In the summer of 2008 -- just as A5 was preparing to enter its 6th season of competition -- the Board had its first retreat, during which it created many goals for the organization. One of the goals, loosely stated, was that when volleyball aficionados got together to debate which of the volleyball clubs in the U.S. belong in the Top Ten of the country, we wanted to be part of the discussion.
Team rankings have existed for some time, but Club Rankings didn't exist until 2013, when Triple Crown Sports first published theirs. A5 was ranked #9 in that first year, and we haven't been ranked lower than 7th since that time.
Club rankings for the 2017 season were published last night, and A5 was ranked third in the U.S., behind TAV and KIVA -- up from #7 in 2016.
Perhaps more impressive is that, when measuring year-in/year-out consistency by ranking clubs based on their performance over the past five years, A5 was ranked third by that metric as well.
Here's what struck me when I did that: Triple Crown's National Club Rankings are based solely on the performance of the clubs' top team in each age group, provided they are ranked in the top 100 in the country (14's and above only). No credit whatsoever is given for depth, and here in the A5 organization, the performance of all of our teams matters -- not just the 1's. Take a look:
A5 18 Bob 15th A5 18 John (only top 50 shown)
A5 17 Jing 9th A5 17 Marc 35th
A5 16 Gabe 4th A5 17 Helen 74th
A5 15 Boba 13th A5 15 JJ 71st
A5 14 Suzanne 4th A5 14 Karen 20th
(A5 South's 14 Trina, ranked 32nd in the country, was treated as a separate club.)
If one were to take Triple Crown's algorithm and consider all of the teams that finished the season ranked in the top 100 -- not just the top teams -- TAV falls to #4 in the country, with OVA taking over the top spot, followed by KIVA, with A5 remaining 3rd in the country by that metric as well. Not bad company, doncha think?
At our Leadership Retreat last month, each of our clubs' goals were updated and upgraded. We want A5 to be consistently ranked in the Top Five of the country, and we aspire to supplant TAV as the #1 club in the country within the next five years. We also want our sister clubs to consistently crack the top 100, and once that goal is achieved, we will raise the bar once again. Lofty goals, to be sure, but scroll to the very end of this email to read the philosophy espoused by one the the top females of the current generation and you will understand our thinking.
Congratulations to the athletes and coaches responsible for our Club's success in 2017. . ....and in the words immortalized by Karen Carpenter in 1970... "we've only just begun!"