Tis the Season to Play Volley

(Photo by Daylin Holmen)

Twas the night before New Years, and all through the land,
Not a creature was stirring, not even in the sand.
NBVL athletes were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Overtime played on in their heads.

I hope the holidays have been treating everyone well!

2021 is at its end, which means the 2022 NBVL season is just around the corner. This year to be played starting at the end of March, both to make the season available to athletes finishing up their U-Sport or ACAC seasons, and to give Vancouver athletes the chance to play the season outdoors (fingers crossed).

The player signing process is well underway, detailed in our last post. For the 8 teams in Calgary and the 4 in Vancouver this season, the player signing deadline (Jan 9th) is fast approaching to get those first 2 men’s and women’s roster spots filled. Returning players interested in bypassing the draft process should get REGISTERED as soon as possible, since the 7 day minimum for athletes means player’s looking to be signed MUST be registered by January 2nd. The deadline to register for the draft and pre-draft KOB/QOB tournament will be January 28th.

The Omicron variant of Covid has added a new question mark to our already Covid-confused lives, which may affect the NBVL’s combine once again, but for now we are still looking forward to seeing our new and undrafted athletes show their best before this season’s draft currently set to run January 30th. Players will be asked to abide by provincial health and safety recommendations, as well as the rules and regulations put in place by the facilities and venues during the combine and throughout the course of the season.

It’s the NBVL’s biggest season yet, with 12 teams in 2 provinces. Tonight as the clock strikes midnight, the ball will drop but we’ve got a whole league worth of athletes ready to dig it back up. A new 2022 chapter begins in the NBVL story, which team will step forward and etch their name on the trophy and in NBVL history?

2022 Season – Player Signing

(Photo by Daylin Holmen)

Welcome back NBVL Fans!

The wheels are back in motion, the 2022 season is almost ready to launch, with a few small changes. As our Calgary and Vancouver leagues now have an established base of players in each city, it’s time to move on to the next step of building this league into something bigger. Player signing will be added to this years team building process. News has spread to team Owners and athletes in the league about the new system, but hopefully this article, despite being lengthy, can help to give everyone a little more information on how things will work this year. This will be new for everybody, so there will be some learning to do on all sides, including from us at the NBVL, but here’s how things will work this pre-season.

This year teams will be able sign players that have previously played in the NBVL. In fact they will be required to have 2 male and 2 female athletes signed before the draft happens. New players and previous players who go unsigned will still have the opportunity to be selected to teams via the 2022 Draft, which puts the NBVL draft process a little more in line with processes used in the big name pro leagues. Player registration starts now, but only Franchise players (info below) can be confirmed before the signing period begins, which will be Monday, November 29th. This 2 week buffer is so that the NBVL can confirm all of this season’s teams before allowing any of them to set their rosters, in order to give all teams a proper chance to make offers. Offers can be made to registered athletes starting now, however, so it makes sense to get registered early and start discussions. REGISTER HERE

Players won’t be signing for huge sums of money (yet, but maybe in a few more seasons), but rather for a percentage of the prize money at the end of the year, and all teams will receive at least a little bit this season, from 1st to last. Since we’re working with percentages, that lends to a very natural salary cap of 100 percentage points that can be doled out amongst the players (including draftees). The minimum that can be offered to any individual athlete is 10%, and therefore thanks to math, on a team of 6 athletes the max contract anyone can receive is 50% only if the other 5 players have the minimum 10.

The first step in the signing process will be for the returning teams to name any Franchise players they might want to return to their team. Players can not be franchised on a different team than they played with in their previous season. The Franchise tag must be agreed upon by the team and the player, and carries a minimum of 25%. What this means is the team essentially locks that player in for the upcoming season, before other teams have the opportunity to sign them. This franchise tag must be assigned within 7 days of the athlete registering for the season, or else they become fair game for other teams to snap up. For the few teams that have Player/Owners, they must be named franchise players ONLY IF they were an all-star the previous season.

Any non-franchised athlete must wait a minimum of 7 days before signing with any team. Teams no longer have to stay within the realm of their previous rosters when signing athletes, though there is a small bonus incentive from the NBVL for players to stay with the same team. This means that both returning players and team Owners have the freedom to shop around a little bit, so those players who have a specific partner in mind will have a better chance of playing with them if they find a team that’s looking for a pair. A player is considered fair game for offers if they’ve been through the NBVL’s draft process at least once, even if they haven’t played a season yet. All-stars from the previous season will need to sign for a minimum amount.

Again, teams MUST sign 2 male and 2 female athletes before the deadline. They may have all 4 of their athletes signed right on the November 29 first signing date, or they may choose to wait until the signing deadline which will be January 9th at midnight, in order for everyone to prepare for the 2022 NBVL Draft on January 30th. For those athletes hoping to be signed this means you should try to register before January 2nd, remembering the minimum 7 day buffer.

The draft process will also look a little bit different this year. Since the draft will be only for new and unsigned players this year, those athletes will be given an extra opportunity to compete prior to the 2022 draft. On the Jan 29/30th weekend, the NBVL will host a pre-draft King/Queen of the beach (with prizes), available ONLY to new and unsigned athletes. This will be a good way for teams to see how their potential draft picks perform with different partners, but also it’s a way to guarantee that EVERYONE WHO REGISTERS FOR THE 2022 SEASON WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE this year. Players who get drafted will also be guaranteed a minimum number of matches in the 2022 season, and receive at least a 10% contract.

Once again, we are testing this process for this season, so there are likely to be a few bumps in the road, and some confusion in the process. Whether you’re a fan, player, owner, or staff, please be patient with the newness, we’ll try to be as communicative as possible and continue to work to build the league up better than ever before.

(Photo by Daylin Holmen)

On the Precipice

The combine and draft are less than a month away, and as always, there’s a sense of excitement in the air. This year, however, it’s mixed with a sense of unease, as Covid-19 number are beginning to swell worldwide. As has been the case with many things since this pandemic became a part of our current lives, there are many questions around how things will be different this season. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re working to keep the league as safe as possible for everyone involved.

The players in the NBVL are in a demographic at a low risk of hospitalization from the virus, but with the highest rate of infection in Canada. Every interaction made outside of our personal bubbles puts those involved at some amount of risk of exposure to Covid-19. We don’t necessarily have the same capacity to fully isolate a sport cohort, like in the NBA or NHL, but we can certainly hold ourselves to a higher standard than your average sports league.

As a league with a growing public audience, our players are ambassadors for the sport of beach volleyball and role models to all those watching. They’ve already demonstrated their abilities to shoulder that responsibility on the court, but this year there will be more asked of them. They’ll be expected to set a good example off the court as well.

Every Ace from Vancouver leader Irem Eren will be preceded by a mask worn while entering and followed by the same while exiting 6pack Indoor Beach.
Every Kill from Calgary leader Jarron Mueller will come only if he’s confirmed he’s symptom free as he enters at The Beach YYC or the Volleydome.
Every Block from Vancouver leader Chris Howe will be performed during play or in training within the NBVL Vancouver’s sport cohort.
Every Dig from Calgary leader Steph Burnside will be controlled with the same self discipline that she uses to keep 2 meters of physical distance when outside of her personal bubbles or the NBVL Calgary cohort.

As a fan of the NBVL, you can feel comfortable knowing that the volleyballs, team benches, and nets will be cleaned between games, the referees will be wearing masks, and pre/post match handshakes will not be a part of this season. Physical spectators might not be encouraged, but we’ll be working to provide an entertaining broadcast that will be available online for your viewing pleasure.

We sit on the edge of a major decision in our league. We can decide that the virus is too big a risk and call the 2021 season off, or we can choose to become positive examples in Canadian sport by fully committing league wide to keeping sport a safe environment in the midst of a pandemic. AHS and viaSport have set the guidelines to follow in Alberta and BC, and the NBVL will strive to be role models in following those rules in both provinces. The NBVL’s motto is Compete Together, this year that will fit more than ever as the league as a whole competes together against Covid-19.

NBVL Combine sessions are as follows:
NBVL Vancouver (Pacific Times):
Sunday November 15th – at 6Pack Indoor Beach
-Session 1 – 9:00AM-10:00AM
-Session 2 – 10:00AM-11:00AM
-Session 3 – 11:00AM-12:00PM

NBVL Calgary (Mountain Times):
Sunday, November 15th – at the Beach YYC
-Session 1 – 12:00PM-1:00PM
-Session 2 – 1:00PM-2:00PM
Monday, November 16th – at the Volleydome
-Session 3 – 8:30PM-9:30PM