Volleyball 4 life Concept - participation pathway

The Volleyball 4 Life participation pathway is an indoor recreation pathway for Ontario Volleyball.

Please note that this V4L pathway is a concept only, designed to be implemented across the next strategic cycle (5 years). The V4L pathway would not move forward without consultation from the OVA membership, the Indoor Volleyball Development Committee and the OVA Board.

  1. Implement a pathway to retain volleyball players through increasing participation opportunities in indoor volleyball at ALL levels (grassroots, youth, adults/masters).
  2. Improved competition formats for players to enjoy and develop, geared towards skill development with reduced barriers to participation.
  3. Meeting the participation needs of the growing playing population of volleyballers that are ages 19+ through competitions at the highest quality of delivery.

The V4L Participation Pathway targets 3 categories of members

Grassroots • Ages 6-12 | Youth • Ages 13-19 | Adults • Ages 20 - 50+


Enjoy • Develop

Every player has talent and we want to give every player the best opportunity to play volleyball and remain active for life. This is the most important part of the player pathway. This is where we give children their first experience in the sport. Ensuring this first experience is fun, enjoyable and revolves around inspirational experiences and child- friendly volleyball though Long Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity, is essential.

Clubs that have strong grassroots programs play a pivotal role in this development stage and ensuring players enjoy, develop and return the following season should be the goal for every coach, club and the OVA.

Lower barriers to entry (Tournament cost, membership cost, no team fees).

Consists of single day round robin jamborees or tournaments with shorter sets (however teams can play more games. e.g. best of 3 sets, 15 Points, 8 points 3rd set).

Open to House League and Non-House League Participants (e.g. schools, multisport programs, other youth focused organizations).

Participating teams should be from within a 50km radius. If a tournament cannot be filled from teams within that radius, it can be opened up to teams beyond that limit.

Encouraged to be a step up from Spikes / Smashball house league participation.

Participation based rewards no medals.

Hosting model would be similar to the existing OVA's youth competitions model.

Events have the opportunity to go beyond the current indoor calendar.

V4L Youth

Engage • Compete

From U12 forward athletes have clear avenues available to them depending on their motivation, aspirations and potential to play rep club volleyball. However, many are left out due to the training commitment, cost or skill level.

V4L Youth is for the player who enjoys the game, wants to stay fit and play volleyball with their friends but not commit to increased training or travel. Players in this pathway are likely to train and play once per week or only play matches. Volleyball in this pathway will most likely occur within a club, at a local level between neighbouring clubs or communities, or in a School League at a Recreational Level.

Lower barriers to entry (Less training days, lower tournament cost, membership cost, team fees)

Mirrors our current youth competition structure.

Open to House League and Non-House League Participants e.g high schools.

Encouraged to be a step up from house league participation. It is proposed that players may be able to move up from V4L teams into rep teams, however they cannot return to play down in the same competition year.

Novelty rewards e.g. Event T-shirts or ribbons. i.e. no medals.

Hosting model would be similar to the existing OVA's youth competitions model.

Events have the opportunity to go beyond the current indoor calendar.

V4L Adult

Retain • Participate

After the age of 19 participation, there is a drop-off in participation in volleyball events by players mainly due to education, work or time commitment to training.

The V4L Masters are for club alumni, OVA alumni and recreational players to stay active for life through the sport of volleyball and engage with the volleyball community across the province.

In the first year we are targeting participation and awareness that the OVA supports adult indoor volleyball and has created coed events for participation. By the 2nd year we aim to include more opportunities of play that are coed, single gendered and open entry at the regional and provincial levels.

A series of Coed Tournaments with requirement to play in at least 1 for entry into OC’s. Teams may travel and play in more than 1 tournament if they choose.

Follows standard FIVB / Volleyball Canada indoor volleyball rules. However, alternative rules, formats, events and classifications will be explored e.g. reverse volleyball, sitting volleyball, aboriginal volleyball etc.

No commitment to a club required.

Team Fees, tournament fees and membership fees still apply.

Open to all levels of players except University Varsity Athletes, Team Canada Athletes, Team Ontario Athletes, One Volleyball Premier Players or players on professional contracts.

T-shirt & number only uniforms.

Medals / Trophies as rewards.

Hosts may include OVA Clubs or other organizations that can demonstrate that they will host to an acceptable standard. e.g. adult league providers, post secondary institutions etc. Standards and guides will have to be created.

Events have the opportunity to go beyond the current indoor calendar.

proposed playing Categories

**Please not that these categories are proposed and are subject to change based on stakeholder consultations**


Next Steps

Consultation Stage 1

Consultations with a focus on the OVA's Indoor Volleyball Development Committee, OVA Regional Presidents, clubs with existing grassroots programs, house leagues, adult league and tournament providers, the OVA's Referee Development Committee, as well as, colleges and universities for participation of extramural teams.

Consultation Stage 2

Updated concept with further input from OVA working groups for finance, marketing, registration, safety considerations and proposed rules for each category. Continued feedback from the stakeholders listed above.

OVA Board Approval

Submission of the proposal to the OVA Board including a financial breakdown to determine the participation cost, operating and marketing expenses, as well as, potential income from events and sponsorship opportunities.

Inclusion Into the OVA's Operations

Adoption of the V4L Competition Pathway into the short and long term strategic plans of the PSO and inclusion of in the OVA indoor calendar.


Would you like to give us feedback on this project or contribute to the V4L working group?

All feedback goes to Kerish Maharaj, the OVA's Manager of Community Outreach and Grassroots Programs, on behalf of the larger working group.