What to Expect at an SCVA Tournament 

The SCVA is the Southern California region of USA Volleyball and the region in which all of our travel teams (Regional & National), participate!  There are 1,000s of teams in the region and only a handful of large facilities to use for tournaments.  This is why the tournament locations are not predetermined and we don’t always know where we’re going to play, or whether we will play in an AM or PM pool until the week leading up to the tournament date.  It is important to leave the whole day available for this reason. 

Once the SCVA does release the playing sites for each age group, you can always find that information for yourself by visiting www.scvavolleyball.org and clicking “Junior Boys” and “Weekend Sites”.  You’ll see the active link for the age group in the middle of the page.  On this website, you can also look up tournament results in the “Current Standings” section, find Site Directions, and see the whole SCVA Schedule

Of course, we will always post the most up-to-date information about your tournaments in your team calendar on the MySoCal app, so you can wait for that also.  When we update the calendar, we’ll give you the details of your pool (group of 4 teams) for the weekend.  Your “pool” will look like the image below.  Check it out to learn more about how to interpret the information.  

Pool Play Schedule

The pool play order never changes – what does change is your “seed” in the pool.  Here’s the pool play order for a 4 team pool. 

Timing of the Day

The club recommends that players arrive for an 8am pool at 7:15am, and for a 3pm pool at 2:15pm, regardless of your first assignment.  You’ll need time to deal with parking, entry, finding your court, getting your shoes on, warming up/stretching and getting the download from your coach for the day.  Even if you ref, or are off for the first match, it’s critical to be prepared to play in case a team does not show up.  Pool play typically ends between 2-3pm for an AM pool and 8-9pm for a PM pool.  You can assume that each match lasts around an hour.  In the “off” time, teams are expected to stay together, play games, enjoy each other’s company.  Remember that tournament time is “team-time”, and please encourage your player to stay with the team.  Families are not permitted to take players off the premises during breaks.  

Uniform Expectations

You will not be eligible to play in the first set of the day if you are not wearing the full official SoCal uniform.  This includes SoCal shorts, jersey and sweatshirt. Team socks need to be matching colors and will be decided upon in the beginning of the season. 

General Site Expectations

Almost all sites charge for parking (between $10-$20, cash only) and spectator admission, (between $5-$10).  Player admission is free.  Many of the larger sites have tables that are first come-first serve for the team/families to sit in breaks.  Some sites have outdoor camp space so that teams can bring ez-ups and food.  Your coach will notify you of the playing site’s details once they are posted.  You can find some information on the SCVA website at the Site Directions link. Check out the SCVA’s Return to Play Policy for Covid specific information as it relates to mask-wearing and spectators. 

Tournament & Match Format

All tournaments are played in a “pool play” format.  Your team will be placed in a group or “pool” or 3, 4 (typical) or 5 teams, and will play each of those teams during the day in a specific, predetermined order that includes reffing, sitting and playing.  AM tournaments begin at 8am and typically end between 2-3pm.  PM tournaments begin at 3pm at typically end between 8-9pm.

It is possible that your tournament will include playoffs after pool play.  Check with your coach to find out the complete schedule for the day.

  1.  Scoring:
    1. All play will be the best 2 out of 3 “sets”, with 25 points rally scoring in sets 1 and 2. The winning team must achieve a 2-point advantage; no cap will be used. If necessary, the deciding set will be rally score to 15 points win by two, no cap.
    2. In the case of a tie, pool position will be determined by the following formula:
      1. 2 way tie: broken head to head
      2. 3 way tie: 1) match record 2) game record 3) point ratio
      3. *Note: A 3-way tie will never revert back to a 2-way tie. Percentages will be used as described above for breaking the 3-way tie.

Playing Time & Lineups 

Remember that playing time cannot be evaluated in minutes or number of points played.  Volleyball is not a time-based activity, and depending upon how competitive a match is, the total number of points played can be vastly different from match to match.  All players should receive some playing time in each match (a match is composed of 2-3 sets).  

Players should know their role and their position before the tournament.  A meaningful role might even be coming on as a designated server, and leaving the court after the service round is complete. If your child has this role, know that they are not being punished by being taken off the court after their service – this is just the whole spectrum of the role in this moment.

Other positions include middle blocker, outside hitter, opposite or right side hitter, setter, defensive specialist, and libero. Each position performs a specific function for the team and has specific playing time.  For example, a libero can only play in the back-row rotations.  Ask your coach if you would like more information about your son’s position and role.

Remember that in volleyball, all players have to rotate legally around the court every time they win the ball back from the other team, or “sideout”.  Sometimes teams will rotate quickly, making substitutions happen more quickly and more often.  Sometimes teams will be stuck in a rotation while one server rattles off multiple points, and a team gets stuck in specific rotations. 

If after a tournament, you are concerned about your son’s role or playing time, please use the 24 hour rule before reaching out to your coach.  Give it 24 hours to organize your thoughts and calm your emotions and then schedule a meeting with your coach, and the Club Director if necessary.   

How does the Seeding / Flowchart Work? 

You might be wondering how your team got placed where they did.  For the first tournament, Mark has submitted a seeding recommendation to the SCVA, based on where she anticipates the team will find its competitive stride during the season.  In the first three tournaments, it’s likely you’ll see a broad spectrum of teams.  The first seed in the pool should be far better than the fourth seed in the pool if the pool is correctly seeded.  So, if you are a fourth seed, prepare to really have to battle in every match and know that if the team finishes in order, it was probably seeded correctly. 

You can always check your team’s results and see their current standings HERE.  

Have a Fantastic Season SoCaliens!!!