Beach Volleyball has begun and the indoor club volleyball season is coming to an end. Most athletes seem to be glad for the change of scenery with Beach Volleyball. However, with the indoor club volleyball season wrapping up for the year, there are a few things you should be aware of going into the Summer months.
In the Ohio Valley Region, clubs affiliated with USA Volleyball are permitted to offer contracts to their current athletes for next years club season. The window of opportunity for clubs to distribute these early contracts is June 1 through July 31. There are some things you should know before signing a contract to any club:
- Clubs are not allowed to offer contracts to members of any other club until tryouts.
- Clubs can offer early contracts to current club members anytime between June 1 through July 31. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we typically wait until a team is completely done with the season. This means 12 year old contracts may go out earlier than a 17 year old’s contract. 12 teams are done in May but 17’s teams are done closer to July. If you do not hear from us by July 4, feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.
- Clubs can designate their own deadline for when these early contracts must be accepted. Make sure you know when you need to get back to them with a response.
- Some clubs ask for a deposit at the time of acceptance. This is a great way to get a head start on paying your club fees.
- It is nearly impossible to nail down coaches for next years club season in June. Do not sign the contract just because of the coach designated to the team. Make sure you would be happy with the team even if that coach decides to not coach anymore.
- Signing the contract means that you are committed to that club no matter what. The Ohio Valley Region states that these early contracts are binding. This means that you cannot attend another club’s tryout if you sign an early contract. Terminating your contract could lead to a club asking you for your fees in full before releasing you to play for another club. If unforeseen circumstances do arise, do not wait until after tryouts to discuss termination of a contract. Reach out to your club director before tryouts so the club has the best chance of finding a replacement for you.
- Some clubs will offer contracts back to the club, but you will need to attend tryouts to determine what team you will make. Before signing this type of contract, make sure you can see yourself playing on the lowest level team listed within the club/contract. If you end up being placed on a higher level team at tryouts, consider that a benefit.
- Only sign your contract if you feel that you are comfortable with the club. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we will not hold it against any athlete if they choose to not accept their early contract.
- It is not the end of the world if you do not receive a contract. Volleyball Clubs need to keep spaces open in case there are other athletes that want to change clubs. Plan to attend tryouts and fight for the spot you had last year.
Parents sometimes question why a club would hand out an early contract back to the club versus back to a specific team. For example, Suzy played for a local club on a 12 National team for the 2018 season (a National team is typically the highest level team, and Regional is the lowest level team). Her club sends her an early contract on June 15 stating that she has been offered a spot to one of the three 13’s teams that the club will have for the 2019 season. By signing this contract Suzy, and her parents, are agreeing that she is ok with the possibility that she could move from a National team down to a Regional team. In short, she is agreeing that she understands that in order to keep her spot on the National team she is going to have to be one of the best in her position at tryouts. Clubs use this process to motivate their athletes to ensure they do not become complacent. Athletes should battle to not only earn their spot on the top, but also hold onto their current spot. Consider this contract as motivation to prove to that club that you deserve to be on the highest team.
In this situation, some parents and athletes will choose to not accept this contract. Just be aware that there is a chance that another athlete could come in to tryouts and take your daughter’s guaranteed spot in the club.
These early contracts are intended for the athlete that loves her current club and does not want to go through the stress of trying out for other clubs. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we have had instances where athletes decided not to accept a contract and lost their spot to someone at tryouts. We understand it can be hard to commit to a program that does not start for another 5 or 6 months. However, declining a contract means you need to prepare to tryout at 3-5 different clubs in the fall.
Clubs in the Ohio Valley Region are going to offer early contracts regardless if they agree with the process or not. Make sure you educate yourself prior to signing anything. It is important that you know the best and worst case scenarios with signing an early contract. Do not think your club does not like you if you do not receive a contract. Reach out to your club and ask what you need to work on to stand out at tryouts. We want all our athletes to have a good experience from start to finish at Elite Volleyball Training Center. We are happy to answer any questions about early contracts even if you do not play for our club.