A Volleyball Journey

By Charlie Bottita

This is not the journey you may be thinking of. It is not traveling to watch my daughter play in Vegas or other cities. It is not the path a player takes to get to the level they have settled into. This is a journey of seeking fairness and undoing what has been wrong. This is a journey of trying to protect youth in our community. Over the past 10 months I have been on a journey within the Oregon City Volleyball Community. My journey uncovered an alarming story. Many of you know bits and pieces of this story, but I have compiled it in one place for you all to read. I include email exchanges and documents of the data throughout my journey. I am asking that you read the information that I am providing and come to your own conclusions on how the story should end. Please go to https://volleyballjournal.blogspot.com and read my journey.

Charlie

Things to Know as the High School Season Approaches

The high school volleyball season is rapidly approaching. This can be a very intimidating time of year for players at every high school, as they begin to question themselves and their abilities. Some have goals for making varsity, to find themselves heartbroken when it is time for coaches to form the team. On top of volleyball, student athletes have quite the plate of emotional stress on them during this time. Such worries include the rapidly approaching year of challenging academics, reconnecting with old friendships, and even having to give up the summer luxury of sleeping in every day. Regardless of what goes on in their minds, tryouts week is one of the most stressful times in any student athlete’s life.

In order to prepare for tryouts, many schools operate throughout the summer, providing open gyms and summer camps for extra practice. There are other opportunities for players too, such as beach volleyball, which has become very popular. There are endless ways for a player to practice throughout the summer, and there is no pressure for players to do so. Some love the sport and welcome the opportunities. Others choose to enjoy their summer in other ways. Players that choose not to participate throughout the summer, should never be criticized for doing so. Not by coaches, players, or even family members. Unfortunately, choosing to not give up these precious summer moments presents a large risk of making a high school team to many players. There have been coaches that use summer programs (prior to tryouts) to predetermine which player will be on which team, largely affected by attendance. Some coaches even sit down with the player or parent and inform them of which team they will make long before tryouts even occur. This act of predetermining teams is not only extremely unfair, it is also against OSAA (Oregon School Activity Association) rules. What makes it worse is that many of the players being informed of their positions are not aware of this serious violation. 

Tryouts have been known to break many hearts. Each year, new players and old players show up with hopes of making a team. Sadly, some schools may have already chosen those teams well before tryouts, making the hours of difficult effort put in by players absolutely worthless. However, the heart wrenching violations do not end here. Many players in the season prior may have been told by their coach that they must play club volleyball at a certain club in order to have a chance at being on a team the following year. This, again, is extremely unfair, but it is also against OSAA rules. Players are led to believe that where they play club determines what they will play at school regardless of skill, effort, or qualifications. Imagine all the pressures stated above in the first paragraph, and add pressure from a coach/ club owner. Do these impressionable teenagers deserve to be put through this unnecessary and harsh stress? This kind of negative pressure has no place in volleyball programs or any high school sports. School sports are meant to express positive athletics, not cruel mental olympics.

High school athletic departments are self regulating, and OSAA creates a set of rules for schools to follow, in order to make athletics the best they can be for students. Follow this link to read about OSAA’s rules and handbook
. Self regulating means that the athletic director of each school is required to submit violations that they or others have witnessed. There are schools that choose to be honest, but there are schools that choose to not be honest. The athletes at each school are mostly unaware of the rules governed by the OSAA and It is up to the athletic director and coaches to follow the rules and to make certain that athletes are aware of them. However, athletes are still often unaware that they are put into positions that may jeopardize their school. When a violation occurs, generally, the entire sports program is penalized. It can be a financial penalty, forfeiture of games, and even a season-long suspension. Not only does the player who unknowingly participates in a violation suffer, but the entire sports program suffers as well. Many of the rules governed by the OSAA are enforced throughout the entire academic year. It is important to know that even If a sport’s season is over, that does not mean that the rules stop. 

 Fortunately now, there is an anti-bullying solution put into place for student athletes. The Oregon Legislature has taken action and constructed a bill that requires the OSAA to create a reporting and resolution process for bullying. The OSAA constructed a process during their Executive Summer Workshop. Players can notify OSAA when bullying of any kind from players, coaches, or even parents occur. Bullying can be physical, verbal, social and cyber. Bullying came to the forefront this past academic year during a high school basketball game between two 5a schools. There were racial slurs remarked by students of an opposing school. This made headlines in the news, causing the Oregon Legislature to construct this bill. By the time this coming school year begins, this process will be complete. Coaches, players, teachers and spectators shall not bully at any OSAA activity. This includes practices, games, off season events, etc. Anyone who attempts to intimidate a player, should be reported through the new reporting method. Follow this link for more information on this new complaint method. Intimidation is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated. High school coaches should not bully or threaten players into playing for specific clubs, and this new method will thankfully give a voice to those players who are negatively approached by these coaches.

At the end of the day, student athletes already have too many things to worry about. They do not deserve added stress from coaches who threaten to take away athletic opportunities just because of where they play club. Coaches, athletic directors, players and even parents are responsible for creating a positive and effective program for all players, even those who do ultimately get cut. This should be absolutely free from any kind of intimidation. As we head into the new academic year, I hope that all students are successful in meeting their athletic and academic goals. They need to know that there are people in this crazy world who do care for them and we want them to become strong, successful, and smart adults coming out of these athletic programs.

-Charlie Bottita

Woks Up Beach Volleyball June 1st Jr Doubles and June 2nd Jr Quad Tournaments

The first full weekend of Junior tournaments were completed last weekend. June 1st began with the Morning Beginner Junior Doubles Tournament and the Afternoon Advanced Junior Doubles Tournament. June 2nd was the first ever Junior Quads Tournament. Both tournaments were very well attended by multiple levels of players. If you are interested in playing in any of our future Junior Tournaments, check out the Tournaments Page. Thank you to all the family and friends that came out to support the players.

Below are the photo albums of the tournaments.

The June 1st Doubles Tournament morning and afternoon tournaments click HERE.

The June 2nd Quads Tournament Click HERE.

For more information about Woks Up Beach Volleyball go to our Website.

Intra Club Tournament 2019 and Website New Look

2019 Champions

Intra 2

The 2019 Intra Club tournament is in the books. It was nice being back in the CAIS Gym. The parent teams started out strong, but age may have gotten the best of them and they slowly slipped away. Another year and no parent team won the championship. Next year! Even though it was the beginning of Spring Break, we had a good turnout. Awesome food, music and fun. I have created a photo album to share pics of the tournament. The link is in the Photo Galleries Page. And you can access it directly Here. If you have any pictures you would like to share, please email trailsendvbc@gmail.com . There is also a shared Google Photo Album if you would like to upload pics to that. https://photos.app.goo.gl/PottMkMwvKV86dqm7

If you have not visited the Trailsend Website lately, there is a new look to it. The menus have been condensed and more cell phone user friendly. Give the site a try. Same information, just not as cluttered.

Intra Club Tourney 2019

I can say from all the coaches that today was such a fun day. Thank you for sharing your time with us this season. It was so entertaining watching everyone play today and have a great time. NOBODY GOT HURT!!!! But I’m sure a few may be sore. I hope you all enjoy this tourney tradition as much as we do. Also thank you for the full belly, food was great!

This next week is Spring Break so there will be no indoor practices. I will be on the sand though. Please encourage you players to play if you are not going out of town. This will expand all skills but also give them the mental break they need from indoor. Parents come enjoy the sun and sand as well as we have nice beverages for y’all. This is a camp so it is meant for learning and fun, the younger the better! You can sign up online through our site. Hope to see you all there!

#GOTRAILSEND

 

Spring Break Beach Volleyball Camp

Winter is making a last push, but Spring is knocking on its door. Not going to Hawaii or the warm beaches of Southern California for Spring Break? Spend Spring Break being trained by Leilani Kamahoahoa-Noga, a former AVP Professional Beach Volleyball Player.

Beach volleyball is now a scholarship sport at many universities. The Woks Up Spring Break Beach Volleyball Camp is designed introduce players to the world of Beach Volleyball. Let them experience all the same skills as indoor, just add sand/sun/wind/rain. This will refine their skills, footwork, and anticipation on the court. Players will experience every aspect of defense and offense therefore become better/faster/more explosive indoor players because of beach.

Trailsend Volleyball Club and Woks Up Beach Volleyball are offering two opportunities for Juniors to experience Beach Volleyball. Please visit the following two pages for more details:

Spring Break Beach Volleyball Camp 2019

Junior Beach Volleyball Season (May-Aug) 

 

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Woks Up Beach Volleyball

SNOW IS GONE- MAYBE??

Hi All Trailsend Families,

Hope you all enjoyed the snow over the weekend. It looks like Gresham- Troutdale got the worst of it.

-We are up for practices as posted on calendar for the week if all goes well.

-CEVA will let us know if our canceled Power League will be rescheduled and you will know as soon as I know. (Trailsend will be trying to schedule an extra tourney for all teams who missed tourney this weekend due to snow and ice as soon as CEVA makes decision as to if it will reschedule)

– FEB Las Vegas tourney has posted schedule. (Tip: do not rent a car in Vegas)

-Seattle tourney should have all schedules posted tomorrow morning. Snow is most likely in Seattle so please come prepared. Local schools are used for this tourney so unfortunately this director is waiting on schools to make the call for gym usage. We should know if canceled or not by Wednesday. Gyms can be cold, please be prepared with warmups and sweats for all players.

All players should be paid up for the season at this point. Please give checks to coach or Leilani at practice tonight or pay online. Plan on player not playing in travel tourneys this weekend if you have unpaid bills.

Love to watch all your players getting better and working hard each and every practice. All coaches are embracing their teams and enjoy your kiddos. Good Luck to those that play this weekend.

#GOTRAILSEND

2019 Season Photos

Each year parents and spectators take many pictures during Tournaments Trailsend attends. Our site now has a Photo Gallery page for these photos to be stored. If you have any photos you would like to share and have posted in the Gallery there are multiple ways to do so. Share a web album where you have uploaded the images, such as iCloud, Google Photos, Flickr etc. You may also share them on social media and tag Trailsend Volleyball Club. Send any links you have to web albums or social media to trailsendvbc@gmail.com. You can email individual pictures as well.

Check out the new Photo Galleries Page on our website for current and archived photos.

Trailsend Social Media Links: Facebook Instagram