The list below covers answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding our GWAC schedules. This includes the process of setting up teams, determining divisions, and creating schedules. Hopefully, this helps answer your questions. If you have more, you can always contact us. We look forward to seeing you on the courts/fields this year!
What grades levels does the GWAC offer?
Volleyball and Basketball are offered for grades 3-12. Softball is offered for Pre K - 8th grade.
How are GWAC teams formed?
GWAC teams are formed by parishes/schools under the direction of the
parish/school Athletic Sport Coordinator. Each organization holds sign-ups and all participants are required to register prior to participatingon teams. Schools with multiple teams in the instructional grade levels are required to split their teams up evenly, while teams in 5th thru 8th grade are evaluated and players split into teams by ability level. There are three levels of play for the upper grades, A - B1 - B. This is done to assure that all kids are matched against like opponents as much as possible, which helps facilitate a fun environment where kids can grow and develop their skills at the pace that is right for them. Divisions are formed once all the teams are entered.
Can teams submit schedule requests?
Yes, schools are allowed to submit requests or conflicts as needed prior to each season. The deadline for schedule requestsare due when your sport coordinator turns in the required paperwork either online or printed copy. All requests must be submitted by the sports coordinator, who will forward them to the GWAC. Coordinators know the allowable conflicts. While we work hard to accommodate all requests, requests are limited to required school or parish events. Personal coach or individual player conflicts are not considered because of the high volume and priority of parish and school events.
How are game scores posted online?
Our software system allows coaches to quickly enter scores following games so that results can be immediately updated online. Once the winning coach enters the score, that score will be “live” online and standings updated accordingly.
How are teams placed in divisions for the season?
Teams are placed in a division by their sports coordinator. All coordinators are asked to honestly evaluate their teams before placing them in the divisions. Teams are placed by the sports coordinator following the GWAC placement guidelines. Placement is by the number of teams your school puts in each division level. Schools placing two or more teams in a division must divide those teams evenly. For example, a school puts 2 5/6 B teams in the league. Those teams must be divided evenly.
What about instructional teams, do you review their performance to create schedules?
We do! Remember that this is an inexact science, as there are a lot of variables in performance at this level that can differ from week to week or as different teams play each other. Competition is positive whether teams win or lose, but we do match up teams by grade level in an effort to promote skill development that is fun and beneficial for the kids. Hopefully, this provides a fun experience for the regular season. On the instructional level, no score or standings are recorded.
Who schedules the games?
The scheduling committee is primarily responsible for scheduling games, though they have help from the GWAC board in reviewing schedule drafts and creating the final schedule that is released to the public.
Why doesn’t my team have more games in our home gym/field?
One of the hottest schedule topics is always the number of home games a team gets. Candidly, this is also becoming the most difficult variable to accommodate as schedule requests increase and gym/field availability decreases due to more parish activities. For many years the GWAC has worked very hard to assure that each team has five home games. However, in recent years less gym or field time has been given to the league for this to continue. We will continue to try to give as many home games as gym and field availability allows at each school.
In order to be transparent about how we handle this, how about a look at the full process used when scheduling. The following is an example of scheduling a volleyball season:
Your sports coordinator is given a date when all of the information regarding her/his teams are due to the GWAC. They are given access to our scheduling portal, where they are asked to enter their teams in the proper divisions, along with coaches contact information. At this time they are also asked to enter any school/parish conflicts. To check for accuracy we also require that they submit the paper copies of this information as well.
Your sports coordinator also gives the league your gym availability. This time is what we use to schedule your games. Once we have all this information we enter or check what is in the scheduling system.
We schedule each division individually, usually beginning with 3/4 grades, then moving to 5/6 grade, 7/8 grade, and then high school. In volleyball, we are mindful of the net height differences for each grade level.
Once a division is scheduled and all requests/variables accounted for, we can then see a running report of game locations for each team in each division. At this point, we review the match-ups, schedule, locations (home games) before making more tweaks and moving on to the next division. In between drafts of the schedule, we also go back through each division one-by-one to double-check those same components.
By the time the final schedule has been published, it has been reviewed many times over in different formats (by the gym, by division, by the team) and by multiple people in order to assure it’s the best possible version and as balanced as possible. In terms of home games, the vast majority of teams will have more than one. Ultimately, it’s true that parishes with more teams and less gym availability will have less home games than those with less teams and more gym availability. Regardless, we do our best to balance this as much as possible.
Why wasn’t my schedule request accommodated?
The vast majority of schedule requests submitted on-time to the GWAC are accommodated. Unfortunately, this does not always mean we were able to accommodate your request. Due to the high volume of schedule requests, we give priority to any request that is a parish or school event affecting a team. Often, if your request was not accommodated, it is because of a request with a higher priority that also came into play. Other times, it may be a result of gym/field availability or other variables that affect where and when teams play. We always do our best to accommodate requests, but with nearly 1,000 busy families involved in the GWAC, we realize this is not always going to be possible. If we were not able to accommodate your request, we do apologize!
We have a conflict that just came up, can we change game times?
Once the season schedule is released, the only changes that will be made are for unforeseen parish or school events that must be accommodated. For a variety of reasons, we cannot accept other requests for changes during the season.
We take scheduling very seriously and work hard to balance the schedules as much as we can in order to provide the best possible experience for all players and families. Sometimes are hands are tied in this process and we can only use what gym/field time the sport coordinators gives the league to use.