The standard format for most divisions is two rounds of pool play (day 1 and day 2) followed by single elimination play-offs on day 3 for all teams.

Depending on the number of teams entered, some divisions may utilize pools of 7-10 teams in place of two rounds of pool play and playoffs.

All matches will be best 2 out of 3.

Awards are given to the top three teams in the Gold Championship brackets as specified in the Qualifier Manual.

Open Divisions may have a third round of pool play with the top teams advancing to a final single elimination bracket.

All Open Divisions will accept at most a maximum of 48 teams.

All USA/American/National Divisions will accept at most a maximum of 128 teams dependent on space available.


Awards will be given to the Gold Division 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place teams.  The entire team must report to the awards area to pick up the awards and have a team picture taken.

No awards are given to any Silver, Bronze or Flight Division winners.

Coaches Meeting

There is no coaches’ meeting at the Mizuno Northern Lights Qualifier.

Warm-Up Balls Supplied

Northern Lights is pleased to be the only Qualifier in the nation that supplies warm-up balls and ball carts on all courts for practice and competition.  Teams should not bring any volleyballs to the tournament; security will not allow them inside the playing area.

We have done this the last eight years and it has been a huge hit.  No more forgetting the balls at home or in the gym!

Please note the USAV warm-up rules which prohibit warm-up with volleyballs on unoccupied courts and in any aisles.

All 12 warm-up balls should remain on the court and be used only for warm-ups prior to a match. Matches may be delayed if balls are missing.

Volleyballs should only be used by coaches and players who are participants in the Northern Lights Qualifier.

The 11/12 & Under divisions will use “Lite” volleyballs, which are supplied for practice, warm-ups and competition.


Teams may come to the Minneapolis Convention Center to practice.

Practice courts will be available on the Thursdays before the tournament weekend from 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm (this means a practice will END at 8:30 pm).

Please begin your practice on the half hour. Practices may have a maximum duration of 1 hour.

Report to the Championship Desk to reserve a court.  Balls are checked out with a driver’s license.

For safety reasons, our set-up has to be 100% complete before we will allow any courts to be used.  Therefore, we reserve the right to cancel or delay the start of practice sessions should we deem it necessary.

HP Tryouts

Tryouts will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on:

  • Thursday, April 16   4-8pm-CST Minneapolis, MN Girls
  • Thursday, April 23  4-8pm-CST Minneapolis, MN Girls

This tryout is independent of the qualifier itself and all questions concerning the tryout should be directed to the USAV National Office or check the USA High Performance Program website.

National Anthem Singers Needed

If you have a player with a great voice that would like to sing the National Anthem on one of the days, we would love to have them!

Please have the singer submit an audio recording, or a video of themselves singing the National Anthem.  It may either be submitted as a link to an online video, or attached as a file and sent to our office manager Barbara via e-mail (  You may also contact Barbara with any questions via phone, 952-808-0110.

The deadline to submit this is Tuesday before the tournament weekend.

Dig Pink

Teams are always welcome to wear pink on Saturday of the Northern Lights Qualifier to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness.