NSC acts to protect National Volleyball Sport Club Championships
The NIRSA Services Corporation (NSC) Board of Directors met at the NIRSA National Center November 3-4, 2005, to discuss a variety of topics, including the NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships and how antisocial behavior of some attendees has reached a point of serious concern. Much of the antisocial behavior involves alcohol abuse and underage drinking, vandalism, and lewd behavior. This unacceptable behavior has inflicted damage to persons and property, and has increased tournament expenses for additional security and compensation for property damage.
The Volleyball Championships involve a high degree of energy and excitement for NIRSA and the competing student athletes. However, some of the approximately 240 volleyball teams are apparently using this national competition as an excuse to party, with participation and competition taking a back seat. This inappropriate behavior and ensuing property damage is unacceptable to NIRSA. It runs contrary to the mission of these Championships, and is threatening and dangerous, as well.
Although each participating team signs a "Standards of Conduct," NIRSA spent over $10,000 in security and alternate activities at the 2005 event to try to curtail unacceptable behavior and/or damages. Additionally, NIRSA was forced to pay $3,300 for hotel damages that were caused by tournament participants in common areas. Bids for services from the security company for future tournaments have tripled in cost.
To mitigate the recurring vandalism and alcohol-related incidents at the NIRSA Volleyball Championships, and after much discussion, the NSC Board adopted the "Volleyball Participation Conduct Requirements" (below) for the upcoming NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 13-15, 2006. The NSC Board has also consulted with the Chair of the Sport Club Championships Committee.
Sport club directors should relay the new "Participation Conduct Requirements" and the rationale behind their implementation to their volleyball club teams. These new requirements may have a significant budgetary impact on teams. Teams participating in the tournament need to understand the importance of assuring acceptable behavior; being a positive and upstanding representative of their college or university; and stepping up to help intervene when they see other students violating the tournament's "Standards of Conduct." Additionally, as a way to curb group behavior, recreational sports directors and sport club administrators are asked to review their team's travel to the championship, and question the need to arrive prior to Wednesday of tournament week.
The NSC seeks everyone's support of these changes, and is convinced that they will help ensure that the 2006 NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships (part of the National Campus Championship Series) will be without incident. For more information, contact NIRSA's Director of National Sport Programs, Mary Callender (541-766-8211 x14; email).
NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships:
Volleyball Participation Conduct Requirements
1. Each participating college/university will be required to appoint an Official University-Approved Team Liaison to accompany their team(s) at the NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships. The Team Liaison must not be a player and must be either a university employee, advisor, parent, or the like, authorized by the college/university Recreational Sports Director, and will be responsible for their team's behavior while at the NIRSA Volleyball Championships. The Team Liaison will be responsible for ensuring their team(s) follow the "Standards of Conduct." A mandatory meeting of Team Liaisons will be conducted on-site prior to the start of competition.
2. Each competing team must submit a $200 security deposit in addition to its entry fee. All security deposits will be pooled into an emergency fund (the "Security Fund"). Any emergency security or monetary damage that cannot be attributed to a specific individual or team, that is assessed to NIRSA, will be paid from the Security Fund, which determination will be made by NIRSA in its sole discretion. Any money remaining in the Security Fund will be divided equally among all the teams participating in the tournament, and refunded.
Additional Actions by the Association to Curb Unacceptable Behavior
1. At NIRSA expense, security (both crowd control and off-duty police officers) will be significantly increased at the convention center and at tournament hotels throughout the championships. Expectations will be relayed to security companies about how and when to remove spectators/participants, and what follow-up documentation to provide to NIRSA as a result of any behavioral problems (names, school identity, etc.).
2. NIRSA will no longer negotiate discounted hotel room blocks for teams that arrive early (prior to Wednesday night). If teams arrive earlier than Wednesday, they must lodge outside the NIRSA room block.