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Announcing LSVA’s Fall 2021 “Mini” League

The LSVA Board is excited to announce our upcoming Fall Mini League that will begin October 18 and last for 5 consecutive weeks before returning to our Open Play series to end the year. With this shorter duration compared to the normal 10-week format, we have decided to run a new draft policy that we hope will add more competition into each Division as well as allow for more equitable player distribution across teams. As always, we will assess all of the feedback available after the fact and continue to strive for the best experience possible for future Leagues. 

Dates: Mondays, October 18 - November 15 (Regular Play) and November 22 (Single-night Tournament)

Time: Depending on registration we may have everyone play at 8:00 PM, but there may be a need to start some Divisions or teams at 7:00 PM. We will relay the final schedule the first week of October.

Cost: $45/player (Registration begins September 13 and has a hard stop on October 4)

Draft Policy: For this Draft, Captains will be allowed to pull players from the immediate Division above or below their own based on existing ratings. Captains in Power will complete their teams first and then we will move to Advanced and then Competitive. Along with players being allowed to play up, there will likely be players not drafted in their existing Division and will then be drafted into the Division below. In theory this type of Draft has always been an option as the Board reserves the right each season to create a “trickle” of players across Divisions to even out teams. We are now just explicitly allowing Captains to draft across Divisions.

League FAQ

Why are we doing this new draft policy?:

This format is done in multiple Leagues across the country and is aimed to help facilitate the movement of talent across Divisions given the acknowledgement that ratings that are done every so often may not be the best measure in the moment. Your rating is always a snapshot in time, but your actual ability may be higher or lower compared to the existing pool of players. In our estimation, there are perhaps 10 to 15 players that could comfortably play in another Division (up or down) based on existing observations and Captain feedback. 

Furthermore, this is an ideal tool to help ensure teams can smooth out their rosters with all positions. We’ve all seen those teams with 2 setters or perhaps an OH playing Middle because there wasn’t a Middle to draft or there were too many OH’s to begin with. In this new Draft, Captains, towards the end of their draft picks, may have the incentive to pick a high-performing player from the Division below to round out their roster. For example, Captain Bob is in Advanced and has his full roster except a Libero. He COULD pick the remaining players left in Advanced who are all hitters OR he could choose the highly rated Libero in Competitive to give the full capabilities to his team. 

But won’t some players have to play down?: 

We believe that the vast majority of players (90%) will be entirely unaffected by this. However, as Captains choose to round out their teams, there will be occasions where a player is drafted in his or her existing Division. Logically, this player then becomes the first-round pick for the very next Division as their lack of being drafted is probably less about ability and more about not needing their specific position. Being pulled down DOES NOT mean a player is permanently in a new division nor should it be taken as a judgement of their ability. The goal of this Draft is to increase competition in ALL Divisions. Having some players come down necessarily creates a more challenging environment given the average increase in skill associated with the player playing down.

What if I get drafted into another Division but don’t want to play?:

We sincerely hope that, given the short nature of this League, all players will be open to giving this format a try. Again, it is not expected that it will affect the vast majority of players. Players will have up until October 11 to elect to not play once registered. 

What are the requirements to be a Captain?:

Captains will play an even more important role this season as they will have added responsibility in drafting to ensure their team is well-rounded. We will entertain ALL interested players, but the Board reserves the right to ultimately select the Captains. Please indicate your interest on the registration form.

How many teams will there be?:

We do not know the number of teams until registration is over and the total number of players is available. 

Will there be a Recreational League?:

We continue to view our Recreational Division as an important building block for our league. Whether you have interest in learning the game and skills of volleyball to move up or are just desiring a community to participate in regularly, we welcome all players from all skill levels. To ensure that participants in our Recreational Division are best served, we will wait until final registration numbers are in before determining whether we can have a full league. In the Board’s opinion, anything less that a 12-person cohort would not be productive as at least 2 full teams is needed to fully play volleyball. We encourage all Recreational/new players to register to maximize players participation! 

What are the rules on subs?:

As always, subs are allowed provided they pay and register. Any team playing with an illegal sub will forfeit their games. Subs must be from your current Division or from one below (yes, Advanced players can sub in Power and Competitive players can sub in Advanced). 

Please direct any unanswered questions to president@lonestarvolleyball.org

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We strive to promote and develop a community for all that love the sport of volleyball in the Houston, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community.


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