November 29, 2016

Staff Volleyball Tournament

By Joey Cobb, Meadows Elementary, Plano ISD

The Meadows Elementary Staff Volleyball Tournament was created as a staff building activity to help improve and create awareness for staff health and wellness. The tournament is mandatory for all staff to participate in either as a player or a cheerleader. All staff signs up for a team consisting of eight players and eight cheerleaders and are assigned a color. The staff really goes all out with their team color by making uniforms and the staff signed up to cheer for the team comes up with cheers and a cute outfit with pom poms. There are four teams total and we play a round robin tournament. We have two nets/courts set up in the gym so all four teams play at the same time and there is no downtime. To keep the schedule on track instead of playing to 25 points, they play a time limit and whoever is ahead at the end of the time is considered the winner and put a tally mark in the win column on the poster board on the wall. Then, they move on to the next team. Once all teams have played each other, we count up the wins and losses to determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. Since our wonderful principal makes this a mandatory event, we do it in place of a staff meeting and it lasts one hour. To encourage more player participation and success, we use a lightweight trainer volleyball that is much easier for inexperienced volleyball players. Every staff member that attends the tournament receives a 32 ounce mug to encourage drinking 64 ounces of water each day. A fact sheet about the importance of water consumption and a thank you note to the Healthy Zone School Grant for providing the funds for the mugs is stuffed in each cup then topped with the lid and straw.

I chose this type of event because it really helps the staff bond and builds relationships quickly at the beginning of the new school year. It is easy to set up and isn’t reliant on the weather conditions. Most staff have a common knowledge on how to play volleyball and aren’t scared or nervous to participate. It sparks their enthusiasm to find new fun ways to exercise and most staff ask when we can do it again.  So around once a month, I set up the net for the staff that wants to come in and play after school. The participation for the tournament is close to 100% unless the teacher is absent or at a district training off campus. That means 88 staff members either play or cheer and have a great time bonding together and getting the message of the importance of exercising and drinking water.