Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Five Tips for Hosting a USAV Tournament

Hosting a successful tournament takes careful planning and coordination. While it may seem easy from the outside, there are many factors to consider to ensure a smooth and successful event. Megan Ward, the USA Volleyball Manager of Events, shares five valuable tips to help you elevate your tournaments to the next level.

Be Prepared

Before delving into the details of your tournament, it’s essential to be well-prepared. This means deciding on a suitable location or facility, gathering all the necessary documents, and creating a timeline. Knowing the number of teams and courts you can accommodate based on your location/facility will help you determine the scheduling formats and USAV policies to implement. It’s also important to reach out to the region where your event will take place to ensure proper sanctioning and approval.

Tip: Creating a timeline with key dates such as registration, refund, and roster deadline will keep you organized and allow teams to stay informed.


Safety should always be a top priority when hosting a tournament. To ensure the well-being of all participants, including event staff, make sure everyone is a registered USAV member. This ensures that all participants are familiar with USAV policies. Additionally, ensure that your event staff has completed the required SafeSport training, as it helps them spot any potential SafeSport issues that may arise during the event. Take the time to anticipate possible emergencies and create response plans for each scenario. Collaborating with facility staff is crucial as they may already have established emergency guidelines.

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Be Adaptable

No matter how well you plan, unforeseen circumstances can occur during a tournament. Being adaptable is key to successfully navigating any unexpected challenges. Whether it’s a last-minute team dropout or a power outage, be prepared to pivot and make necessary adjustments. Remember, you can’t control everything that happens, but your ability to stay flexible will contribute to a smoother event experience.


Clear and consistent communication is vital throughout the tournament process. By providing teams and spectators with as much information as possible well in advance, you help them arrive prepared. Consider posting important details in multiple locations and sending out timely updates before teams arrive. Establishing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or sending a Team Letter are effective ways to highlight essential information for all attendees.

During the event, continue to communicate with your participants. If there are schedule changes, delays, or emergencies, ensure that you inform them promptly and provide updates as time allows.

Have Fun!

Amidst all the planning and execution, it’s crucial not to forget the most important aspect: enjoying the tournament and being present for the games. Whether it’s a multi-day event or a single-day tournament, remember that you’re providing athletes with an opportunity to play the game they love.

Tip: Take note of what works well and what could be improved throughout the event. Engaging in a post-event discussion and embracing feedback will help you continually enhance your future tournaments.

Megan Ward, an experienced Events Manager at USAV, has been organizing tournaments for nearly three years. She oversees two of USAV’s biggest tournaments, the Girls Junior National Championship and Sunshine Classic. Megan also has valuable experience managing events at the collegiate and professional levels.

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Q: How can I ensure a successful tournament?

A: Preparation is key to a successful tournament. Plan in advance, create a timeline, and ensure that you have all the necessary documents and approvals. Clear communication and adaptability are also essential throughout the event.

Q: Why is safety important in tournament hosting?

A: Safety should always be a top priority. Ensuring all participants are registered USAV members and having event staff complete SafeSport training helps maintain a safe environment. Anticipating emergencies and collaborating with facility staff are crucial to address any potential issues.

Q: How can I effectively communicate with teams and spectators during the tournament?

A: Overcommunication is key. Provide teams and spectators with important information well in advance through various channels. Establishing a FAQ page or sending a Team Letter are effective methods to highlight essential details.

Q: What should I do to handle unexpected challenges during the tournament?

A: Be adaptable and ready to adjust plans as needed. Unexpected circumstances may arise, such as teams dropping out or technical issues. Staying flexible and making necessary adjustments will help your event run smoothly.


Hosting a USAV tournament requires careful planning, effective communication, and adaptability. By following these five tips from Megan Ward, a seasoned Events Manager at USAV, you can elevate your tournaments and create memorable experiences for all participants. Remember to prioritize safety, stay organized, and embrace feedback for continuous improvement. Make your tournament a true work of art that players, spectators, and staff will remember fondly. For more information on hosting a USAV tournament, visit Alpinetgheep.

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