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Why North Country Region

Our goal is to provide quality, efficient and organized experiences through playing, coaching, officiating, education and administration. As a service organization, we are dedicated to our members and their interests.



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Recent News

Choosing A Summer Volleyball Camp

By John Kessel, USA Volleyball 04/23/2019, 2:00pm CDT

The Coaches are Key

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Coaching Through A Gender Lens

By Womens' Sport Foundation 04/10/2019, 1:45pm CDT

How to Maximize Girls Play and Potential

Read More

Written by Badger Region with support from North Country Region


Colleen Houk embodies everything that is great about the junior volleyball community.

At the start of her volleyball career, Houk played a pivotal part in bringing the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club to the high level that it holds today, both in the Badger Region and on the national stage. There, she was a coach, administrator, volunteer and much more for one of the Badger Region’s biggest and most well-established clubs.


When the Badger Region began to grown from a one-person operation to one with a permanent office and staff of five, Colleen was there to help it through the many growing pains. Houk served the Badger Region as Operations Manager from 2011 to 2015, all while still coaching and helping out with behind the scenes work at Milwaukee Sting.


In her Badger Region days, Houk was tasked with helping the 10,000 members in the Badger Region navigate through Webpoint and complete all of the requirements necessary to participate, and she did most of it with a smile! She was always kind and patient on the phone with a parent, grandparent or club director when she explained something for the 43rd time (that day) and helped streamline many processes within the region to make the lives of club directors easier. She worked closely with tournament directors, club directors and other USA Volleyball personnel to help grow the game nationally, regionally and locally.


In 2016, she returned to Milwaukee Sting full time as club director as the organization moved forward with the leasing of its own facility. There she spent many long hours working events, cleaning tables, working concessions and greeting every athlete and parent who came through the door with a smile.


Then, in early 2018, Houk announced that she was stepping down as club director as she and her husband Pat planned a move to Bloomington, Minnesota, to be closer to their son and grandchildren.


Of course moving to Minnesota didn’t mean Colleen stopped working in the volleyball community, it meant she would be able to help out even MORE! With changes in administration in the North Country Region, Houk approached NCR administrators and offered to help the Region come online with a member management system, as opposed to using the paper membership forms that had been used there for many years.


Her knowledge and expertise in Webpoint gained in the Badger Region office has come in very handy for the North Country members making the transition.


In the meantime, Houk was hired to coach at M1, where she works with the youngest of athletes -- some of whom are even taller than her since Colleen stands at probably just under 5 feet tall. Colleen says her favorite part of the game is teaching blocking, though she doesn’t come near crossing the plane of the net when she stands or jumps.


Regardless of where she is or how tall she stands, Colleen has left a HUGE mark on the volleyball world with her endless desire to help others around her find volleyball – and stay organized in the process.


For all of her long hours and many thankless jobs she has done in the Badger Region and in the North Country Region, Colleen is deserving of any and all accolades that could come her way from the Junior Assembly of USA Volleyball. Go Colleen!

Draper/Draper compete in Hermosa Spring Beach National Qualifier

By North Country Region 03/23/2019, 4:00pm CDT

Representing Lady Laker's Volleyball Club in North Country Region, the team comprised of Alcia Draper and Madie Draper competed in the Hermosa Spring Beach National Qualifier 18's Division in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday March 23, 2019.  Draper/Draper were defeated in the first round of the Silver Bracket.  

With no organized beach playing experience, Draper/Draper competed aggressively against several teams that are signed to play NCAA Division I Beach Volleyball.  

North Country Region Sanctioned Events

By NCR 03/14/2019, 12:30pm CDT

No Price Tag for Safety

As North Country Region planned for the 2019 club season, we became very aware of the precarious position that you as a tournament director could be placed and us as an organization could be placed  if neither of us had controls in verifying participants at tournaments.  USA Volleyball insurance guidelines require

  • All participants are current USAV members
  • Adults working with juniors have met minimum training and certifications


Due to the changes in federal legislation governing all youth - serving organizations we simply had to make a change so that you are in a safer position, juniors are in a safer environment, and North Country Region is in a safer position.  It requires a coordinated effort and commitment by NCR staff, club directors, tournament directors, and individual members.  

After some quick research and phone calls to other Regions, it became clear that North Country Region needed to be inline on best practices concerning tournaments and verifying the participants at each tournament. Fortunately or unfortunately, roster verification is a very necessary part of today’s junior athletic environment. North Country Region wants your tournament to be known as a fun, safe tournament because you do verify the participants at your events. From our end,  we have set the parameters on who can be added to a Webpoint roster.  Club directors can only add adults to a team roster when that adult has met the following criteria

  • has a current membership
  • taken IMPACT training
  • cleared the SSCI background screen
  • completed SafeSport Certification


We also have established the policy that for a roster to be valid it requires a minimum of six junior players and a minimum of one head coach. 

I understand this is new and different but it is absolutely the right thing to do for ALL  of us.  If we cheat this system, then we put all players, coaches, teams and clubs in jeopardy and none  of us want that.  One of the best parts about being a member of USA Volleyball and sanctioning a tournament through North Country Region  is that every USAV member  has an individual record that houses all of their current certifications and trainings as well as the history of their membership.  NO ONE ELSE PROVIDES THIS LEVEL OF THOROUGHNESS!

Moving onto 2020 tournaments we have some big plans that include: Tournament Director Handbook, free use of AES for tournament registration, rosters easily verified on AES and more.  I have appreciated the feedback from our tournament directors as we work together to do what is right.