SPORTS MATTER We enter the arena, we choose sides. We chant, we cheer, we wear colors. We compete. We keep score. We care who wins or loses. We prefer to win.
VOLLEYBALL ROCKS Born in America, adopted by the world. Take a pitcher’s fastball, a golfer’s precise putt, a power forward’s slam dunk, a goalkeeper’s rejection, a shortstop’s stab … that’s volleyball. Not your father’s company picnic .
POPULARITY? SOARING Start with youngsters pouring into club volleyball programs across the nation. In many states—and most of the West—more high school girls play volleyball than any other sport. At several major universities, average volleyball match attendance trails only football and men’s basketball. Sand volleyball is the NCAA’s newest demonstration sport. And many of America’s finest athletes choose volleyball, both for national team competition and for increasingly lucrative opportunities on pro teams overseas.
COURTNEY THOMPSON A Seattle kid. Undersized. Overachieving. Dreams large. Outworks everyone. Takes risks. Unafraid to fail. Learns from losses. Refuses to quit. State champ. National Champ. All-American. Player of the Year. And—against staggering odds—Olympic medalist. A rare character who seems too good to be true, too interesting to ignore. Wise beyond her years. Passionate. Honest. Smart. Funny. Hugely entertaining.
THE PROGRAM Courtney Thompson lives the life of a professional American volleyball star: overseas. In the dead of winter in the heart of Poland, she tries to lead the Łódź Boat Builders to respectability. As we follow her season, America’s Olympic setter guides us through a fascinating and complicated conversation about sport, gender, parents, coaches, competition, ethics, money and success. Her journey provides the documentary’s path.
THE EXPERTS As Courtney moves from chapter to chapter, we hear from some of the finest minds in the sport: Karch Kiraly, Hugh McCutcheon, Doug Beal, John Dunning, Mick Haley, Kathy DeBoer, Rich Feller, David McFatrich, John Cook and Bill Neville among others. We’ll hear from parents, youth coaches, and other volleyball athletes, young and old.
THE FORMAT A one-hour broadcast quality documentary, in high definition, suitable for a national broadcast audience and DVD/Internet distribution. Premiered at a private event during the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Final Four Championships in Seattle.
THE AUDIENCE Players. Parents. Coaches. Fans. Media. Policymakers who can and should support the creation and maintenance of sports facilities and opportunities, especially for girls and boys.
THE PRODUCERS Jack and Leslie Hamann of no little things Productions have been producing exceptional documentaries since 1984. Their assignments span the globe, including China, Ethiopia, Russia, Peru, New Zealand and many more. Their programs—airing on CNN, PBS, NBC and elsewhere—have tackled sports, politics, environment, health and justice, with depth, insight and remarkable storytelling. Their work has earned dozens of regional, national and international honors, including ten Emmys and medals at film festivals in New York, Chicago and Houston. Their groundbreaking book, On American Soil, was named the nation’s outstanding investigative book of 2005.
CO-PRODUCERS The Puget Sound Region of USA Volleyball, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is providing essential support and assistance. The Region overseas indoor, beach and sitting volleyball programs for youth and adults.