NBVL Seasons are like the heads of the Hydra from Greek mythology. The NBVL Vancouver has been conquered by Pacific Coast with a Herculean effort (stay tuned for a post detailing the Vancouver playoffs), but when one season ends, another 2 spring up in it’s place!
Calgary has become a mainstay and we know the top teams and athletes in the city are excited to get back into another summer of action, this year under the guidance of league Director, Claire Crossfield. In other exciting news, if you’re hear for the headline, we can confirm that Edmonton will be making it’s NBVL debut this summer, starting with 4 teams and league Director, Tom Haight, at the helm. Read on to learn what you need to know about how both leagues will run, and what will be unique from one league to the other.
Athlete Registration and Team Selection
In order to play in either league athletes are required to register for the 2023 season. Registration is currently open for both leagues until Thursday, April 13th at midnight and the link can be found on the NBVL homepage or right here: NBVL Registration 2023
Registration is open to all beach volleyball athletes, and while it won’t necessarily get you straight onto a team, it will give players the opportunity to either be signed directly to a team or to play in a Combine identification tournament detailed below, and be entered into either the Edmonton or Calgary 2023 Draft shortly thereafter.
There are 3 steps for team selection:
- Pre-Draft signing: During the signing window, from April 8th to 14th, teams will select and sign 2 athletes per gender to their respective squads. In Edmonton, since it is their first season, all registered players are eligible to be selected to a team in this way. In Calgary (and future seasons in Edmonton) these must be players who have previously participated in an NBVL season in any city. The one exception to this rule is that teams have been permitted to assign 1 athlete as a player/GM (down from 2 players in previous seasons), this rule will still be permitted in a league’s early seasons, but will be phased out once the player pool is large enough in any given region, to reward those athletes that have played previously.
- Combine Tournament and Draft: Registered athletes that go unsigned will automatically be registered for the Combine tournament on April 15th, which will be played in either King/Queen of the Beach or King/Queen of the Court format (depending on numbers). Since the weather is still uncertain around mid-April, there will be 1 combine event for both Calgary and Edmonton leagues played at The Beach YYC, due to a shortage of indoor beach facilities in Edmonton. Shortly following the Combine, we will host the Draft for a 3rd male and female spot per roster. Drafts will be serpentine. Calgary will select in reverse order from the previous season. Edmonton’s order will be selected by random draw.
- Emerging Talent Draft (Calgary Only): Immediately following the Draft for 3rd players per gender, in Calgary we will have 2 extra rounds to choose 1 more male and female athlete per team, however the athletes selected in these rounds MUST be born in 2004 or later. Emerging talent will be invited to participate in the Combine tournament also, it’s not scheduled during a 17/18U premier, so hopefully a few of you are keen to come out and play. We’ll do a whole post on this Emerging Talent addition to the league in the near future, so be sure to watch out for that.
When all is said and done, after the April 15th/16th weekend, teams will be complete. 3 men and 3 women per team in Edmonton, and that plus the extra Emerging Talent athlete per gender in Calgary makes 4 per gender. That will then bring us to…
Once teams are set, there will be just over a month of prep time before Regular Season action gets underway. Calgary will be playing on Thursday evenings at the Volleydome’s outdoor beach courts starting May 25th. Edmonton will play at the Garneaux beach courts on Fridays starting May 26th.
Both leagues’ Regular Seasons will play a double round robin in the NBVL’s signature format: One 2 set match for each of their men’s and women’s pairings, followed by 1 Overtime set played on both courts simultaneously. Each set win will earn the team a point in the standings, and the team with the most points in each matchup gets an extra point for the overall win.
Remember that since each team will have at least 3 players per gender, no one needs to play in every game of the season. In fact, in order to give 3rd athletes a guaranteed chance to compete, no team is allowed to play the same pairing for more than 75% of the regular season. We understand that it’s a long season, and most players have lives outside of volleyball, so it’s OK to be away for parts of the season. So please don’t let that be the excuse for not registering and missing out on a great summer of beach volleyball.
The Post Season and NBVL Finals
Following the Regular Season, top performing teams in the standings will play single elimination matchups with the slightly different playoff format: Best of 3 matches for men and women with OT only in the event of a tie. Both Calgary and Edmonton will play separate playoffs to crown the champion of each region.
The winners of both the NBVL Calgary and NBVL Edmonton will then earn their place at the NBVL Finals alongside already crowned NBVL Vancouver Champions, Pacific Coast. This year’s Finals are being held in Vancouver at Kitsilano Beach as part of Kitsfest on August 11th. Finals athletes will also be invited to participate in the Kitsfest King/Queen of the Court tournament that same weekend, August 12th and 13th.
The NBVL continues to build, and if you’ve played previously you know we set the objective of always being better than yesterday. We’re building or expanding beach communities one match at a time. We hope to see you join us this year, to help us grow and compete together, be it as a player, fan, sponsor or however you choose.