Catchball Governance Committee to Foster Growth
Posted on March 19, 2021
Maccabi Canada Forms Catchball Governance Committee to Foster Growth
How do you pilot the growth of a little-known sport that is exploding on courts worldwide? You set standards and establish governance, of course. Catchball has become one of Israel’s most popular exports, gaining in popularity around the globe, and the International Catchball Federation (ICF) recognizes the need for consistent operational processes to ensure that both the player and the coach experience is standardized no matter what country you play in.
Maccabi Canada’s seat on the International Catchball Federation Professional Committee prompted the formation of the new Catchball Governance committee whose responsibility it is to build a solid program model and formally advance the sport in Canada.
“We’re elated that Maccabi Canada is taking a leadership role in the global growth of Catchball,” says Anna Ackerman, a Catchball enthusiast with years of professional management and lay leadership experience who has been tapped to chair the Maccabi Governance Committee for Catchball in Canada.
Initial goals of the Governance Committee
The #1 goal of the committee is to grow the sport of Catchball. Focus will be on recruitment and retention of Catchball players who will in turn become advocates. Catchball is an accessible sport that doesn’t require a ton of skill or a lot of money. All you need is a sturdy pair of running shoes, some physical fitness, and coachability.
Goal #2: To establish repeatable processes for expansion that align with both Maccabi Canada and ICF guidelines. The operating model includes advancement and consistency in coaching, player development, league regulations, qualified refereeing, - and tournament management – all necessary to sustain development of the sport for the long run.
All Governance Committee members are current league players who are passionate about Catchball on and off the court and committed to serving a minimum 2-year term.
- Coach & Referee development
- Location and Equipment standards
- Communications, outreach, social media
- Tournament management
- Banquet planning
Catchball growth plans
The first focus will be growth in the Greater Toronto Area, then expanding to communities outside the GTA, creating standardized repeatable processes for all regions. A waitlist of more than 50 women anxious to play next season already exists and could add three new teams to the GTA league even before recruitment efforts begin.
Expansion is in the planning stages to move across the provinces nationally. Alberta has a head start with an established team in Calgary and there are several pods of players in other geographies that Maccabi Canada will cultivate to form teams and future leagues. Already taking shape in Canada, along with eight other countries, is a coordinated effort with the ICF to help build Catchball operations and programs globally.
“We’re anxious to learn from other leagues to see how they’ve managed their development. I’m also keen to share our best practices with others,” Ackerman added.
2021 Season and beyond
The possibility of getting back to play seems more likely with each passing day. Catchball is the perfect outlet for anyone who wants to get some exercise, have fun, and build friendships.
Catchball leagues have the potential to introduce this new physical outlet to all women, regardless of fitness level and social-economic status and has the potential to engage the 82% of Canadian women ages 16–63 who are currently not involved in sport. The game is a variation of volleyball. If you can catch a ball, you can play.
The new Governance Committee is committed to growing the sport in a standardized and scalable way that allows any player to step on to a Catchball court anywhere in the world and feel at home.
Same game. Same rules. Same positive experience.
Wishing all our players and future players a Happy and Healthy Passover and Easter holiday.
Keep well and stay safe.