Chaperones' primary responsibility is to care for and feed a volleyball team while it is on the multiple-day tournaments. Chaperones must be prepared to be responsible for the team whenever it is not on the court.
Multiple Day Tournaments
Traveling to the Tournament
Usually, the team travels to a tournament with the parents providing vehicles for carpooling, both to or from New York City. Chaperone also arranges a car ride if a player doesn't have transportation to the tournament. A player must check in with the chaperone once she arrives at the hotel.
Note: on one-day tournaments, there is no assigned chaperone, each family is responsible for their daughter’s food, travel, and care.
The club will reserve hotel rooms for the girls and the team's primary chaperone. The club will provide a rooming list for the team(assigned in advance by the club or coaching staff). Coaches usually give the girls a specific time for the girls to be by the courtside prior to the first match, therefore, the team chaperone needs to set a time for breakfast. Players should be encouraged to get their own wake-up calls (although from past experience it’s safer to schedule a hotel wake-up call as a backup) and be responsible for being ready to leave for the venue on time. It is the responsibility of the chaperones to make sure the girls are safe and in their rooms at the end of the evening.
Note: on the last day of the tournament players will need to pack and check out in the morning BEFORE leaving for the tournament venue. It’s usually best not to carry the luggage to the tournament venue. Hotels can arrange to keep the luggage until the afternoon or parents may choose to leave it in their cars.
Although meals are the responsibility of the chaperones, the coaches should be consulted about when meals are best accommodated in the play schedule. Some coaches also have preferences concerning what kinds of foods they want the team to be eating.
NO fried food/heavy food in between games
NO sodas during games, practice, and tournaments (water*, Gatorade, and Powerade only) *Players should bring their own refillable water bottle at all tournaments
NO coffee during games (only in the morning for breakfast).
Most chaperones shop at Fairway, Whole Foods, Costco, or Trader Joe’s and bring the food with them from the city in a cooler bag or grocery bag. Please call the hotel ahead to reserve a mini-fridge in the hotel room is advised. If not available, a cooler with large zip-lock bags filled with ice (from the hotel ice machine) will do the trick.
Food allergies and budget considerations should always be a top priority when planning. Girls are responsible for their food costs and meal bills. Grocery bills are totaled and divided evenly between the girls and collected at the end of the tournament or upfront, at the discretion of the chaperone. Coaches are welcome to eat from the team groceries but are not asked to pay a share of the grocery bill.
Snacks are most important because many of these tournaments are long and players do not have time for full meals. The girls love to have small portions of healthy snacks to keep their energy up but not weigh them down. I ALWAYS BRING A BIG BACKPACK* AND FILL IT WITH THE BELOW AND THE GIRLS RAID IT WHEN HUNGRY)
Popular snacks can include:
Cheese sticks or cubes
Stacey Chips, Cheese Booties, Pretzel Crisps
Sandwiches: Peanut/almond butter & jelly, turkey or ham & cheese (packed in a zip-lock bag)
Carrot sticks & hummus (parents and coaches often liked this better than the players!)
Small Naked or Odwalla smoothies
Organic Chocolate Milk (single-serving containers)
Chocolate-covered berries (Costco brand is great!)
*Note: Most convention center sites will say that they don’t allow outside food, coolers, etc. However, from experience, it’s OK to bring snacks and most teams do it. A zipped backpack, soft cooler bag like the Whole Food ones, or even a recyclable plastic grocery bag, kept close and on your shoulder when walking in, is usually fine!
If the team plays in the morning wave, they will need lunch at the tournament site. (Even if the team is in the PM wave, the team may need to eat something during their pool play, which may last well into the evening). As mentioned under snacks, players do not always have time for meals and since the schedule or the finishing time depends on every day by how long are the games or how they finish within their pool, it is best to have plenty of snacks & sandwiches for the players. Chaperones can check with the coaches to find out the pool play schedule and the best times for having food available to the team.
Note: some venues have places like Chipotle or Subway nearby and one of the chaperones or a parent will go and pick up an order for the team.
A team dinner can be arranged at one of the nearby restaurants, keeping in mind that a budget of $20/25 per player and a simple menu with a variety of choices is usually best. From past experience parents and coaches join the team for dinner (parents usually cover dinner for the coaches, however, this is not required), so it’s best to identify a restaurant ahead of time and reserve in advance. Often is easier to reserve 2 tables, one for the team and one for the parents/coaches. When in doubt, reserve a few extra seats and adjust the final count on the day of, as restaurants near tournament sites get very crowded. A 6:30/7 pm dinner usually works well, but it will depend on the schedule. Players usually like going back to the hotel to shower and change before dinner. By the second day, the girls are tired and they are happy to just hang out, relax and TALK after a long day, so pizza or take out in their rooms can be a good and easy dinner option, at least for one of the nights. Again, it’s best to find out ahead of time a pizza/take-out place that delivers or find something nearby for pick up. The hotel front desk can often be helpful with suggestions.
Collecting Snack Money:
The grocery bill is split evenly among the team members for the groceries. It is usually best to keep the adults’ and the girls’ checks separate for an easier division of the bill. From experience, a three-day tournament has 3 breakfasts, snacks for three days, and two dinners. Pizza dinner in the room will balance out a maybe more pricy “out to dinner” evening. The entire weekend should cost about $160 per player. Chaperones may want to collect upfront or after all the bills are tallied. Please keep in mind that $160 is the suggested amount and that does not mean that you as chaperones must spend every penny. It is more than acceptable to come in under budget and the remainder can be used to offset another tournament or team social event.
Please send your team to bring extra money. Many of the overnight venues have many items to purchase (volleyball gear, etc...) in addition to food, snacks, and drinks. Players should also always bring money to the venue.
Cell phones have become indispensable, particularly at tournaments and when more than one vehicle is in use. During three-day tournaments, the schedule for the following day is usually communicated by the coach either via email or text. Chaperones and Coaches should have the cell phone numbers of the players and emergency numbers/emails for team members’ families when traveling. Players should have the cell phone numbers of the chaperones and the coaches. A team contact list will be provided by the point parents. It may also be helpful to email the group at the end of each with the plan for the next day.