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OVA announces Early Contact Initiative and resources

By Ontario Volleyball, 08/04/21, 10:00AM EDT


The OVA is excited to announce the integration of the Early Contact Initiative (ECI) to the indoor  volleyball  competition  stream. After months of collaboration with the Indoor Volleyball Development Committee, the ECI set of rules will be introduced during the 2021-22 indoor volleyball season. 

Earlier this summer, the ECI was revealed to OVA club administrators and coaches through Town Hall sessions, explaining the purpose and incorporation of the rules into club programming.  

Guided by the new Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity 3.0 by Canadian Sport for Life, the structure of the ECI was designed to assist entry-level players in finding the appropriate entry points to volleyball along the OVA’s indoor pathway.  

The flexibility through the ECI will increase developmentally appropriate opportunities for younger players while providing the best experience possible for long term retention and success in the sport.  

To achieve this, the “traditional” chronological age groups of 12U to 14U have been replaced with three divisions of play aimed at helping athletes age 10-15 find their fit: 

  • 4v4 Rallyball 
  • 6v6 Rallyball 
  • Traditional Non-Specialized 

‘Rallyball’ under the ECI follows Volleyball Canada’s  Tripleball  rules.   

Age eligibility under the ECI rules is flexible and allows athletes to move up and down depending on their development needs. For the detailed age eligibility rules, please reference the image below. 

The OVA has created a webpage dedicated to all the information pertinent to the ECI, including the ECI manual, breakdown of divisions, applicable rules and resources for members. 

Visit the Early Contact Initiative webpage. 

This September, the OVA will be offering multiple coaching development webinars and will provide resources for Club Coaches through the Coach Academy on everything from “Finding Your Fit” to seasonal planning for each stream to coaching tips for the ECI.   Stay tuned for more information later this summer.  

If you have any questions regarding the Early Contact Initiative, please contact Carrie Campbell, Manager of Indoor Programs at  

Preparing for the upcoming  Indoor Season

Preparation for the 2021-22 indoor volleyball season will be discussed at an upcoming OVA Town Hall, which will provide a general overview for club administrators on key items relating to the 2021-22 season, including  membership & event fees, updated policies & protocols, police screening tools and Membership Registration Systems (MRS) processes.

To register for this Town Hall meeting, please visit this link.