North Country Region

2020-21 - Sanction a Tournament



North Country Region is dedicated to providing on-going support and services for our Region member clubs.  We recognize the programming value and revenue opportunities that many clubs find in hosting their own volleyball tournaments.  NCR-USAV offers the critical tools that our member clubs need to ensure the success of their tournaments.  NCR charges NO FEES to sanction a tournament.

When a club tournament is sanctioned by NCR, the event is covered by unparalleled USAV general liability event insurance; the club receives the use of the AES tournament registration, management and payment platforms; and NCR provides EXCLUSIVE tournament marketing support for region sanctioned events.

2021 NCR-USAV Sanctioned Tournament Timeline:
Sept 18    Tournament sanctioning information distributed to Tournament Directors
Sept 25    Club tournament sanctioning applications may begin to be submitted to NCR
Oct 1        NCR Hosted Tournaments open for registration on AES
Oct 8        NCR Sanctioned Club Tournaments can open for registration on AES
Nov 8       First day that an NCR Sanctioned Club Tournament can take place 

NCR realizes that the volleyball landscape is ever changing right now as we all navigate through unprecedented times.  Please take a little time to review this information - it will make the tournament sanctioning application process a little easier!  And please remember, the NCR staff is here to assist you with whatever you need!

We hope to see you back on the court soon!


As you prepare to apply for tournament sanctioning, please keep the following mandatory requirements in mind:


  • NCR sanctioned events are covered by USAV general liability insurance As with any extensive and reliable insurance, safety and membership requirements are in place so that the event organizer can have peace of mind both in the coverage and USA Volleyball support.
  • All host Tournament Directors and Club Directors must have proof that they are current USAV members, have passed a USA Volleyball approved background screen and completed SafeSport training BEFORE final sanctioning can occur.
  • All rostered tournament participants (e.g. players, coaches, managers, chaperones, team representatives, etc.) must be current members of USAV and meet requisite roster requirements that can be validated through USAV's SportsEngine MMS and AES.  NCR-USAV sanctioned tournaments cannot allow non-USAV members to participate.  Failure to follow these requirements will result in the voiding of event insurance, potential suspension and/or assessed a fine. Please do not jeopardize your event and participant, spectator safety.
  • If your application is approved, NCR will build the tournament in AES.  Your event must be implemented as approved by NCR.  If you need to revise tournament details once the event is built, you must contact NCR's Tournament and Event Manager for approval confirmation (e.g. a division in your tournament fills and you want to add capacity to that division).
  • Sanctioned tournaments must adhere to current USAV and government imposed COVID policies and mandates.

Sanctioned Tournament Dates and Locations

  • The earliest date that an NCR sanctioned club tournament can take place is November 8, 2020.
  • NCR recognizes that many clubs lost revenue this past spring because of tournament cancellations due to COVID - we hope our clubs can utilize the November/December time frame to recoup some of those dollars.  Based on high school volleyball seasons throughout the region, these tournaments may need to be focused on younger age groups.
  • Club tournaments cannot be sanctioned on the same dates as any of the following NCR-hosted tournaments:​​​

SmackFest (all age divisions will take place on 1 weekend) - February 6-7, 2021
North Dakota Area Championship - April 24-25, 2021
South Dakota Area Championship - April 24-25, 2021
Minnesota Area Championship - April 24-25, 2021
NCR Region Championship - May 15-16, 2021 (new event!)

  • These tournament dates are subject to change should there be revisions in the Minnesota high school volleyball schedule, closures/postponements due to COVID or other Acts of God.
  • In 2021, NCR will only use one weekend to host SmackFest (vs. the two weekends used in the past).  Our hope is that our clubs will be able to host their own tournaments on these open dates (February 13-14, 2021) to create additional programming and revenue opportunities.
  • NCR will not sanction tournaments that are located within approximately 60 miles of each other on the same day offering the same age divisions.  Note - this mileage restriction may be adjusted depending on the location (e.g. the "60 mile" rule cannot apply to most Twin Cities area tournaments).  If your tournament date is in question, you will be notified by NCR as soon as possible upon receiving your sanctioning request.  You may be asked to either 1) change the date(s) of your tournament or 2) change the age divisions offered on those dates.


  • All sanctioned tournaments must be offered through AES (Advanced Event Systems).
  • NCR will build all sanctioned tournaments in AES for the host club and then provide the host Tournament Director with admin rights to manage the event. 
  • Clubs/teams will be able to easily register for your tournament and submit their rosters directly from SportsEngine into AES.
  • AES may only be used for NCR-USAV sanctioned events.  Clubs cannot use the NCR AES account to promote other events. Doing so is a Code of Conduct violation and a USA Volleyball club personnel ethics violation.
  • NEW!  NCR is requiring all sanctioned club tournaments to utilize the AES online payment option for team registration payments.

Why AES Payments?

  • AES Payments provides an easy and secure way for your participating teams to pay their tournament registration fees. 
  • Online payment processing provides the tournament director with accurate team registration and payment tracking.  And the refund process is simple.
  • There is NO cost to the club to use AES Payments!  NCR provides the use of the AES platform as a North Country Region member benefit.
  • All clubs will need to set up an account through STRIPE payments once their event is created by NCR in AES.  (One change from before - this includes clubs that set up SportsEngine payments last season).  You will only have to set this up one time (it can then be repeated if you have multiple events).  Neither NCR nor AES will have access to your bank account information.
  • You can also set up the treatment of credit card processing fees charged by the merchant gateway (STRIPE) by either covering the cost yourself or by charging a "convenience fee" back to participating teams.   
  • The credit card processing fee/transaction fee charged for STRIPE will equate to 2.90% of a team registration fee + $.30 (rounded to the nearest dollar).
  • The clubs that used AES Payments for the 2019-20 season found that their tournaments filled quickly and payments were not delayed.


  • NCR has decided to pause the Region Rank Tournament program for one season.  It will return better than ever!


Here are Step by Step Instructions:

  • You are on the "Sanction a Tournament" page on our website, so you are in the right place!
  • If you haven't already, now is the time to log into your SportsEngine account.  A log-in prompt should appear at the bottom of this page.
  • You are now on the "Who Are You Registering?" page - Select YOURSELF and click CONTINUE. 
  • Proceed by filling in all of the Information that is requested.
  • When you have completed all questions on the form, click REVIEW.  Please check your application to make sure that it is accurate.  If it is, click COMPLETE REGISTRATION.

​​​​​​You are done with the application process!  So what's next?...

  • NCR will review submitted applications.
  • You will be contacted within 3 business days if there are any questions about your application, if revisions need to be made, if USAV credentials need to be updated, etc. - or you will be notified if there are no issues and your application is approved.


Thank you!