In general, USA/American Division bids will trickle down with the lowest possible finish able to accept a bid being the a team that finishes no lower than 4th for a Qualifier that has 1 or 2 bids and 6th for a Qualifier that was allocated 3 bids. In the event that any team qualifies in more than one qualifier, the bid will be reallocated per the Qualifier Manual.
Penalty for Rejection of Bid
There are serious consequences for teams who reject a bid, these are specified in the Qualifier Manual. For all age divisions (excluding 18 Open and 18 USA), if an Open team that wins a bid or a USA/American/National team that accepts a bid at a Qualifier does not participate in the JNC in the division in which it won the bid, that team, it's coaches, it's club director and all it's club's teams will be suspended from participation in all national qualifying events for the following season.
Teams in 18 Open and 18 USA may decline a bid as specified in the 2016 Qualifier Manual.
Format for age level Open Divisions
Two rounds of pool play followed by single elimination play-offs for all teams except those in the Gold Championship Bracket. Those teams in the "Gold" will play a third round of pool play with the top teams advancing to a final single elimination bracket. All matches will be best 2/3. Awards will be given to the top three teams in the Gold Championship brackets as specified in the Qualifier Manual. The maximum number of teams accepted into any age level Open Division will be 48.
Format for all age levels in USA/American/National (Club) Divisions
Two rounds of pool play followed by single elimination play-offs for all teams. All matches will be best 2/3. Awards will be given to the top three teams in the Gold Championship brackets as specified in the Qualifier Manual. The 18's, 17's, 16's, & 15's USA & National Divisions will accept at most a maximum of 128 teams dependent on space available. The 14's & 13's USA/American/National Divisions will accept at most a maximum of 128 teams dependent on space available.
Acceptance and Selection Criteria
In order to be accepted into the event, all teams which are not local teams, must use tournament approved hotels. Northern Lights has contracted with THS to manage reservations and approve all hotels being used for this event. This policy is called "Stay and Play".
In the event the number of entry applications in a division exceeds the space available, teams will be admitted into the tournament based on certain criteria after they have fulfilled the Stay and Play requirement.
The Open and USA/American Divisions have the same entry selection criteria.
The entry selection criteria are:
Note: This is basically a 1st come 1st serve criteria for the first two teams from a club in each age division. Once our capacity in a division is reached, that division will be closed. We will attempt to notify all teams of their acceptance status into a division within 48 business hours (excluding Holidays and Weekends) of the receipt of their completed entry form, entry fees, and verification that they have met the Stay and Play requirement (local teams are exempted).
You can check your entry status by logging into Signuptoplay.com and Clicking on "ENTER EVENTS." Select the Northern Lights Qualifier from the dropdown list and you will see your teams that have applied and three columns beside each team - DIV., PAID, and ACCEPTED. This will tell you what division you are entered into and whether you are "Paid and Accepted." As we receive your payment, verify your Stay and Play Status, and accept your team we will mark those columns as "YES".
Please note that Date of Receipt is now the key determining factor for both the Open and USA/American Divisions. The Date of Receipt which we use is the date/time stamp given to your entry if you pay on-line, or the date of receipt of your check if you pay via mail, or the date which you enter your teams data into signuptoplay.com or the date that you fulfill the Stay and Play requirement, whichever is LATER.
After the deadline date, additional teams may be admitted to the event in any division if space is available. Also after the deadline date, the Qualifier Director has the discretion to allow teams who may have been denied access to the Open Division, to move to the USA or American Division based on space available. Teams in the USA or American Division may be offered the opportunity to move to the Open Division in order to round out the field to create a preferred bracket (i.e. pools of 4). Top seeds in each pool of the Open & USA/American/Club divisions may also be determined or verified by the national seeding committee.
Open Divisions will most likely start 8:00 am the first day. Some of the USA/American divisions may also start at 8:00 AM the first day. The remainder of the divisions will start at 3:00 PM on the first day. Here are the expected starting times, subject to change:
If a division is listed as "8:00 AM or 3:00 PM " it means that teams in that division may start either in the morning or the afternoon. Please do not call and ask when a particular division or team will start, we do not know. Most matches usually finish by 4:00 the last day. If you wish to be assured of not missing a match we recommend that you do not schedule any departing flights prior to 7:00 pm the last day.
Specific team/division schedules will be posted on our real time results website when they are done, most likely 3 days before the event. At that time a link to the schedules will be posted at the top of this page.
This year bids in the Open Divisions will trickle down. This means that there might be additional playoff games in an Open Division that will run late on Sunday. If you forfeit that match you not only will forfeit a bid into JO's, but you also will be in violation of the YJOV rules regarding intentional forfeits which could result in your club being banned from future YJOV competition. (See the USAV Qualifier manual for further details.) We advise all Open teams not to schedule any flights home prior to 7:00 pm.
Tournament Finishing Times
The nature of volleyball tournaments makes it impossible to predict when the tournament will end.
The Northern Lights Qualifier typically schedules the last matches to begin at 2:00 or 3:00pm on the last day of the event. However due to the high level of competition and the closeness in ability of teams playing each other, it should be noted that most every court will be “behind schedule” by that time of the day. It is not untypical for a court to be 60 minutes behind by that time.
Most Gold Championship matches and 3rd place matches are expected to be scheduled for the 1 or 2pm time slots.
All other bracket matches such as the Silver, Bronze, Flight 1, Flight 2 and so forth, may also have a 2 or 3pm final match. Or they may finish earlier in the day. It is not possible to tell which brackets will be played earlier or later in the day. This information will not be known until the schedule is completed approximately 7 days prior to the event.
Teams which make flight arrangements earlier than 6pm are risking forfeiting matches. We recommend your flights should not be made earlier than 7pm.Teams which “have to leave early” are still responsible for their officiating assignments. They either must fill the officiating positions with acceptable replacements, or hire officials to do it.
The 2016 Northern Lights Qualifier main site will be the Minneapolis Convention Center. Our total Convention Center capacity for the two weekends exceeds last year's requirements. We hope to be able to handle all of the tournament at the convention center however all teams should still be prepared to travel to an outside site if needed.
Warm up Volleyballs Supplied
Northern Lights is pleased to be the only Qualifier in the Nation that supplies warm up balls and ball carts on all courts for practice and competition. Teams should not bring any volleyballs to the tournament, security will not allow them inside the playing area.
We have done this the last four years and it has been a huge hit. No more forgetting the balls at home or in the gym! Please read our Warm-up Volleyball rules sheet and inform all players of the rules. Please take special note of the USAV warm up rules which prohibit warm up with volleyballs on unoccupied courts and in any aisles.
The 12 & Under division will use "Lite" volleyballs, which are supplied for practice, warm-ups and competition.
No Cooler/Chair Policy -
Spectator chairs are provided at all playing sites. No outside portable folding chairs are permitted at any site due to Fire Marshall restrictions.
The Minneapolis Convention Center has a No Cooler or outside food policy. They will no longer allow coolers, bags of food, etc, anywhere inside the building. This means you cannot bring coolers, bags of food, etc into any part of the building including the lobbies. This is a Convention Center Policy, not a Northern Lights Policy.
Any questions or comments about this policy should be directed to the Minneapolis Convention Center staff.
Entry Fees - please read carefully
The entry fee is $790 per team for all teams in all divisions. For the January 18 Open & 18 USA event the entry deadline is Friday December 18, 2015 3:00 PM CST. For the April event with all of the other divisions the entry deadline is Tuesday March 3, 2016 3:00 PM CST. Entries/fees received after that date/time will be considered on a space available basis only. Due to limited convention center space this year, some divisions may fill before the deadline.
If you submit your entry fee via the on-line payment method on signuptoplay.com, there is no need for you to mail any entry forms to us. The date of entry will be recorded as the time your payment is made on-line.
If you are paying by a check, which you are mailing to us, you must send your Application for Entry form which is printed from the signuptoplay.com website. If you are paying by check, please submit only one check per club (not one per team.) The date of entry for mailed checks will be recorded as the date your payment is received in our office.
Teams which are non local teams are required to use tournament approved hotels and will need to have made reservations at one of those hotels before they will be accepted into the tournament.
Before a team can book hotel rooms, they must be registered for the tournament and have paid the entry fee.
You may click here to view information about the tournament approved hotels.
Non-negotiable Refund Policy - please read carefully:
If a team is denied entry into because the field is filled, the team may elect to cancel its application and receive a full refund of its entry fee, OR the team may elect to go on a waiting list.
If a team which is not on a wait list decides to drop out for any reason after making payment the team will forfeit the entire entry fee regardless whether the drop happens before or after February 24 and regardless of your hotel status with THS. This includes all drops that may pertain to acts or threats of war, acts or threats of terrorism, or a health risk alert.
A team on a waiting list may drop out and obtain a full refund of its entry fee as long as we have not yet accepted the team into the tournament from the waiting list. To qualify for this, a team on a waiting list must have notified us in writing of their desire to drop before they receive notification of being accepted from the waiting list. To get on the wait list the division that the team is trying to enter must be full, the team has paid, and the team has met the Stay & Play housing requirements. A team that has entered and paid but not met the Stay & Play housing requirements is not on a wait list and is not eligible for a refund if they drop.
If the tournament is canceled or interrupted due to acts or threats of war, acts or threats of terrorism, or a health risk alert, event entry refunds will be made to individuals or teams on a prorated basis once all of Northern Lights out-of-pocket expenditures for the canceled or interrupted event have been settled from such fee.
Entry fees are non-transferable to another team, even from the same club.
Due to limited convention center space this year, some divisions may fill before the deadline.
On Line Registration
The Northern Lights Qualifier uses Signuptoplay.com for tournament registration. The general process for entry is:
* Remember that on Signuptoplay.com you can have all your players and your staff enter their own data! You won't have to key in a single thing! By going to the Signuptoplay.com website each player and staff member can create their own personal file and associate themselves with your club. You as club director can then accept them into your club, assign them to teams, and enter the team into the event. It's as simple as 1-2-3!
Roster Verification -
USA Volleyball is requiring that all rosters for all Qualifiers be verified. All players and staff listed on your roster will be verified by the USAV National office. Players and Staff need to be in the USAV Webpoint Region registration system. If you have questions concerning this, contact your Region office to verify that your data has been placed in Webpoint.
Spectator Admission & Entry Procedures
For this year's event admission is required for all spectators over the age of 6. You may purchase either a tournament weekend pass, or single day tickets.
Weekend passes may be purchased in advance on-line. Information about our on-line sales can be found by clicking here. We strongly urge you to purchase your weekend pass on-line to avoid a long wait at the convention center.
Tickets may also be purchased in the lobby of the Minneapolis Convention Center at the event. You may purchase tickets in person starting on the Thursday before the event at the Convention Center.
All coaches listed on a team's roster must have successfully passed the USAV Impact Clinic or the CAP Level 1 course. This must appear on your signuptoplay.com roster and be verified by your Region Office. There are no Impact clinics offered at this qualifier.
Awards will be given to the Gold Division 1st, 2nd & 3rd place teams. The entire team must report to the awards area to pickup the awards and have a team picture taken. Teams not complying with this will not be given their awards. No awards are given to any Silver, Bronze, or Flight Division winners.
Team Check in
All teams must check
in on Thursday evening 4pm -10pm.
There is no check in on Friday morning. Please plan your travel
such that the person responsible for checking in your team arrives on Thursday
at the Convention Center before 10:00pm.
See our Check - In page for more info.
Check in will be located at the Championship Desk of the Convention Center.
We are very excited to have VolleyballRecruits.net, The Official Recruiting Tool of USA Volleyball on site at the Mizuno Northern Lights Qualifier! Click here for more information on their Video Recruiting Packages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our team has not yet been formed, can I enter the tournament without submitting the players names? Yes, however you must have entered all players into Signuptoplay.com by the time you arrive at checkin.
We know we are coming to the tournament and we want to get hotels ASAP, can we reserve hotels and then enter the touranment? No, you must have entered the touranment and paid the entry fee before you can reserve hotel rooms. This is the result of past people reserving prime rooms and then not attending the event.
Can I enter the tournament without using the website registration process? No, all entries must be done using Signuptoplay.com.
Can I import my staff and player data to the website? Yes. Instructions on the file format are found on the signuptoplay.com website.
What is the information I entered being used for? The information you enter is being used for general administration of the tournament.
When must I send my entry fee to you? Once you have completed registering your team on the Signuptoplay.com website you must send your entry fee to arrive at our office within 7 days or by the entry deadline, whichever is sooner. For example if you register your team on January 10th you must get your check to us by January 17th, however if you wait until February to register you may have less than 7 days to get the entry fee to us. The postmark date/date of receipt of this entry form/check is what will be used for determining date of entry. (The exception to this is someone who sends a check without entering on the website, in this case the date you enter on the website will be used as the official postmark date.)
Is there a Tryout for the USA High Performance Program? Yes, tryouts will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Thursday April 28th from 4pm to 8:00pm. All questions concerning the tryout should be directed to the USAV National office. The website for the USA High Performance Program is http://www.usavolleyball.org/.