The state volleyball tournaments have a new location this fall.
Multiple locations, actually, and a slightly different format.
The Utah High School Activities Association decided alternate sites for this fall’s state volleyball tournaments, which will be held at three different locations at certain points of the brackets: Salt Lake Community College, The Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, and Union High School in Roosevelt.
The sites and formats for the tournaments were determined during Wednesday’s UHSAA executive committee meeting.
In 6A and 5A, SLCC will host the semifinals, third-place matches and championship matches. Matches in the first round through the quarterfinals will be held at home sites. The 6A semis and finals will be Friday, Nov. 6, and the 5A final rounds will be Saturday, Nov. 7.
For 4A, 3A and 2A classifications, home site pods will host the rounds leading up to the quarterfinals in which four teams will be at a high school site of a higher-seeded host team, like how the early rounds of the state softball tournaments work.
Quarterfinal rounds onward, including the consolation bracket in those classifications, will then be contested at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Quarterfinals on will be played Oct. 27-28 for 4A and 3A tournaments, while 2A will go from Oct. 29-30.
Some 4A and 3A schools in the area, namely Morgan and Ogden, are high enough in current RPI rankings where hosting a pod could be a possibility.
In 1A, the format is similar with quarterfinals onward being played at Union High School from Oct. 30-31.
First-round games in all but the 1A bracket will be on Oct. 24.
The state volleyball tournaments, normally played at Utah Valley University, were moved to the alternate sites this fall due to COVID-19.
UVU told the UHSAA in September it wouldn’t be able to host the tournaments due to gathering restrictions as well as university restrictions on third-party events on campus.
Once teams advance to the Richfield venue in 4A, 3A and 2A, there could be some significant issues related to travel and school board policies. Many districts in the state aren’t allowing overnight travel.
For many of the 4A, 3A and 2A schools, a trek to Richfield isn’t more than two hours. For the Ogden schools, it’s a three-hour-plus drive and it’s longer for the Cache Valley schools, and travel time could vary for 3A schools like Morgan and Union.