Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association is pleased to announce a new indoor volleyball program kicking off this week!
In an effort to increase the youth players’ exposure, NMIVA is initiating an All‐Star High School Team program. Initially we will begin with one male team and one female team consisting of 30 players each. Not all players will necessarily be selected to attend or play in competitions. This privilege will be earned through hard work, dedication and commitment to the program.
The All-Stars teams will be selected from players who participated in the Marianas Interscholastic Sports Organization league’s most recent seasons (SY2014-15). Total number of players will be about 60 players. The recent MISO season champion teams will automatically be included and then MISO players will be recruited via nomination by their MISO coaches from each and every other team in the league.
Fundamentally, NMIVA has worked with MISO for the past few years helping with its high school league program, which is inclusive of public and private schools. This program has steadily produced better players each season; as such it was recognized that the community was ready for the next steps. MISO and NMIVA looked at it and identified two objectives. First, expand to junior high school and second create next tier competition opportunities.
“We think that after this pilot season, we should have a better sense of the base of players that we have to work with and develop over the next 3-4 years. In a long-term vision, these players would either be heading to college with amazing volleyball skills or else continuing to represent a CNMI National Volleyball Team,” offered Nick Gross, MISO director.
Guam Volleyball Federation has invited the NMIVA to enter teams in their high school championship tournament. The boys’ tournament will be from May 29 to June 1, 2015, and the girls’ tournament is set in October with the exact dates to be announced at a latter time. These will be the first competitions that the All-Stars teams will target.
“We’ve had to look at the fact that our limited resources need to support the greatest return for the total growth of our sport. We are seeing our initial target population for off island competition is likely those 14-25 ages looking out over the next 5-10 years,” said NMIVA president Laurie Peterka
“We’ve wanted to expand these opportunities for some time now, but we lacked volunteers or resources to help make additional programs possible. Now that we have Darcy and Codie to help Nick and I, we can push forward on our dreams of seeing competitive indoor continue both here and regionally; and eventually internationally. We have to take baby steps and build our capacity so that we have strong programs, dedicated players and a good shot at competing successfully in the regional and international arenas,” said Peterka.
Peterka further commented, “For resource support, we are applying to the Oceania Zonal Volleyball Association (OZVA) and Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC). We’ve also reached out to USA Volleyball, who helped by donating volleyballs and training videos.” (NMIVA)