Badger Region is one of the 40 USA Volleyball regions and is a member organization of USA Volleyball. All Badger Region members are also members of USA Volleyball. Badger Region is currently the ninth largest volleyball region with over 12,000 members.
Each Region is represented by a regional commissioner and that person represents the Region as part of the USA Volleyball regional structure. In Badger Region, the commissioner is elected every four years and serves a four-year term.
USA Volleyball leadership meets regularly twice a year with the Region commissioners. The annual meetings are held in each year in May in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships. There is also a mid-year meeting held in October.
As commissioner for Badger Region, I represent the interests of Badger Region at USA Volleyball meetings on a wide variety of topics. Badger Region staff members also attend the national meetings to represent Badger Region interests.
The national meetings between USA Volleyball and the Regions cover a number of topics related to how the regions and USA Volleyball work together. Some examples of topics addressed at these meetings include region compliance to remain in good standing as a Region of USA Volleyball, governance, financial and budget concerns, legal issues and insurance for members.
A large portion of the meetings are focused on providing input to USA Volleyball programming such as national qualifiers, national championships, high performance, coaches’ education, officials training, and beach programming.
Outside of the regular meetings with USA Volleyball, the regional commissioners collaborate and work together actively on programs within our regions. In Badger Region, we try to learn from what has worked successfully in other regions and continually try to make improvements to benefit our membership. Other regions also seek advice from Badger Region to learn what has worked well.
Badger Region, for example, has a great track record of growing the number of boys’ volleyball teams. Several regions have reached out to Badger Region to find how we were able to grow and develop boys’ volleyball.
Badger Region belongs to the regions within the central zone. The central zone region includes the neighboring regions in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota as well as states a little further away such as Kentucky and Nebraska. This commissioners of the central zone regions meet at the national meetings. Recently the central zone commissioners have coordinated scheduling of junior beach tour events to provide more opportunities for juniors in the Midwest to participate in beach competitions this summer.
The commissioners from the central zone also work together to address border issues among the regions. Issues we have dealt with include player and club registration across multiple regions and tryouts to comply with state high school associations with different restriction dates for athletes competing outside of high school competition dates.
Earlier this year, USA Volleyball held meet-and-greet meetings with new CEO Jamie Davis for all the Region commissioners. In early March, I attended the meeting in Chicago along with commissioners from all over the country. It was great to see Jamie’s excitement and enthusiasm for volleyball. He brings a great background in sports and marketing and has a strong vision to continue to grow and expand volleyball programming.
Each region was also given the opportunity to share their thoughts with Davis and provide input on where they would like to see USA Volleyball head in the future. A lot of ideas were shared including how to better market and further grow the sport; broader use of USA Volleyball’s strong brand; improved coaching education; developing, training and retaining volleyball officials; and improved coordination between USA Volleyball and the regions.
I’m thrilled with the direction USA Volleyball is headed under its new leadership. I’m excited about the potential of bringing fun, new opportunities for volleyball to Badger Region!
Being a member of the Badger Region board of directors and serving as the current Commissioner has been an amazing experience for me. Volleyball has been a major part of my adult life so being able to work with so many people that are also passionate about volleyball is so rewarding.
Over the years I have been involved in many aspects of volleyball starting out as a volleyball player. I quickly became a referee as part of our team responsibilities at adult volleyball tournaments. In the early years I also coached girls’ club volleyball for Tosa volleyball club and youth volleyball for several years before focusing primarily on officiating.
Since the early days, my focus on officiating has led to a number of leadership roles in volleyball including becoming an FIVB international referee, a national USAV referee and scorer, an USAV arbitrator and president of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials (PAVO) I also serve on the national referee rating and training teams for USAV and PAVO and the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO).
Each of these roles provides me with unique experiences in volleyball as well as the opportunity to learn from other people involved in volleyball across the country and other parts of the world. I enjoy sharing things I have learned from these experiences with Badger Region.
I’m proud to have been a member of Badger Region volleyball since the beginning when Wisconsin became Badger Region in 1995. Before being elected to the board, I served as the referee assigner and then referee chair. Neil Luebke (retired international referee) and Leif Storvik (USAV national referee whom Badger Region’s most prestigious award is named after) were my mentors and instrumental in creating a fundamental focus on training and continuing education for referees. I was initially elected to the board as a member-at- large and then secretary before being elected as commissioner.
Badger Region has seen tremendous growth in membership, programs and respect from other USAV regions since our humble beginnings just over 20 years ago. Badger Region is now the ninth largest region of the 40 USAV regions with over 12,000 regular registered members in the 2015-2016 season and growing.
As Badger Region commissioner, I hear a lot from our constituents – mostly on ways to make Badger Region even better! Badger Region members are passionate about volleyball and like what Badger Region has done. The Badger Region Championships, for example, provides a top-notch, excellent volleyball experience for players, coaches, officials and parents. Badger Region is committed to continuous improvement and provide excellent volleyball experiences like Badger Region Championships based on member feedback.
Badger Region also recently conducted a survey of all of our membership to determine what we can do make membership better for our members. Stay tuned for additional articles in the Badger Beacon on updates on Badger Region programming.
As a board member in Badger Region, I welcome input and suggestions from members at any time. My door is always open to find ways to make Badger Region better to provide an enjoyable volleyball experience for all our members.