NZSS Satellite event update


Following consultation with North and South Island Satellite tournament deliverers – North Harbour Volleyball and Canterbury Volleyball – Volleyball NZ (VNZ) can provide the following update to schools and Regional Associations regarding the status of the events. 

In the current environment with the spread of Covid-19 in the community, VNZ doesn’t recommend large scale events due to the impact of potential positive Covid-19 cases on the events themselves and those participating. 

However, VNZ is also aware of a significant number of schools who wish to participate in local and regional events and VNZ does not wish to prevent this unnecessarily in the circumstances.

 Therefore, VNZ can now confirm:

  • The 2022 North Island Secondary Schools Satellite event is cancelled
  • The 2022 South Island Secondary Schools Satellite event, via organisers Canterbury Volleyball, will proceed in planning for delivery as currently scheduled. The event will be sanctioned by School Sport NZ (SSNZ). 

As a result, Canterbury Volleyball will continue planning and preparations for the South Island Satellite event should they determine this is appropriate with those schools who are willing to participate having been made fully aware of the following:

  • Canterbury Volleyball are the sole-charge event provider and take full responsibility for all elements of the event
  • The event could see Covid-19 spread rapidly through participating teams during or post event
  • The at-event experience could be significantly impacted due to withdrawal of teams, either prior to the event or during
  • Teams which ultimately complete at the event could come from a range of ability levels, including those teams initially due to participate at the NZSS Volleyball Championships in Palmerston North
  • Following a soon-to-be-implemented government legislation change (which VNZ understand will be in place prior to the scheduled dates of summer tournament week), school students cannot be asked for proof of vaccination status when participating for a school team. Standard eligibility criteria set by the organiser of events will still be in place.

As per previous VNZ guidance issued for local and regional events, volleyball events must ensure the following is in place:

  • Written confirmation to VNZ that the event will proceed will be required as soon as practical.
  • Event Health and Safety Plan - the event must have an appropriate health and safety plan in place for the event which has been sighted by SSNZ, the Regional Sports Director and VNZ prior to the event commencing.
  • School participation approval – Canterbury Volleyball is required to obtain and hold written confirmation of consent to participate for each school team involved in the event. This consent must be signed by the School Principal or the appropriate school delegated authority
  • School team health and safety plan – All competing schools/teams must submit their team health and safety plan regarding their participation to the event organisers as part of their entry. 

VNZ remains committed to exploring all options to provide access for schools to volleyball events later in 2022 and we will update our community regarding this in due course. 

Nga mihi nui,
The VNZ Team

NZSS Championships cancelled

Volleyball New Zealand in consultation with School Sport New Zealand have on Wednesday mutually agreed to cancel the 2022 New Zealand Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships due to the risks presented by the ongoing Omicron outbreak. 

Due to take place in Palmerston North at CET Arena from 28 March – 1 April, the event - one of the biggest secondary schools’ sports events on the calendar - was scheduled to bring over 150 school teams from around the country to the city.

But after a comprehensive review, which included discussions with multiple stakeholders, it has been determined the event is not feasible to deliver during the scheduled timing with the Omicron outbreak set to reach its peak.

Volleyball NZ CEO, Toni-Maree Carnie, says it was an extremely difficult decision, but schools spoke in the consultation process as to their preference not to attend. The quality of the at-event experience of the participants was also a major determining factor.

“We have deliberately left our decision as long as possible in attempt to explore all options available to us and have the latest information to inform our decision,” Carnie said.

“Ultimately, we’ve reached the position we have after listening to schools and due to our focus on the event experience for those involved. The Omicron outbreak could rule out large numbers of players and teams either before or at the event itself deeming it a very expensive non-event for some.

“The impact of that occurring at the event, on the teams, the schools and their families was simply too big a consideration to ignore despite the obvious desire of everyone to get on the court in the circumstances.”

As part of the decision-making process, Volleyball New Zealand consulted directly with School Sport New Zealand, schools, regional associations and event hosts Sport Manawatu and Palmerston North City Council.

School Sport NZ’s Nicki Paterson understands the outcome is hard for the community but supports the decision.

“Volleyball New Zealand have provided opportunity for schools to give their views directly and listened closely to that feedback,” Paterson said.

“The decision they have made prioritises the wellbeing of schools and their students and we fully endorse the outcome.”

Volleyball New Zealand will confirm shortly recommendations for the status and viability for the North and South Island satellite events and continue to explore how to enable further youth-focussed participation opportunities later in 2022.