Dates, Location & Fees

The Northern Lights Qualifier will take place over three different weekends in 2021.  They are:  January 29 – 31, April 23 – April 25 and April 30 – May 2.

Currently, we plan to offer 21 qualifying divisions and 2 non-qualifying divisions.  Please refer to the home page to see which weekend the division you are interested in is scheduled.

Competition will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The entry fee will be $810 per team for all teams in all qualifying divisions.  The non-qualifying divisions (17 Elite/18 Elite) will have a $600 entry fee.

The Northern Lights Qualifier is sanctioned by USA Volleyball and an active USAV membership is required for all rostered players and staff.


For most ages, we will offer the Open, USA and American Divisions.  The Open Division is for those teams wishing to qualify for the Open Division at Nationals.  The USA/American Divisions are for those teams wishing to qualify for the USA or American Divisions at Nationals and for teams who do not wish to attend Nationals.

Open is the highest and most competitive division.  USA is the 2nd highest division.

New teams who have never competed before at the National Championships should select American Division.

The 11’s will only have one division called the 11 National Division.  If the registration for this division is below 8 teams, no bid will be given and all of the 11’s teams will be combined into the 12 American Division.  There is no 11 American Division.

The 12’s will have two divisions at all National Qualifiers provided they each have a minimum of 8 teams.  They are 12 National (the higher of the two divisions) and 12 American.  If there are less than 8 teams in either division they will be combined into a 12 National Division.

How to Enter

Tournament registration will open on October 1 at 9:00 am Central Time / 10:00 am Eastern time.

To enter the Northern Lights Qualifier:

  1.  Read the website to make sure you have all necessary information about the tournament.
  2.  Go to the website
  3.  Create a login & password if you are a first time user.  Create your teams and add staff/players.  If you have an account already, go to step 4.
  4.  Register for the event. 
  5.  Either “Pay Online” or mail us the entry form and a check (see below for further details)
  6.  Register for your hotel rooms in an approved tournament hotel through our housing company (The THS Company).  Note:  before you will be permitted to reserve hotel rooms, you must be registered for the tournament and we must have received the full entry fee.

The registration deadline for receipt of the online registration, the entry fee and meeting the Stay and Play requirement is:

  • December 20, 2019 3:00 pm Central Time for the January event
  • March 6, 2020 3:00 pm Central Time for the April event
  • Entries will close prior to these dates if divisions fill early

All entries received after these dates/times will be considered on a space available basis.  If you wish to enter the Northern Lights Qualifier past the deadline, please send an e-mail to the Northern Lights office: to inquire.

Northern Lights is using the Stay and Play Policy.

Methods of Payment

The Northern Lights Qualifier accepts two forms of payment:

  • Pay online at the time of registration using a credit card.  No forms need to be sent to us if you pay online.
  • Pay via check.

To pay via check:

  • Please enclose a copy of the Application for Entry form (from with your check.
  • One check per club should be sent to cover all teams that are entered.
  • Please keep in mind that we must receive your check and mark you as paid in before you can make hotel reservations.
  • Checks should be received within 7 days of your online registration (but before the entry deadline).
  • Checks can be sent to Northern Lights Jr Volleyball, 14050 Judicial Rd., Burnsville, MN  55337

Refund Policy

Please read our non-negotiable Refund Policy carefully.

If a team is denied entry into the Northern Lights Qualifer because the field is filled, the team may:

  • Elect to cancel its application and receive a full refund of its entry fee or
  • Elect to go onto a wait list.  To be put on a wait list, the entry requirements of registration, payment and hotel requirements must have been met.

If a team which is not on a wait list decides to drop out for any reason after making payment, the team will forfeit the entire entry fee regardless of whether the drop happens before or after the official entry deadline date and regardless of your hotel status with THS.  This includes all drops that may pertain to acts or threats of war, acts or threats of terrorism, a health risk alert, or weather conditions.

A team on a wait list may drop out and obtain a full refund of its entry fee as long as we have not yet accepted the team into the tournament from the wait list.  To do this, a team on a wait list must have notified us in writing (in other words, an e-mail) of their desire to drop before they receive notification of being accepted from the wait list.

A team that previously met the Stay and Play requirements and was accepted, but then fell out of compliance with the Stay and Play housing requirements and was  removed from the event will not be eligible for any refund even if they subsequently met the Stay and Play housing requirements but were not re-accepted due to the event or division being full.  In general, any attempt to bypass or use the Stay and Play housing requirements and/or wait list to obtain a refund will not be honored.

If the tournament is cancelled or interrupted due to weather, acts or threats of war, acts or threats of terrorism or a health risk alert, event entry refunds will be made to individuals or teams on a prorated basis once all Northern Lights out-of-pocket expenditures for the cancelled or interrupted event have been settled from such a fee.

Entry fees are non-transferable to another team, even from the same club.

Some divisions may fill before the deadline.

Foreign Teams

Only teams from the United States or a US Territory (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, US Virgin Islands) are eligible to compete at the Northern Lights Qualifier.  Canadian teams are welcome to enter the non-qualifying 17 Elite or 18 Elite divisions.

Age Waivers

National Qualifiers are not permitted to honor any age waivers.  Teams must compete in the division that corresponds with the oldest player on their team.

Local Teams

Northern Lights defines a Local Team as having a club mailing address that is 50 or less miles away from the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Clubs with addresses that are over 50 miles away are required to adhere to the Stay and Play policy.  You can view more information about our definition of Local Teams on the Stay and Play webpage.

Acceptance & Selection Criteria

In order to be accepted into the event, all teams which are not considered local teams must use tournament-approved hotels booked through our housing agency.  Northern Lights has contracted with THS to manage reservations and approve all hotels being used for this event.  This policy is called Stay and Play.

In the event the number of entry applications in a division exceeds the space available teams will be admitted into the tournament based on certain criteria after they have fulfilled the Stay and Play requirement.  Once we reach capacity, remaining teams will be wait listed and the division closed.

A completed entry is defined as an online registration, receipt of fees, and meeting the hotel requirement.

We will attempt to notify all teams of their acceptance status within 48 business hours (excluding holidays and weekends) of the receipt of their completed entry.

All divisions (Open, USA, American) have the same entry selection criteria:

  1. Date of receipt of completed entry
  2. Strength

This selection criteria is basically “first come, first served”.

You can check your entry status by logging into your account and viewing your team’s dashboard.

The Qualifier Director has the discretion to allow teams who may have been denied access to the Open Division to move to the USA or American Division based on space available at the time of the move.  Teams in the USA Division or American Division may be offered the opportunity to move to the Open Division to round out the field or create a preferred pool/bracket (teams of 4).

Division Change Requests

Please e-mail the Northern Lights office ( to request a division change for a team.  Please include the division you are currently registered for and the division you wish the team to be moved to.


  • The division change request will be granted and a confirmation e-mail will be sent.
  • The division you would like to switch to is full and you will be put on a wait list for that division.  Your team will also remain in the tournament in their current division. You will also be notified via e-mail should this be the case.

The closer to the event you request the division change, the higher the chance the change cannot be made.

Roster Requirements

Full team rosters are required to participate in the Mizuno Northern Lights Qualifier.  You will be required to enter and validate your roster prior to being able to Check-In to the event.

Adults listed as coaches on rosters must have successfully passed the USAV Impact Clinic or the CAP Level 1 course AND be SafeSport Certified.  This will be verified by data sent to the  TM2sign system from the USAV Webpoint system.  There are no Impact or SafeSport clinics offered at this qualifier.

To create or update your roster, log into

  • Click on “Teams”
  • Click on your team
  • Click on “Roster”
  • Follow the instructions for creating a template roster
  • Once you have built your template roster, click on “Event Rosters”
  • Click on “Submit Roster” link next to the Mizuno Northern Lights Qualifier for this year.
  • You do not need to enter AAU numbers.  If your roster contains an empty column for AAU ID, this is ok.

We encourage you to update and verify your roster at minimum a few weeks before competition.  This will ensure that any issues you may run into with roster verification can be taken care of with time to spare before the event.

The biggest issues with roster verification usually involve last minute adds to rosters with adults who very recently finished their certifications (Impact Safe Sport, etc.)  The systems that need to communicate with one another to ensure your status is updated in often are on a delay that can be several days.  If you cannot verify your roster, it is recommended that you contact USA Volleyball, your region, or  Do not contact Northern Lights as there is nothing we can do to make sure the various systems outside our control update in a timely manner.

Seeding & Team Strength Information

We are pleased to announce that has the ability to accumulate a huge seeding database that contains all of the results from competitions that used any of the 3 major online scheduling systems.  Those systems are TM2sign, Advanced Event Systems (AES) and SportWrench.  If your team played in a competition that was scheduled on one of those systems, we already have the results in the seeding database.

If you wish to have results from competitions that did not use one of the above online scheduling systems considered for seeding, you may enter them in the system.  We especially encourage any teams that have not played in any events using of of these three systems to enter results by April 12.  A lack of valid results means your team may be seeded near the bottom.

This tournament is seeded using a computer seeding program.  The seeding program takes into account your win/loss record, head-to-head results, age levels you play, and other factors.

The procedure to manually enter results which were not not played on one of the above 3 named online scheduling systems:

  1. Log into your club’s TM2sign account.
  2. Click on “Teams”
  3. Click on the team you wish to enter results for.
  4. Click on “Competition Results”
  5. Follow the instructions on the website.