I hope this email finds you well. I don’t know that we have “a lot” to share, but we do have a few pieces of information to pass on. As promised, we wanted to send a quick update to our players/parents on our response to COVID-19. This email only covers any new developments and does not address any of the open-ended questions that we all have. As mentioned previously, we simply do not have the staff resources available to answer follow-up questions and ask for your patience and understanding. I will follow this email up in the next 48-72 hours with emails on the following topics:
- Contingency Plans for 2019-20 Season
- Financial Implications for VC United and players
- Revised Spring/Summer Plans
- Long-Term Planning for VC United
At this time, nobody affiliated with our club 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.
Practices Cancelled Through March 29th
We have no update as to when full team practices will resume. We are, of course, aware of the CDC’s recommendations that were released yesterday. However, we feel we do not have to make any determinations until more information becomes available as we approach March 29th. As we have to this point, we will follow the recommendations of our National Governing Bodies (USAV, AAU, JVA)
At this time, we plan to maintain the cancellation of all practices through the end of this week and to observe our planned Spring Break (March 23rd – 29th).
Private Lessons, Open Gyms and Clinics/u>
We are assessing ways to open the gym to players in order to allow them the opportunity to get out of the house and get some activity in. Unfortunately, we simply do not believe it is responsible at this time to bring players into the gym until we can determine the best way to do so while maintaining the social distancing requirements as well the moratorium on gatherings over 10-25 people.
One thing we are considering is allowing private or small group lessons. However, we want to make sure our internal procedures are sufficient prior to planning these. Additionally, we would like to allow a few more days to see if any additional changes or restrictions will be put in place.
At this time, the VC United gym and equipment is closed/off limits to all players. This includes Oak Strength’s facilities. We do not know what the NetLynx Sports Center is doing as a whole, but VC United will not be holding any activities until further notice.
New Tournament Cancellations/Postponements
In addition to the events listed in our previous email, we have received one additional cancellation and a postponement of a major event.
Windy City National Qualifier (April 10-12) – CANCELLED – Due to a ban on “gatherings” of more than 1000 by the City of Chicago, the Windy City National Qualifier has been canceled.
Teams affected: 162 Elite
JVA World Challenge (April 3-5) – RESCHEDULED – We received a note from the JVA within the last hour that the JVA World Challenge has been moved to June 12-14. It will remain in Louisville, KY. We do NOT know if we will move forward at this point as we received the information just a short while ago. Note: If you booked through the block, the housing service is automatically moving reservations to the new dates. At this time, we do not recommend making any changes. If you booked on your own, you should cancel for the April dates immediately. If you would like to hold dates for June you are welcome to do so, but please make sure you can cancel if we decide not to attend.
Teams affected: ALL Elite teams except 181 Elite and 162 Elite
Personal Note from Director Eric Schulze
I simply am at a loss for what to say. My kids ask me daily if we can go to the gym. Why can’t we practice? Why are they canceling these tournaments? What about college recruiting? What happens if they cancel nationals? I’m running out of intelligent things to say.
A few things that I think we should all consider. First … be sure to support local businesses right now. This is going to cripple our economy which is terrifying, but more importantly, small business owners and their families are going to be hurt. When possible, do what you can to shop local and help these people.
Second … take advantage of what Adam at Oak Strength has done for our athletes. Do the workouts. If for no other reason, simply to stay active. Thank you to him and his staff for putting that together! That was HUGE and a lot of work was put into that!
Third … please understand we don’t know what we don’t know. There is no precedent for this. We don’t know when we will get back to normal. We don’t know what is happening with Nationals or other tournaments on our schedule. We don’t know what the “right” thing to do is at the moment. The pace at which the information is changing is complicated to keep up with. We begin to make a change and then new information is released. We are trying to let the “dust settle” before making any sweeping announcements or changes to policy.
I personally have a few motivations right now. #1 … to make sure VC United does everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our players and their loved ones. #2 … to get back in the gym doing what we love as soon as it is possible while making sure #1 is in play. #3 … to make sure VC United is better than ever when we do return and has a long, bright future for years to come. I will use these motivations to make decisions as we forge ahead. In the meantime, I appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we process what is happening.