If you were to ask a room full of parents, athletes, college coaches and club directors if they want to go to Crossroads next club season, you'd probably get this...
It's probably safe to say that few people have handled the last year perfectly. We have all taken our lumps and struggled at times for sure. The sport of volleyball seemed to come back with a lot of passion. Some of the restrictions have been frustrating, especially the limited spectators, but it has been great being able to see athletes compete on such a huge scale again.
I have always loved the Crossroads Qualifier. Denver is a great venue. It almost always snows each year, which I'm sure some people aren't huge fans of, but I like it. There is always great competition as well. Colorado pulls in a lot of clubs from other states and really across the country and so you get a lot of competition from areas that you might not see in most qualifiers.
If you paid attention to anything in the news the last few weeks, you probably noticed that the sport of volleyball and Crossroads got some air time, but not for the right reasons. You are more than welcome to read the article I've linked here or just do a simple google search to find all the details for yourself. Basically, a mother of an infant who was coaching at the tournament with her team was denied bringing her daughter into the convention center because of some dumb rules the tournament organizers had made. This policy, in the end kept this specific coach and other mothers from entering the convention center with their infants that they needed to be breastfeeding throughout the day. The USAV was just one group to speak out against what the tournament was doing and even contacted the director to tell them that they disagreed with their policy. Crossroads could have easily made this small and obvious exception for these moms, coaches and women, but chose not to.
Telling a woman that she can't coach and take care of her infant in their facility is absurd on its face. Should we really be communicating to women that they need to choose between being a parent and working or being a coach?
Think of the look volleyball in this moment is giving young girls. As a slap in the face to Crossroads, this coach's team brought their own little baby dolls into the convention center. Each player had one. Great move by them in my opinion.
Volleyball and sports at this age level should be meant to empower young women and show them that they are capable of doing anything. Yes, "anything" means being able to coach your team and feed your baby in the same space. Unfortunately Crossroads chose to devalue mother's and their infants over the course of the tournament weekend.
While I don't think Crossroads should go away, as others have said, USAV should step in and remove this group from management of the qualifier. Whether that's a new club or organization, I will leave that up to them. But this group has shown they obviously can NOT handle the adversity that comes with this type of tournament. Did you catch the part about Crossroads threatening this team if the coach tried to bring in her infant into the convention center again?
How can you even begin to communicate the notion that you want athletes and females in sport, but not mother's?....you aren't welcome in our volleyball tournament....it's crazy. You are literally kicking out women from a girls volleyball tournament for being mothers and encouraging teams (and college coaches) to NOT come to your event next year.
As if you needed more evidence that the crossroads director and their management should be removed, you only need to look at the sweatshirts they sold at the qualifier (pictured in this blog). I guess they figured that parents will just buy whatever garbage is thrown their way? It's the definition of lazy. What other corners did they cut to make the qualifier happen? It's an honest question.
I think that USAV should look seriously into how this tournament was handled and decide whether or not they want Crossroads to represent the product they are putting out each and every club season.
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Sweatshirt photo (2020ne)
Thanks to Arizona Storm Elite VBC for posting this picture on their instagram account! @stormelitevbc