CVNS – Our History

Coed Volleyball Nova Scotia (CVNS) had it’s start in the mid 70s when players from an adult recreational league started by Garth Burns at Oxford Street School in Halifax merged with a similar league run by Wayne Mercer in Dartmouth. The Coed format was very important to the fledgling league which held tournaments in a single gym with 4-5 teams registered, as it allowed spouses and friends to all play at the same time, on the same team. Wayne was forced to retire from the executive in the late 70s because of work pressures. Garth remained committed to the league and remained league president for 20+ years (President for life). Many of the early volunteers were drawn from his team the Wild Bunch who remained a force on the court and especially in the social functions afterwards, for those 20 years. As the league expanded so did the executive. Some of the early executive included Kirk Annand who was league treasurer and equipment provider for approximately 15 years, Bill Binns who made sure everyone partied, Phil Morash who had the best ever newsletter with cartoons, gossip and all kinds of politically correct and incorrect stuff, Derek Brooks who must have lied about his age when he started as a court rep as he still doesn’t appear to be that old, Judy and Neil Logan who made sure that rec was where it was at. Newer members included, Mike Boyd who took over the newsletter when Phil moved to BC, and Dave Ryan who joined the executive as court rep, moving on to treasurer, then facilities coordinator, and after Garth stopped playing, Dave took over as President, until 2006. John Skelton, Ron Roy, Lori Colpitts, Michelle Fogarty, Paddy Wong, and Paul Wesson are only a few of the others too numerous to mention who played a major role over the course of CVNS’s 30 plus years of history.

From the mid 70’s to 2000, the executive meetings were held at Garth’s house where in a slight alcoholic haze (Kirk worked at Moosehead Brewery) the executive developed and refined the CVNS vision which has remained in place over the years. The underlying thrust of the early vision was to ensure that those players that do not have access to traditional competitive tournaments still can experience a venue where they can compete with similarly skilled athletes. In addition those athletes that do not have the time to practice and play in a competitive league can still demonstrate their abilities once per month.

Because it was Coed, with fun and competitiveness as its main goals, the net was comprised to be approximately half way between the mens and womens heights.

As the league grew, new divisions were added to ensure that everyone got to play within their level to ensure safety, fun and competitiveness. For many years, the divisions were Rec I, Rec II, SuperRec, and Competitive, with 10 teams playing in each of these divisions once per month, from September to May. As the teams grew, points were added for each tournament based on your tournament position each month, which accumulated for prizes at the end of the year celebration in May. Rules have changed slightly over the years to further ensure fun and safety. The SuperStar format was added around the year 2000 in the Competitive division only, due to requests for male and female net heights.

* The vision has changed only slightly over the years but has remained true to a number of points which included that league is to: Provide a competitive atmosphere for all players of every ability, with a minimum of 3 guys and 3 girls per team.
* Ensure that those players which are not skilled enough or do not have the time to commit to play in senior men’s and women’s tournaments constitute the major percentage of the leagues membership. The league was in fact formed to ensure these types of players have access to and can play in a competitive format once per month.
* Cater exclusively to those players 19 years of age or older as there are plenty of venues for younger players.
* Foster an environment where more skilled players coach less skilled players to improve the overall skill level of the league.
* Keep costs to a minimum by relying on players as volunteers to referee, line, help set up the courts, make schedules etc.. so that the maximum number of players can participate.
* Promote the social aspect of the tournament by sponsoring one or two social gatherings per year.
* As a commitment to giving back to the community, a special tournament was held once per year where the majority of the proceeds from registration goes to a charity. CVNS had picked as its charity the Muscular Dystrophy(MD) Association and by the year 2000 had raised over $60,000.00 during these special tournaments. The MD tournament was traditionally held in Feb and was a much anticipated social event. This was traditionally a CVNS sponsored social event with free or subsidized refreshments, food and dance. A good time was had by all and a worthy charity reaped the benefits.
* Ensure that individual players do not have to register with the league but can play in one tournament or all.
* Allow teams to play in one tournament or all with registration on a first come first served basis.
* Ensure that teams are placed (by the executive) in the section most suited to the teams skill level. Teams can be expected to progress from one level to the next as their skill level improves.

The format has proven to be a successful one with over 60 teams registered during some CVNS seasons. The original league was concentrated in the Halifax/Dartmouth area, however as players moved to different locations they tended to return with their newfound friends to try their luck. Teams from all over Nova Scotia now regularly come to Halifax to play. Hopefully CVNS will continue to enjoy success well into the future.