Tag: sport equality

Draft preview

Just a week left until the NBVL Inaugural Season Draft. Update on registration: Both the men and women have hit the minimum number of required players (though there are an unlimited number of spots available, and until Dec. 7th to register). Still looking for that last Owner to step up to become a part of NBVL History, but it’s shaping up to be a fun Combine, and an entertaining Draft.

I’ve mentioned this in our intro videos, and in the League vs. Tour article that was posted about a month ago, but since I was a child, I’ve always loved pro sport’s leagues, and wished I could be a part of them. I’m not alone in this, countless households tune in to various pro sport activities on a daily basis. So many children and adults alike are captivated by their favorite players and teams as they take action in all the various National “Insert sport” Leagues/Associations. I would always track how Steve Nash’s assist total would grow over the course of a season for the Mavericks and Suns (we won’t talk about the Lakers). I’d try to guess whether Peyton Manning for the Colts or Tom Brady with the Patriots would break the next QB record. I’d get excited knowing that Jerome Iginla was about to heat up for the Flames now that November had rolled around. When Lisa Leslie dunked in a game for the first time, it changed what people thought was possible, and gave the WNBA it’s due in the male dominated world of pro sports leagues.

Professional sports league’s bring with them a countless number of narratives, that revolve not only around the Teams, but also the players themselves. An athlete can become a hero over the course of a season. Their play can define the stories that will be shared about them from one game to the next. It’s the strength of the team as a whole that wins games/seasons/championships, but it’s the individual efforts that can win lifelong supporters.

As we move into the Inaugural Season Draft, I want to recognize those players that are taking the leap to register. The NBVL is providing a platform for beach volleyball to grow in Canada, but these players in Vancouver will get the chance to write the first chapter of the narrative. Here’s the story as I see it heading into Draft night.

The key thing to pay attention to during draft night, is the comparative value of men versus that of the women. There is still a week left to register, so we don’t yet have the whole picture when it comes to numbers, but as it stands, the count is at 12 Women, and 18 Men (Sadly the women’s number dropped after an unfortunate injury to Jayme Lepp, we wish her a speedy recovery). This means that comparatively, each woman’s value amongst their own gender, in theory, should be more valuable than their equally ranked male counterpart by a ratio of about 3 to 2 (I’m not entirely certain if that’s how the odds should work in this case, please feel free to correct me) What I’m getting at is that the top women are more valuable than the top men, because from a simple numbers standpoint there should be more top men to choose from than top women, meaning that each top female player should provide more of an impact on a per game basis compared to the field of players. To summarize further, Ladies rule, Fellas Drool.

Theoretically (again) it is possible for every player to be of equal skill, and for every team to be exactly equal in all ways, and we haven’t seen how the Inaugural Season will play out, so for all we know that may end up being the case. Someone still needs to get picked first, however, so every player will inevitably be ranked. I won’t personally be the one to put out a player ranking, if that’s what you’re here for. I could, but there are still likely to be some last minute entries that could turn any pre-draft predictions on their head. Plus, I want the team Owners to come to their own decisions and not draft based on what I’ve written down for them (no cheat sheets here). Instead, I will give a few interesting preseason facts about some of the players that are blazing the trail for the NBVL.

-At 21 years old, Justin Faester is currently the youngest player registered, and will hopefully be a mainstay in the league for years to come. At 44, Ryan Gandy is the “most wise”. Tamiko Young is neither, but remains forever Young
-The average age of all players is 32.3 years. The women are far more youthful, averaging 32.2 compared to the elderly men averaging 32.4
-Only one of the players has won the Vancouver Open, Denise Wooding earlier this year. Joanna Braun has come the next closest with a 2nd place finish in 2015
-The most common name is John/Jonny shared by John Galloway, Jonny Wiskar, and Jonny Wong
-The first player to register, on Saturday, October 27th, was Kumiko Chow, making her THE trailblazer amongst trailblazers. Chloe Stone is our most recent addition, over a month later on November 29th.
Krystian Wetulani is the only player guaranteed to be drafted as the only Player/Owner so far. This will negate Active ReLeaf‘s first round pick, however, and makes Krystian ineligible to be chosen as the coveted first ever #1 pick in NBVL History

This Wednesday, December 5th, all team Owner’s will be locked and the Draft order will be selected by random draw. All the  players will have the opportunity to show themselves off at the NBVL Combine, then twenty four athletes will be selected at the NBVL Draft on December 8th, at 6Pack Indoor Beach. Choices will be made, players will be chosen, and the very first stars of the NBVL will be born. I hope you all enjoy the show.

Ready to Grow

Just 2 weeks away from the NBVL Inaugural Season Draft, and the excitement is mounting. We’re beyond the point of no return at this point, so yes, it’s happening. The Inaugural Season will be a true test for whether a pro format where everyone is welcome and equal can be sustainable and should continue. There has been so much positive feedback from the time we announced the league, that I’m very reassured and hopeful that the league will have the support it needs to grow bigger and better with every season. Every big thing need to start somewhere, and the Inaugural Season is that beginning for the NBVL.


If you’re as excited as I am about the Inaugural Season, then please, involve yourself. The NBVL is a very inclusive league, designed with the most supportive beach volleyball community I know in mind. It’s for the Vancouverites who love beach volleyball and want more opportunities to play, watch, and share the game. If any of that sounds appealing to you, then you’re already a part of the NBVL Inaugural Season. Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride. Here are 5 ways that you can actively support, without having to wait out the two weeks until the draft.

1. Register to Play
The most obvious way to be front and center in the NBVL is to play. There is no limitation on the number of athletes who can register. Theoretically there could be hundreds of people to choose from in the draft. Realistically, there are likely to be fewer than 20 per gender for the Inaugural Season. What this means (since 12 per gender will be drafted to a team) is that just by registering, you have a very high chance to compete with and against some of the best players in BC. Add to that the fact that only athletes who have registered for the draft are eligible to fill in when someone has to miss a day, and your odds of playing in the league just went up even more.
Following that, should you get assigned a team come draft day, your odds of winning the league’s minimum $2000 1st place prize (plus get your name on the league trophy) are just 1 in 6. You make your registration fee back and more just by making the playoffs, that’s 4 teams out of 6.
Even without that, just by registering, you get to be a part of the NBVL’s first ever Combine and Draft. You’ll pit yourself against BC’s best beach volleyball players and even see where your numbers stack up compared to some of Canada’s best (myself included) in physical and skill based activities.
If you’re worried about not being able to commit to playing the whole season, that’s ok too. There’s a protocol for that, similar to calling in sick at work. You just need to find someone from the registered players to cover for that day, simple as that. As of this writing, we especially need more women to register. This league gives women an equal opportunity to play. By not registering, it  becomes more difficult for those women that have, since there will be few reserve players for them to rely on when they need them.

2. Volunteer
If playing is not the thing for you, but you still want to be right in the action, then becoming a volunteer might be your way to get involved. The NBVL will definitely be able to put you to good use. Every game day there will be volunteer spots open for scorekeepers, stats takers, ball shaggers, court rakers, etc. If you come to help out, we’ll find something for you to do, and give you some NBVL swag to take home.
Becoming a volunteer is as simple as asking, and open to anyone 14 and up. Just email us at league@nbvl.ca for more details.

3. Share with Friends
The easiest way to be a part of the growth of beach volleyball through the NBVL is quite simply to talk about it. If you think it’s a cool idea, tell your friends. If you want to

Future NBVL stud @murflaidlaw posting about his preparations

register, ask a teammate to register with you. If you see a little share button beside one of our videos or articles (maybe even this one), click it. You can be a part of the NBVL without even having to get up off the couch (though we encourage you to do so from time to time).
Expanding the discussion will be the quickest way to expand the game, so even if all you do is talk about it with one other person, you’re a valued asset to the NBVL. For every few discussions, we might get 1 more player to register, 1 more sponsor to help better the quality of the league, 1 more idea that can shape the NBVL into something truly amazing for everyone. All this just from letting people know about it.


4. Contribute your expertise
If you’re looking to go one step further, the NBVL will be very open to contributors. It’s taking the idea of sharing and kicking it up a notch. Have you got opinions on how teams are playing? Do you notice little improvements that could be made or strategies that could be implemented? Well then tell us about it. Take a video, write an article, start a podcast. We’re very interested in expert (or even not so expert) analysis to further engage the beach volleyball community. My writings and nervous videos will only entertain for so long, this could be your chance to get your personality out there as an NBVL contributor.
Right away we could use opinions on the Combine and Draft. Answer the questions on everyone’s mind: Who will get picked first? Does it make sense to draft men or women early? Who will surprise at the Combine? Which late picks will be most valuable in season? The list goes on and on.
The NBVL Inaugural Season will make use of viewer contributions, so send your written, video or audio submissions to league@nbvl.ca and we might feature it here at nbvl.ca. Future seasons might see a permanent space for those contributors that impress this season.

5. Become an Owner/Sponsor
Finally, there’s the financial option. If you have the means and the desire to contribute financially to the NBVL then we have several options to choose from. The most involved of those is to become a Team Owner, though there is only 1 spot left for that. We’ll be announcing our teams this coming week, the last spot will go quickly so don’t miss your chance (only 1 team per owner). But we do also have a sponsor package for those looking to partner with the NBVL and be associated with what we stand for. If you’re interested in hearing more about how to become a sponsor, send us a message – league@nbvl.ca

Don’t let this list stop you, however. If you can think up some other ways of contributing to the NBVL then we support your initiative, and thank you for it. In fact, we’d like to thank everyone in advance for all the help and support that will be needed as we head into the Inaugural Season. Just 2 weeks to go until our very first Combine and Draft. With every passing day, the NBVL vision comes closer to reality. Please join us as we make it happen.

1-NBVL Inaugural Season

NBVL Format Overview


p style=”text-align: center;”>Ben Saxton gives a rundown of the format for the NBVL Inaugural Season.
Covered topics include: Combine, Draft, Matchups, Overtime, and Season