period, which is before and without any tryout. This is a voluntary option and club directors are not required to participate.

Obviously, the major “pro” behind this rule is the ability for players and clubs to make a decision ahead of tryouts. But this decision, may not be made knowing all of the facts. As we recently learned from the Region, clubs are not required to include any pertinent information in their offers other than an undefined fee range. The onus is on the parents to request in writing crucial details such as the specific team, coach, travel schedule, what is included in the fee, additional travel costs, etc. Unsuspecting parents will undoubtedly be caught unaware.

So what does this mean for you??? 
After careful deliberation and weeks of considering Pre-Season Offers from all perspectives, Infinity Volleyball Academy will not be sending any Pre-Season Offers. We believe that the unintended consequences of these types of offers should not be overlooked.

We were concerned about the players who do not receive Pre-Season Offers. Naturally they will feel jilted by the club and automatically start looking at other options. But club directors and coaches need to evaluate players based on their skill level and fit within the team at that particular time. Players attend numerous camps, skill clinics and conditioning or training over the summer, in addition to a full school season. That is a lot of opportunity for improvement!

Also, think about the player that does accept a Pre-Season Offer, and then circumstances change. She committed and she must play at that club – then she’s miserable the entire season. Is that fair to her or her teammates or coach? It’s unnecessary and avoidable.

We have tryouts to allow players to show club directors and coaches their talent at the start of the club season. We have tryouts to allow players to make informed decisions based on what they know in October/November when everyone is in the same position, not mid-July.

Lastly, just for a second consider the position the club is put in when a player declines a Pre-Season Offer. The club logically will believe the player intends to play for another club. The club then begins recruiting to find a replacement player. Could the player have really appreciated the offer and just wants to keep her options option? Yes, probably. But the club may not see it that way. Again, it’s unnecessary and avoidable.

Is tryout season stressful? Yes, it can be. But why is it stressful? It is because clubs (more than one) in our area have chosen to act in ways that create stress. Putting undue pressure on teenagers and their parents, as well as intentionally hiding pertinent facts and creating massive distrust in parents towards all clubs and directors. If we can stop that behavior and stand up to those using bullying tactics…then maybe most of the stress goes away. But Pre-Season Offers are not, in our opinion, the answer. It will do nothing to stop the behavior that causes all this stress for the majority of players and parents.

So what happens now?

  • We embrace the positive rule changes highlighted on the next page
  • We continue planning and preparing for the 2018-19 season
  • Players/Parents focus on getting ready for middle/high school
  • We ALL work to keep the player’s welfare and well-being in the forefront during tryouts
  • Players/Parents/Club Directors/Coaches make an educated and properly timed decision

THAT is a win-win strategy! 

We hope that by sharing our reasoning behind our decision it will set your mind at ease as we know many of you have been talking about this topic and it has created some angst. As always, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Sincerely,
Susan Kim & Jeff Rotondo
Infinity Volleyball Academy, Directors

Below:
KRVA Rule Changes and Helpful Hints for Tryouts 
Pre-Season Commitment Offers FAQs

PRE-SEASON COMMITMENT OFFERS
FAQs

Below, we have provided answers to what we think may be some frequently asked questions. These answers are based on guidance provided by the KRVA Region.

Q: What about other clubs who will be sending Pre-Season Club Commitment Offers?

A: We are aware other clubs may send out Pre-Season Club Commitment Offers. You should spread the word to your fellow players and parents that they do not have to accept those offers and can simply alert the club director that they will be at tryouts. Players that receive a Pre-Season Club Commitment offer can decline it, and then receive a normal offer after tryouts, which they will have 48 hours to accept.

Q: If a player receives a Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer but does not accept it, can she still tryout for her prior club and receive an offer?

A: Yes. Pre-Season Club Commitment Offers can be declined (or will expire after 48 hours if not accepted) and that player is still eligible to tryout for that club and receive a normal tryout offer. That player is also eligible to tryout for other clubs and accept an offer from another club.

Q: What happens if a player accepts a Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer and then changes her mind during the tryout period?

A: The Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer once accepted is binding. The player may not change clubs unless the club director releases her per KRVA rules.

Q: What happens if a player accepts a Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer and the team fails to fill up after the tryout period? The coach changes? The tournament schedule changes? The composition of the team drastically changes? The level of the team is changed (e.g. open to club / regional)?

A: These questions are extremely valid and something players/parents should seriously consider. What we know is that the Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer once accepted is binding. The player may not change clubs unless the club director releases her per KRVA rules. Unless a parent requests this information in writing from the club in their Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer, clubs are not required to include it. It is unclear what will happen if the information is included in the offer and then changes. Questions should be submitted to the KRVA Region.

Q: What happens if a player accepts a Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer and then is injured before the club season?

A: The Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer once accepted is binding. The player may not change clubs unless the club director releases her per KRVA rules. The club is required to keep a position for the player open on that team. Additionally, the player may be held financially responsible unless released depending on that club’s policies.

Q: What happens if a player accepts a Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer and family circumstances change regarding finances and an inability to pay for that particular club?

A: The Pre-Season Club Commitment Offer once accepted is binding. The player may not change clubs unless the club director releases her per KRVA rules. Additionally, the player may be held financially responsible unless released depending on that club’s policies.

Q: With the 48-hour acceptance period, does that mean my offer is gone after the 48 hours if I do not accept it?

A: Just like prior seasons when the acceptance period was longer, the club can still honor their offer to you after the expiration of the 48 hours, but they are not required to keep the offer open.

KRVA RULE CHANGES:
  • Tryouts can start on Saturday: Moving up the tryout day from Sunday to Saturday permits clubs to hold 2 days of tryouts before the binding offer submission date.
  • Creation of 1 uniform binding offer submission date: Written, binding offers are not allowed to be sent prior to 7:00pm on the Monday following the tryout weekend. This will create a level playing field for all clubs. It also allows players to attend multiple tryouts w/o undue pressure while also setting proper expectations with players/parents as to when offers may be received.
  • Creation of a KRVA offer template: This allows players and parents to truly compare offers against each other and make an informed decision.
  • Promised enforcement of a 48-hour acceptance period: This was changed from 96 hours. This will permit offers to be accepted/declined sooner. This new rule will also allow clubs to know about team formation sooner allowing offers to be made to wait listed players much quicker.
INFINITY’S HELPFUL HINTS FOR TRYOUTS:

 

  • BE WARY of clubs promising things verbally, but refusing to put them in writing.
  • Understand that you have 48 hours to accept any written offer. Offers must be in writing to be binding and can only be sent after 7:00pm on the Monday following the tryout weekend. The 48 hours starts from the time stamp on the offer email.
  • Any verbal offer and acceptance is non-binding. If a club forces you to make a decision prior to sending the official written offer, it is a non-binding acceptance. Further, the club is in violation of KRVA rules and is subject to sanctions. Any violations can be reported directly to KRVA at this link: http://form.jotform.us/form/51664226022144
  • Ask questions during open gyms and tryouts. Make sure you are informed as to the team composition, level, tournament schedule, travel commitments and fees for both regular season and post-season.
  • Require any information you expect the club to honor to be included in your offer (whether pre-season or after tryouts).
  • You are not required to sign any contract at tryouts, clinics, or open gyms to commit to playing at a club. The only BINDING OFFER is one that is e-mailed to the player at the allowable time(s) by the KRVA.
  • At any time, if you feel you are being harassed by a club’s representatives (directors or coaches); a player, parent, or legal guardian has the right to say “STOP”, and request in writing to the region that there be no further contact. From that point forward, all contact must come to a halt from that club. Emails can be sent to girls@krva.org to file in writing the request to stop.
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