FORT COLLINS, CO – An uncommon mix of volleyball talent has again been drawn to the common ground of the Kansas City Convention Center, as Triple Crown Sports prepares to run the 2022 TC NIT, from Feb. 18-21 with 551 teams bracketed at Bartle Hall in age groups ranging from 12u through 18u.
The nation’s highest achieving club programs, ranging from California to Florida, long ago carved this trip into their calendars with the event in full rebound after being cut back to 360 teams in 2021 because of COVID-19 disruptions. Another sign of normalcy are the 12 college camps that will take place in the facility on Friday, Feb. 18, anchored by top university programs like Baylor, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Pepperdine, Pittsburgh, Texas and West Virginia, among others. Because of NCAA restrictions, only D-II programs could run camps in 2021.
Friday includes the popular Unsigned Junior/Senior Workout, with more than 200 student-athletes booked to show their skills in front of a sea of colleges looking for roster help. About 1,000 players will take part in Friday’s camp and workout activities, and more than 500 college coaches will hit the convention center floor over the four days.
And that just warms the seat for match play running Saturday through Monday; the event is scheduled so the highest-ranked teams play each other right away, with Power Pool teams still guaranteed a berth in the Elite championship bracket. Other teams can earn their way into the final chase for the trophy – the 13u through 15u championship matches will be broadcast on YouTube, with the 16u through 18u title matches broadcast on ESPN3.
Also competing in multiple age groups are club programs from the immediate area, including Dynasty, KC Power and MAVS.
“On behalf of Kansas City’s hospitality and sports communities, it is our distinct pleasure to welcome Triple Crown’s athletes, fans and officials back to Downtown KC,” said Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of Visit KC and the Kansas City Sports Commission. “From the event’s high-caliber competition to memorable experiences outside of the Convention Center, I have no doubt attendees will enjoy their time in the Heart of America. We encourage our fellow Kansas Citians to join us in welcoming this esteemed event and its talented athletes back to KC for another incredible year.”
The TC NIT began in 2014 and moved to Kansas City in 2019. The event has evolved numerous special touches embraced by the volleyball world, including shuttle arrangements for teams to get to and from the airport, a dynamic vendor row, free seminars on the in’s and out's of college recruiting and a parent hospitality room, with drinks and snacks available for fans needing a break from the whistles.
“Our time in Kansas City has helped this event grow in national stature. We’re grateful for every promising development along the way, just as we are grateful for the city sticking with us during the hard times of the pandemic,” said TC event director Jared Rudiger. “Thanks to the partnership, we can run a truly riveting volleyball event that attracts superior competition and can further develop each and every player who takes the floor.”
About Triple Crown Sports
Based in Fort Collins, CO., Triple Crown Sports has been producing youth, high school and college events for 40 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events and produces the men’s and women’s DI Cancun Challenge tournaments in November. Triple Crown is also powering “WNIT” concept events in D-I softball (NISC) and volleyball (NIVC), with those two events debuting in 2017. Triple Crown’s PV College Challenge features 8-10 of the top DI college softball teams in the country each year in Puerto Vallarta, MX. TC fastpitch tournaments (including the 1,000-team Sparkler/Fireworks event) draw the nation’s finest club programs, and hundreds of college coaches attend TCS events for recruiting purposes. TCS produces one of the largest youth baseball events in the world with the 650-team Omaha SlumpBuster during the College World Series. The Triple Crown Volleyball NIT has become the top-recruited club volleyball event in the country each February when 550 teams compete in Kansas City, MO.