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JNQ? GJNC? Junior Olympics? JOs? We explain these tournaments and why we compete in them.

As an USA Volleyball (USAV) affiliate, Junior Nationals (aka GJNC aka Junior Olympics aka JOs) is our national championship tournament. More than that though, Junior Nationals offers a great competitive experience and looks excellent on a college application.

To participate in this final tournament, a team either earns a bid for a competitive division (American, USA, National or Open), or pays to play in the Patriot division. 

How do you earn a bid? 
Ah, the magic question! Teams win bids through Junior National Qualifying (JNQ) tournaments. Each JNQ tournament division gets a specific number of bids. Our National Teams historically compete in the American division, which merits one bid. So you if you win the WHOLE tournament, you earn the bid.

Alternatively, Open, the most competitive division, offers three bids – so if you take first, second, or third, you’re goin’ to the big show!

Teams travel around the country competing for a bid. We usually attend the Southern California JNQ (sometimes in Las Vegas) — although we’ve sent teams to Chicago, Dallas, Reno and Seattle too.

Exceptions to the rule:

This gets a bit technical, but teams can also earn “trickle-down” bids, “reallocation” bids and “at-large” bids. Here’s how USAV explains their process:

Trickle Down Bid: A GJNC bid awarded at a NQ to a team finishing lower than a usual bid award position. This happens in some situations when a higher finishing team has previously accepted a GJNC bid from another NQ or a region process or a bid is declined from the National, American, or USA divisions.

Reallocation bid: A National, USA or American division bid to the GJNC that is unused and is returned for reallocation to a Region. Reallocation is performed by the Events Department.

At-Large bid: A GJNC bid is awarded upon the completion of the Qualifier Season (both National and Regional) by a Committee of National Staff or its Designees based on performance during that season, in relation to other non-qualified teams in that age group.

And there you have it! 

If you want to compete for a JO bid, join a SoCal VBC team here.