The rules for arranging fixtures are set out in Section D of the HVA Rules. There are several deadlines noted:
- The home team must confirm the date, time and venue at least 21 days in advance of the planned fixture. The Team Manager and Club Fixtures Secretary get an email to remind them that the deadline for doing this is "today".
- The away team must confirm they can make the planned fixture at least 14 days in advance. They should already have heard from the home team and will get their own emails to remind them.
- Either team can request that a fixture is re-arranged at least 14 days before the planned date and must provide some alternative dates for the fixture.
The rules are not clear on what happens if the expected 21 or 14 days confirmations are not received. The HVA would suggest that if you have no confirmation of a fixture after several emails and phone calls to at least two different club contacts within a week of the fixture, then it would not be unreasonable to assume the fixture is not happening, not turn up to that fixture and to request a forfeit. We might tweak the rules next year to make this clear.
The rules say that fixture dates can only be changed under "exceptional circumstances", but the HVA have always taken the approach that if there's at least 14 days' notice then any reason is fine. We might tweak the rules next year to remove that qualifier.
You should include the HVA Competitions Secretary in any discussions about date changes; both the intention to change and any new date agreed between the teams. That's for several reasons; so we can keep the fixtures list up-to-date and so we have the evidence for any request for a forfeit.
Naturally, we'd rather teams were playing volleyball so we're reluctant to have any fixtures forfeit. However, any team is within their rights to request a forfeit if they think the rules have been breached. To claim a forfeit, contact the HVA Competitions Secretary and state your case! We'd take in to account details of any previous fixture alterations when deciding whether to award a forfeit.
There's some wiggle room built in to the late cancellation rules for "exceptional circumstances", when the HVA might allow that 14 day limit to be broken. An example would be a last minute cancellation because of dangerous driving conditions. Of course, you should always give your opposition as much notice as possible. You can't simply not turn up! Again, the HVA Competitions Secretary should be kept up-to-date with changes.
There's one more deadline noted in the rules and that suggests that any re-arranged date must be at least 14 days away. If both teams agreed to play a re-arranged fixture tomorrow, instead of in a month's time, that's completely fine with the HVA. The assumption would be that because it's less than 14 days away, the fixture is already confirmed by both teams. We might tweak the rules next year to adopt this formally.