A Better VSA Olympics
A Better VSA Olympics
It's simple. While VSA Olympics has been an exciting and enjoyable event for many years, Olympics is not living up to it's potential, and what it does, it sometimes does poorly. The Olympics Committee deserves praise for the hard work they put in, but when the same issues arise every year, it's time to make some fundamental changes.
First of all, play time. There is a foundational problem with how Olympics is currently set up. Schools spend months preparing, drive for hours, and then bet it all on one 30 minute game. The cost of Olympics outweighs the benefits so much that it's no surprise that Olympics leaves a bad taste in the mouth of many participants and disappoints some newcomers.
Secondly, scheduling. Too many times are schools left scrambling to find out where their team is playing, what time they're playing, and who they're playing against. There is no time to warm up and also no time to relax because you don't know if you have to play in 15 minutes or 2 hours. People have shown up to games right as they started or didn't even know their team was playing.
Third, rules and regulation. There is too much confusion and time wasted explaining things and there is too much variability every year. Referees are not all on the same page, teams are using old rulebooks, some don't know the rules, and there's no clear person available to answer the questions on the day of Olympics. Field sizes vary wildly each year, some years there are lines, other years there are cones, sometimes the volleyball net is higher other years it's lower. Sometimes alumni are allowed to play, other years they aren't. Sometimes you can have out of state players other years you can't.
Solving these problems is easy, but it requires a committed UVSASE team that isn't afraid to change the status quo. It requires people that want to see real improvement and are willing to follow through.
1. Make Olympics a two-day event. You can guarantee teams longer games, more than one game, and scheduling becomes easier. Make the trip worth the people's time. South East Leadership Camp is two and a half days, but yet we've committed to cramming an entire three sport tournament into one day.
2. Leave more to the schools. Half of the problems Olympics faces comes from UVSASE overreach. Let the schools provide food for their own members. Let the schools register their teams. Let the schools worry about their own housing. UVSASE simply needs to get the venue and schedule the games.
3. Transparency. Everything should be available online before the tournament and physically the day of. This includes the rulebook, tournament standings, and game schedule. How many times has UVSASE staff had to answer miscellaneous questions from attendees?
4. Money. It is obviously needed for all of this to be possible. If UNAVSA and SELC charge people upwards of 65 dollars to attend their event and people are willing to pay for that, then people will be willing to pay for a substantial Olympics event. Create a registration process and a fee for schools that want to participate, and leave it to the schools to figure out how they want to pay for it.
Olympics has so much potential. Schools recruiting alumni, skilled players being everywhere, and the competitiveness is a clear indication of what Olympics means to people. Envision an Olympics where everyone feels satisfied no matter if they won or lost, and an Olympics where everybody can enjoy the moment and the people rather than scramble to figure out what's happening next. If you can envision it, then you know it's possible.