The 2021 Club Season and COVID-19 Impact

Public health experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will be prevalent through the end of 2020 and into 2021. Until a vaccine is developed and widely distributed, protocols meant to reduce the likelihood of viral transmission will be in effect. These protocols have the possibility of affecting both the practice environment, and most dramatically, the competition and travel experiences of the traditional club volleyball season.

With that said, the near future of club volleyball remains uncertain due to the presence of COVID-19 in our state and the cities and states hosting competitions. At Triangle, we are committed to doing our very best to give the club season each of us desires with excellent training and competition at the core of the student-athlete experience. To that end we are planning, with an optimistic eye, a competitive season. Along with the training families have come to expect from Triangle, athletes can expect to engage in high level competition both inside and outside our gym.

As we seek normalcy in training and competition, we will prioritize protecting our athletes and coaching staff by employing appropriate controls, safety protocols, and instituting the guidance of our national, state and local public health officials. Triangle’s Pandemic Response and Return-to-Sport Plan provides the framework for keeping our gym safe and protecting those in our community. This plan was created after thorough research and collaboration with nationally recognized clubs like Michigan Elite, Wave (CA), and VCNebraska and considers the vast public health information provided by the CDC and NC Department of Public Health. Such collaboration led to Triangle serving as a resource to clubs all over the country in developing action plans to address COVID-19 in a sports setting.

There are many unknowns in the months ahead and while the future impact of COVID-19 is beyond our control, we can confidently assure our members and their families that they can trust Triangle to handle the upcoming season with integrity and with the utmost concern for their athlete’s health and safety. Here are some relevant facts:

  • Triangle is, without question, a nationally recognized leader in youth sports when it comes to safety, health and the protection of athletes.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have adopted extensive sanitization procedures for our courts, volleyballs, equipment and other high-contact surfaces. These practices were reviewed by officials in the Office of Governor Cooper and have been in place since reopening in late May. When combined with gym and participant protocols Triangle is uniquely equipped to consistently provide the needed protection for our training space and ensure the safety and well-being of our athletes and staff.
  • Scientists have established that Coronavirus is highly contagious and transmitted through shared air space. As such, public health officials including the CDC have emphasized the need for highly efficient and effective ventilation in indoor athletic spaces. The large open-span air space in Triangle’s WCC facility is managed by eight large air handlers specifically designed for volleyball/athletic activities and engineered with humidity controls and a high-performance capacity. Our partners at Piedmont Service Group regularly monitor our HVAC equipment to ensure it is operating with maximum air turnover and fresh air intake. In doing so the risk of airborne disease transmission is minimized in our gym.
  • As has been seen on campuses, K-12 schools and sports of all kinds, COVID-19 is a continuing risk. Proper controls and having the capability to effectively contact trace will minimize the impact should an athlete, coach or visitor infected with COVID-19 be in our gym. Triangle has personnel certified in Contact Tracing by Johns Hopkins University.
  • As was the case when the pandemic first struck North Carolina, we promise to transparently communicate with our families regarding current public health guidance and if needed, how it will impact our gym operations and any competition events and/or travel.
  • We have proven and will continue to be good financial stewards of our member’s club fees and make every effort to provide a quality training and competition experience while at the same time mitigating the financial risk associated with engaging in youth sport activities while COVID-19 is still prevalent. It is worth mentioning that for the 2020 club season Triangle communicated with parents in a transparent fashion and handled refunds fairly for travel and club services not realized. Additionally, a comprehensive virtual training program served to keep athletes engaged on a regular practice schedule until the end of the season.

We know that families eagerly, yet anxiously, approach the upcoming club season. We also understand that a club’s reputation and past practices regarding safety, fiscal management, and organizational integrity matter more than ever. Triangle’s reputation in these areas is well known, proven, and a tangible value add. We invite you to talk to our past members or reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns that we can help to address so you can feel confident when making your club choice in 2021.

Most sincerely, Sherry Fadool, Executive Director