The last 48 hours have been overwhelming and the hysteria surrounding the COVID-19 virus has had an unprecedented impact on every aspect of our daily lives. Unfortunately, it seems with each passing hour that impact is expanding exponentially. To that end, we wanted to update our club with what we know and our current response to COVID-19.
First and foremost, the safety and well-being of our athletes, coaches, staff, and their families is our top priority. We are using that to drive our decisions regarding this issue. We are also following the updates and recommendations of our national governing bodies (USAV, AAU, JVA) as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control. We have received numerous recommendations over the last 24 hours and have determined how we will move forward for the next two weeks.
Below I have categorized several areas that directly impact us at VC United. While I realize that this will open a number of follow-up questions, we want to address these as the top priorities and the short-term solutions as we monitor the situation going forward. We simply do not have the staff resources available to answer follow-up questions and ask for your patience and understanding. We plan to provide periodic and timely updates as new information comes available.
At this time, nobody has reported a positive test result to our staff. We ask that if any of our players or their family members do receive a positive test that we are notified immediately. In that case, we will notify the club members as soon as we are made aware. We do not want to contribute to the hysteria and will follow all guidelines in reporting these cases if they occur.
We ask that players and families refrain from speculation or spreading rumors. We can assure you full transparency if a positive test result is reported.
Spring Break Travel
As Spring Break approaches, all families and staff who choose to travel via airlines both outside of the United States and domestically are asked to notify VC United before returning to practice by filling out our travel notification form. Players and staff who are traveling should be aware that VC United will continue to monitor recommendations and information from the CDC and will follow their recommendations regarding returning to practice and possible self-quarantine measures.
Practices Cancelled Through March 29th
We have decided to cancel all practices at VC United through the end of next week (Sunday, March 22nd). The impact is an extension of our scheduled Spring Break (March 23rd-March 29th). The decision is based on the recommendations of USAV and JVA that we cancel in hopes of doing our part to contain the spread of the virus.
Private Lessons, Open Gyms and Clinics
As of this email, we are closing down all activities in the facility until we are able to put proper procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of our players, coaches and their families. Our staff is working together with medical experts to determine the best course of action in the short term. We do anticipate an update on this in the next 48-72 hours. For sure we will not be opening our courts through Sunday, March 15th.
This means that no players are allowed to be in the facility through Sunday, March 15th. We will update you if this policy changes on Monday, March 16th. This will allow us to sanitize our equipment and build our internal procedures to ensure player safety.
We will be moving the start date of our VolleyKids session to Sunday, April 5th. No other camps or clinics are currently scheduled through the end of March.
At this time the following tournaments have been affected. There are no other updates at this time. As we receive information we will pass it along to you.
Chicago Volleyball League (March 14-15) – RESCHEDULED – The CVL has rescheduled the final weekend of play for the U15-U18 teams to March 28th-29th. We know that this is the end of spring break and for those of you still traveling may make playing impossible. We ask that you alert your coach if you are unavailable to play that weekend.
Teams affected: 181 Premier, 171 Premier, 172 Premier, 161 Premier, 162 Premier, 163 Premier, 151 Premier, 152 Premier, 153 Premier, 154 Premier, 155 Premier
Champions Cup (March 14-15) – RESCHEDULED – Champions Cup for this weekend is being rescheduled. U17 Elite will play May 2nd-3rd. U16-U15 Elite will play May 9th-10th. U18 Elite teams are currently scheduled to be at Nationals on that weekend. We will be in contact with those teams directly about possible changes to their schedule.
Teams affected: 181 Elite, 182 Elite, 171 Elite, 172 Elite, 173 Elite, 161 Elite, 162 Elite, 163 Elite, 164 Elite, 165 Elite, 151 Elite, 152 Elite, 153 Elite
MidEast National Qualifier (March 20-22) – CANCELLED – In an unprecedented move, the MEQ has been canceled for our U18 and U17 Elite teams. We have been notified that they are currently working to cancel all hotel reservations and should have an update for us by tomorrow. They have not updated us as to whether we will be refunded any portion of our entry fee. Until we have that information we cannot determine how we will proceed.
Teams affected: 181 Elite, 171 Elite, 172 Elite, 173 Elite
Mizuno Cup (March 21-22) – CANCELLED – The Mizuno Cup in Rockford will be canceled. This is a huge blow to VC United as it is was a major fundraiser for our program. Additionally, it is a major blow to both our Regional and Academy programs as it was intended to be their season-ending event. Unfortunately with the recommendations of both USA Volleyball, the CDC and others we simply cannot move forward with the event. We are currently working with the Rockford Park District to understand all the implications related to the event.
Teams affected: ALL Academy teams, ALL Regional teams, ALL Premier teams, 131 Elite, 132 Elite, 141 Elite, and 142 Elite
JVA World Challenge (April 3-5) – SCHEDULED AS PLANNED – We received a note from the JVA that the World Challenge is scheduled as planned, but that they will make a final decision on the status of the event by Monday, March 23rd.
Teams affected: ALL Elite teams except 181 Elite and 162 Elite
Windy City National Qualifier (April 10-12) – SCHEDULED AS PLANNED – We received an update this morning from the Great Lakes Region that the Windy City National Qualifier is scheduled as planned, but they will update us as the event nears.
Teams affected: 162 Elite
We have not received any other updates from events in early April that include Diggin’ in the Dells, the Northern Lights Qualifier, Spring Classic, etc. We will update you when we receive those updates.
Personal Note from Director Eric Schulze
We are in uncharted territory and a moment in time that we never could have anticipated. I do believe the largest issue at hand is the fear being created in all aspects of this pandemic. I do believe that vigilance in following the recommendations of social distancing is in the best interests of all involved. I do understand that the health concerns are real, but also believe the reaction might be over cautious. But, this is club volleyball and perspective is incredibly important at this time. Hopefully, we can contribute to helping contain the spread of the virus and that this will be behind us soon.
I’m sure many of you have questions as to what may happen if these cancellations continue. What about college recruiting for my daughter? What is the financial impact on our family? What about the reservations we have made … should we cancel? How will VC United make it right? These are all questions that are concerning to me and my family as well. The reality is we simply don’t know what is coming next. The impact of this is far from known and while the virus itself doesn’t frighten me, the unknown regarding the impact this may have on all of us certainly does. For the time being, I ask that you take the recommendations seriously and that you stay focused on the health and well-being of your family. We do know that this will pass … we just don’t know when. I ask for your patience and understanding on all other matters that have not been addressed at this time. We will keep you updated with anything we learn that will directly impact VC United and your experience with us this season. Thank you.