Updated: Feb 23
Sometimes I wonder, is change really that difficult? I've come to a conclusion over the years, that change is often not difficult when the right person with passion and determination is in-charge.
Today, I am going to present my personal thought-through framework for Singapore school volleyball tournament. I hope we can have a new tournament framework in times to come, for the benefits of school volleyball teams. I have been through the zonal and national competitions both as a player, and as a coach. Is it the best we can do for volleyball in school tournaments?
Current practises over the last 2-3 decades:
Divide all schools teams into 4 zones, regardless of the number of teams in each zone
Seeded teams will be split into 2-3 groups, and the zone will be playing a grouping format based on the number of groups
Top 4 of each zone will proceed to play in Nationals
1. Proximity. Time travel to competition venue should be convienent for most schools.
2. Easier Adminstration for the selected schools running the competitions.
1. The same schools in the same zone will never have a chance to compete with other zones school teams if they are not into the Nationals.
2. All volleyball school teams should be given a chance to compete with as many different schools if we want a vibrant school volleyball tournament.
3. If we have a disparity in strength within the zones, we are likely to face a situation whereby we may not have the best 16 teams rightfully into the National schools championship.
4. Competitions is predictable when facing the same schools over the years.
I believed in gradual changes to improve the current tournament formats. It can be planned over the years to be implemented both in the Primary schools and Seconadry schools.
Tournament Name : SSSC Singapore School Volleyball Championship 2016
Location AA Location BB Location CC Location DD
Group A Group B Group C Group D
National 1st National 2nd National 3rd National 4th
Q-final Q-final Q-final Q-final
PR PR PR PR
PR PR PR PR
....... ...... ....... ........
1. The Top 4 of the National School Competitions will be split into 4 "groups". The Q-finalist in the National School Competitions but not into the top 4 will be randomly choosen and split into the 4 "groups". The 8 schools which played in the National School Competitons but did not qualify for the Q-final will be evenly, randomly split into the 4"groups". This will ensure that every year, we have the top 4 of of the "groups" making up from - 1 team from National Top 4 (seeded), 1 team from Q-final (seeded) and 2 teams from National preliminary rounds(PR), to be splited among the 2 seeded team.
2. The rest of the schools teams will then be randomly drawn to be with the different "groups". We can be sure that the number of schools across all "groups" will have almost the same number. We can ensure that every zone uses the same format of 2 groups only, with no exception to a 3 grouping format.
1. Vibrant volleyball competitions
2. Neutral grounds for competitng teams (reduce complains)
3. Exposure of school teams playing with many different teams
4. A fairer, balance approach to improve the overall standard of volleyball
5. Inclusion of international schools
We can surely argue and debat on its feasibility, but can we look for better solution rather than being stagnant? If we have no intention to improve the current format, is this what we want for future volleyball in Singapore?
Let's be far-sighted and see the advantages and disadvantages when we want to improve on current format. Is it better for the development of volleyball in the school ? Adminstrative workload should be the same. Venue can become flexible. Some concerns will be travelling time, but really, we are in Singapore, is it really such a big concern?
I am very hopeful that as Singapore has evolved over the years, and with Sport Singapore encouraging more active participation in sports, Singapore volleyball tournaments in schools can also envolve to provide a greater volleyball experience for the volleyball players.