HISTORY OF THE GREAT PLAINS REGION
USA Volleyball is the national governing body for volleyball in the United States. It is the same organization that trains and sponsors our national teams who play in the Olympics. It is through USAV that such Nebraska notables like Cathy Noth, Lori Endicott, Allison Weston, Nancy Metcalf and Jordan Larson have played on the Women’s USA National Team. The USAV provides research, coaching education, insurance, and acts as a resource for all organizations involved in volleyball across the nation for all age levels from youth through adult.
The state of Nebraska was originally part of a larger region called the Mid American Region. This region was comprised of NE, IA, KS & MO, with a membership enrollment of 2618 in 1982. The commissioner at that time was Bruce Wilde.
Each year volleyball teams are organized by clubs and register to play USA Volleyball as members of the Great Plains Regional Volleyball Association. Our region is one of 41 regions in the US making up the Regional Operations Division of USA Volleyball.
The Great Plains Region was formed in 1983, and covers the state of Nebraska. Marg Davenport was the commissioner for the first couple of years from 1984 to 1986. Dave Spencer held the position from 1987 to 1997. In his ten years as regional commissioner, he saw the majority of the growth when club volleyball in the United States really became popular with girls ages 12-18. The enrollment in the Great Plains Region went from 721 members in 1987 to 3600 members in 1997. Sue Mailhot became regional commissioner in 1998. We have over 4,000 players playing in over 100 clubs and over 400 teams in Nebraska.
We look forward to growing our regional membership enrollment even more in the next 5 years. Club teams normally acquire practice times through junior high and high school gyms. However, in the past few years, several volleyball facilities have been built for the sole purpose of club practices, training and tournaments. Most of the clubs now offer private volleyball lessons, camps, clinics and plyometric training for its players to further develop the athlete into a top notch volleyball player. The Great Plains Region offers quality training for coaches, officials and volleyball players through clinics, camps and tournament responsibilities. We also offer the athlete an opportunity to grow and enjoy the sport of volleyball with competitive playing at different age and skill levels.
In the summer of 2007 we introduced 2 on 2 Beach Volleyball. Junior sand tournaments were held on Monday & Tuesday evenings. A player’s clinic was held each year with experienced local adult players and other notable sand players as clinicians. In 2010, we acquired a national sand qualifier tournament, USA Jr Beach Tour. This tournament is held annually in the Great Plains region, and offers local club players a chance to accel at sand volleyball by participating in a national qualifier in within the state of Nebraska.
About Club Volleyball
Great Plains Volleyball is one of 40 regions of USA Volleyball. It is called club volleyball because it is not a part of the high school or junior high school association. Club volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports in Nebraska. Over 5000 junior girls in the State of Nebraska ranging in ages from 10 to 18 registered with the Great Plains Region in 2015. The Great Plains Region has over 100 junior clubs and over 500 teams to choose from.
USA Volleyball is the national governing body for volleyball in the United States. It is the same organization that trains and sponsors our national teams who play in the Olympics. It is through USAV club volleyball that such Nebraska notables as Jordan Larson, Nancy Meendering, Allison Weston, Cathy Noth, Lori Endicott, & Julie Vollertson, have played. It is a charter member of the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The USAV provides research, coaching education, insurance, and acts as a resource for all organizations involved in volleyball across the United States for all age levels from youth through adult.
The Great Plains Region is a non-profit corporation and became an official region of the United States Volleyball Association in 1985. Nebraska was originally grouped together in a region consisting of Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri.
Each year junior clubs form their own teams and register to play volleyball as members of the Great Plains Region. Our region is one of 40 regions in the USA making up the Regional Operations Divisions (ROD) of USA Volleyball.
The purpose of the USAV Junior Olympic program is to offer teenagers an opportunity to become involved in a wholesome and beneficial athletic activity, which they can pursue at various skill levels. In many cases, it is a chance for athletes to receive high QUALITY instruction in skills development and team strategy. The program is an extension of learning from the high school and junior high program and a natural bridge between youth volleyball and college volleyball and/or USAV adult volleyball. Many athletes go on to college earning valuable scholarships through their development with the USA Volleyball program.
Clubs across the state of Nebraska may run tournaments or the region may run tournaments. Tournaments occur almost every weekend from January through the first part of May. These tournaments follow rules and regulations from national and regional guidelines set by USAV and the Great Plains region. Girls, boys and adults compete in regional and national tournaments throughout the United States. Many of our Nebraska teams have finished very high in their age group at the national level. We also have a Starlings Club, which is a nationally organized volleyball club for inner city youth. With the Great Plains Region support, the Omaha Starlings have won a national championship at the Starlings Nationals in their age division.
Coaches and players learn the official rules of the game by attending clinics. The region offers assistance to many municipal and recreation leagues through officials’ and players’ clinics. Many players also become “certified” scorekeepers and referees by attending clinics, passing rules exams and being evaluated by their peers. This process is designed to be a relaxed and positive experience.
While the program is mainly comprised of girls youth teams, the Great Plains Region also has boys club volleyball and adult volleyball. The High Flyers boys' team won their division at the Boys National Tournament. Our Men's and Women's adult teams have finished in the top 10 in their divisions at the USA Volleyball Adult Nationals tournament.
If you are interested in playing, please call the region office. You don’t have to be a super player, just have a willingness to play and devote the time to practice and tournaments. If you would like to form a club team, please call the Region office at 402-593-9670. We will help you get started.
Sue Mailhot, Commissioner
7515 Main Street
Ralston NE 68127
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