47th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships Coming to Orlando in June
5 May, 2020
The 47th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships will be held June 16 - 28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with numerous safeguards in place including no spectators and temperature checks to help protect all participants and officials.
The global spread of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") has irrevocably changed the way we conduct ourselves in daily life. Personally and professionally, we have all felt the impact of the pandemic. Moving forward, there will be a new normal in how we live and work.
We have already seen businesses adjust -- dine-in restaurants have shifted to delivery service, schools have switched to online classes, grocery stores have installed plastic shield guards at check-out stations -- all to safeguard the health and well-being of those patronizing their businesses. Just as importantly, to allow those companies to retain their workforce and help keep roofs over their families' heads.
Our country is in crisis -- many businesses have laid off or furloughed their personnel. We have seen a record number of people applying for unemployment -- 22 million and growing.
The AAU is no different -- since 1888, we have run events for amateur athletes across the country. And, for the safety and well-being of those athletes, parents, and coaches, we have temporarily suspended all licensed AAU event programming since March 12th. This has been a hardship for our event operators but one we feel is the right thing to do for the health of all who play AAU.
Recently, the federal government announced guidelines for state and local governments to re-open America. As local and state governments start sharing plans for re-opening their states in phases, the AAU does the same.
The 47th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships will be held June 16 - 28 with numerous safeguards in place to help protect all participants and officials. We do not make this decision lightly. This event brings significant economic impact to the Central Florida area -- hotels, restaurants, and other local area businesses -- all benefit from this event as it has become a staple of the local community each year.
As the safety of the participants is our highest priority, AAU Volleyball will follow the recommendations of the CDC, state, county, and local authorities as well as implementing several additional precautionary measures.
No Spectators - No International Teams - Face Covering
To limit the number of people in the facility, spectators will not be allowed. Each team can consist of 15 players, 5 bench personnel, and 10 chaperones. In addition, each match will have one referee. Teams will need to provide the down referee. Due to travel concerns, there will be no international teams. We encourage some type of face-covering being worn whenever possible.
Watch Remotely: BallerTV will be providing coverage to help ensure the safest possible viewing experience for athletes, parents, relatives, and the volleyball community. In an effort to encourage families to enjoy the action in the safest and most responsible way possible, BallerTV will be offering discounted packages and promotions for viewers of the event. Each court will be streamed daily. For BallerTV-related questions, email email@example.com.
Extensive Screening Measures - Temperature Check
Athletes, coaches, chaperones, officials and event staff will be screened. Temperature checks will occur at the beginning of each age group’s session. Teams will be assigned a time and location for the temperature check.
Social Distancing Measures - All Matches at OCCC
There will be many changes at the venue. All matches will be played at the Orange County Convention Center. The volleyball courts will be spaced farther apart to increase the walkways and increased seating space will be added as well. Doors shall be marked for entrances and exits to assist in limiting interaction. There will be a limited number of vendors to allow more space for courts and limit areas where teams gather.
Limited Interaction - No Drink Stations - No Handshakes
Teams are encouraged to bring their own water. Water or sport drink stations will not be provided. There will be no handshakes before or after matches and teams are discouraged from having gift exchanges this year.
OCCC Disinfecting Procedures - Handwashing & Sanitizing
With a strategic on-site preparedness plan, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is implementing rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures to enhance daily routines already in place to promote a clean and healthy environment. More details on the sanitation strategy can be found here.
Additionally, the courts will be disinfected between sessions. Additional handwashing and sanitizing stations will be available within the facility. The balls will be sanitized between each match. There will be additional protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and wipes available to the event staff.
No Opening Ceremonies
There will not be an Opening Ceremony this year, but tickets for the Disney theme parks and the water park parties are still available online.
Entry Deadline Extended to May 14th
To provide as much time as possible for teams to make the right decision for their players and coaches, we have extended the entry deadline to May 14th. Any team choosing to not participate, can withdraw by May 14th and receive a full refund.
News continues to update daily on the status of the pandemic and these safety measures are subject to change. In the unfortunate event, it is deemed unsafe to hold the tournament, we will abide by state or federal guidelines, cancel the event, and refund fees to participating teams.
We are aware there will be some who disagree with us. As a country, as a society, we need to reframe our new normal and get back to people working, people interacting and people playing sports. We know this will not happen overnight nor will we go back to the way things used to be. The rollout will be in segments and will come over time. But, we feel strongly we must continue to run events as long as it is safe to do so.
Stay safe, be well, and remember We Are AAU.
Dr. Roger J. Goudy, President & CEO
Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)