About Power Leagues
Power Leagues are tournament series comprised of junior volleyball clubs located in a specific region of the U.S. that compete against one another for rankings.
The basic premise of a Power League is to provide a core schedule of matched competition in a drivable geographical area. The word “power” might be misleading, as it seems to indicate an elite level of competition. “Matched competition” means that teams are playing against other teams similar to their level of experience. Teams at all experience levels realize the benefits of a power league.
The first weekend is for seeding, so how a team finishes the first weekend determines where they are grouped for bracket play the second weekend. Teams are grouped together with teams who finished with the same record during the previous weekend and each week a pre-determined number of teams are moved up or down based on their performance. Ideally a power league will be scheduled in sites that are a reasonable drive for all teams.
In leagues that rotate sites, it is ideal that age divisions are scheduled to equally share the amount of travel that might be required. This is especially important for leagues that are not centered in a very large population area.
Benefits of a Power League
- Matched Competition – Successful Power Leagues are structured to maintain a high level of competition throughout the season for all participating teams. Power Pools are organized to effectively allow teams to play to their level and provide the opportunity to move up or down in pool strength depending on performance. With the Power Pool structure, the highest seed doesn’t start by playing the lowest seed and the lowest seed has an equal opportunity to play their way into the championship final; every match has meaning. The competition level is always high, respective to each team, which creates a higher quality, more enjoyable event for all participants.
- Core Tournament Schedule – A typical Power League will provide the participating teams 8-12 play dates. This offers a solid core of events around which to build a club team’s season schedule. The balance of a team’s schedule will generally be filled in by a President’s Day Tournament, JVA World Challenge, USAV Qualifiers and end the season with AAU Nationals and/or USAV Nationals (if qualified). Teams can play the entire season rather than having to “qualify” in order to play in a National Championship. This leaves out any unknowns in the schedule since players, coaches and parents know they will be attending the AAU National Championships in Orlando.
- Predictability and Quality Time Spent – The season schedule is set well in advance (by October) so parents, players and coaches can plan accordingly. Parents can plan their lives; PLUS participants are in the gym for 6 hours max and will normally play 9 games (mandatory 3 on most dates) during that time. This is better than spending an entire day in the gym playing a pool of 4 then doing playoffs which run another 2-4 hours. People want to be in and out in a short period of time.
- Lower Cost of Participation – The JVA World Challenge and Power League entry fees are lower than qualifier entry fees; this typically trickles down to parents paying lower club dues.
- Lower Cost of Travel – With the set schedule, airfare can be purchased and hotel reservations can be made well in advance to receive a much lower rate. Most tournament sites are within a 5–6-hour drive for all participating so travel time is lower and airfare is only purchased for Qualifiers and/or Nationals.
- Collaboration of Clubs – Club Directors make the schedules so they have the flexibility to accommodate one another and their teams. This builds a positive relationship between club directors because by working together to create the Power League schedule, different clubs host each weekend, rather than one club hosting and reaping the benefits. By sharing the hosting responsibilities, clubs can put their profit right back into their programs and facility operations. It is a win-win for everyone.