An open letter to CHSAA

Katy Vance, Guest Writer

Good Afternoon:

My name is Katy Vance. I am a junior attending Manitou Springs High School. I play volleyball and have aspirations of playing in college. I am writing to you about the high school and club volleyball conflict. As I’m sure you know, the State Volleyball Tournament overlaps with Colorado Crossroads, a national qualifier for club volleyball held in Denver. I, and most other volleyball players who are trying to manage between the two seasons are quite disappointed and conflicted with this issue.

In the Q and A for volleyball, CHSAA was asked why you put school volleyball at the same time as club volleyball. In response, CHSAA wrote, “​I know that club coaches and high school coaches have high expectations for their players, and they should. I do not view us as in competition with club volleyball.” It seems that CHSAA is in fact competing against club volleyball and does not care about the difficulty and stress this is causing the student athlete. Athletes are having to choose between two major tournaments, and which team and coach they are going to have to disappoint and let down. In my and many others’ view that is not only unfair, but quite cruel.

Crossroads is a very important tournament this season for Colorado volleyball players. It is one of the biggest national qualifiers in the nation, and the only national qualifier in Colorado and all competitive clubs attend. It is where colleges come to recruit and we are essentially auditioning for a scholarship. Last year, club players were unable to attend crossroads (not to mention all other qualifiers). As a consequence, the entire college recruitment process has been delayed and pushed back. I do not want to choose between my best recruitment opportunity and the State Volleyball Tournament-a time to connect with my teammates and create timeless friendships and memories. I hope you are beginning to see the dilemma.

I know you may be thinking, well . . . life isn’t fair. And you’re right, but CHSAA’s mission statement is, “to serve its membership through the advancement of, and the student’s participation in, interscholastic activities, which are an integral component and a complement to the educational goals of its member schools.” It seems contradictory for CHSAA to want “student participation” but are stifling student participation in the State Tournament because it is at odds with one of the most important tournaments of the club volleyball season. Most serious volleyball players will choose Crossroads. Scheduling the two most important tournaments in Colorado at the same time will have the effect of steering student participation away.

Another consequence of having the State Tournament overlap with Crossroads will be to give certain teams who do not participate in club volleyball an unfair advantage. That is not fair to the club volleyball players, their schools, and it is not in their best interest as student athletes. In the ​statement of code ethics ​CHSAA’s second bullet reads as follows: “Emphasize the proper

ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and fair play as they relate to the ​lifetime impact​ on the participants.” Athletes involved in club volleyball will be playing their entire season, helping their teams achieve their goal of making it to state only to have that reward snatched from them and have to watch their team play without them. We will have to choose between auditioning for a college scholarship at Crossroads and remaining loyal to our school. That is not fair at all. It certainly does not put the best interest of the student athletes who have aspirations of playing in college first.

I appreciate all CHSAA has done to help us athletes even have a season at all. I recognize all the nonsense some parents and athletes put you through and I thank you and recognize how hard your job can be. With that being said, I implore you to not make me and my fellow athletes have to choose between my loyalty to my school, or my future to play college volleyball.


Katy Vance