What is club volleyball? This is the question we get asked quite a bit this time of year. This blog will lay out some of the basics you should know as you navigate through your club volleyball experience. Tryouts are coming up, so it is important that you are as prepared as your athlete.
Club Volleyball in our area is governed by the Ohio Valley Region. This region falls under the umbrella of USA Volleyball www.usavolleyball.org. The Ohio Valley Region or OVR is a great resource for you to research clubs in the area. After September 15 most clubs will be posting their tryout information on the OVR website www.ovr.org. Use this website to find all the clubs that are near your home.
There are multiple levels of play in our region. Open level is the most competitive level in the nation; these teams tend to travel out of state for most of their events (Open is a USA Volleyball term and is not used in the OVR). National level is the highest level within the OVR; these teams tend to travel out of state along with doing some in-state events. Most National level events are two or three days long and may require a hotel stay. American level is just below National; these teams tend to stay in state but may travel to other large cities such as Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati. American events tend to be one or two days in length. Regional level is below American; these teams tend to be the most cost effective and do the least amount of traveling. Regional events are usually only one day in length.
Not all clubs are created equal. I would suggest you take some time to research each establishment prior to picking one. Each club has their own personality. You will want to pick one that best fits your family. For example, one club may be ok with allowing their younger athletes to underhand serve the entire season, but another club may want their younger athletes to only overhand serve. Neither club is wrong, but your daughter my want to be encouraged to overhand serve because of her strong desire to get better faster.
Elite Volleyball Training Center is directed by Randy Cline and Jackie Cline. We have 5 full time staff members, one of these staff members is a certified strength and conditioning coach that is devoted 100% to that area of training for our athletes. Elite Volleyball Training Center strives to encourage and prepare young people to reach their highest potential in athletics and in life. Our professional coaching staff provide age-appropriate training in a fun, safe and competitive environment. Our philosophy is to prepare our athletes to compete at the club, high school, collegiate, and international level. We do this by teaching the most successful and proven techniques in the game today. Elite’s coaching staff represents experience at all levels, including collegiate and professional playing experience, club coaching experience, and collegiate coaching experience. Traditionally, the athletes within our program exemplify the utmost character, respect, and competitive spirit on and off the court.
This year we plan to have 32 teams. You can find a list of tryout dates and times along with the estimated number of teams we will have in each age group by going to the following link: https://www.elitevbtc.com/club-teams/girls-teams/girls-club-tryouts/. We have teams in the Open, National, American, and Regional levels. Included in our club fees are recruiting coordination and our online recruiting platform. Randy Cline and our staff spend countless hours on the phone with college coaches trying to match our athletes to their school or their schools to our athletes. We have earned almost $12 million in scholarship dollars for our athletes over the past 10 years.
Here is a list of things you should know prior to tryouts:
- When are Tryouts: Some tryouts overlap with other clubs. Make sure you reach out to a club to see if they have make-up tryouts if you find there is a conflict in your schedule.
- Age Groups for Tryouts: The Open and National levels are very specific about birthdate requirements. The American and Regional levels allow athletes to play based on their grade year. Use the following links to help you better understand where your daughter falls: Open and National Age Chart, American and Regional Age Requirements.
- What are the Deadlines for Acceptance: After tryouts you will need to let a club know if you are going to accept their invitation to their team. The OVR is very specific on these deadlines. You can see their requirements by viewing their Athlete Bill of Rights.
- Acceptance Guidelines: The OVR considers an email acceptance as a binding contract. If you back out after sending an email contract, you may be subject to a fee or having to pay the club your full club fees prior to the club being willing to release your athlete to play for another club. To make a long story short, do not accept your contract unless you are sure it is a good fit.
- Making the Team you Want: Most athletes tryout at 3-5 different clubs. Remember, they can only play for one. Here is a scenario we see every year. Katie tries out with Elite Volleyball Training Center and three other clubs. Her hope is to make a top team at EliteVBTC. She is offered a spot on EliteVBTC’s second team but makes the top team at all three other clubs. She is instantly upset she did not make the top team at EliteVBTC and quickly commits to one of the other clubs. However, at EliteVBTC we receive notice that one of the girls that was offered a spot on the top team has decided to play for a different club. Our next call goes to Katie, but she informs us that she is no longer available. Katie hangs up the phone devastated because she is no longer able to play for her dream team. Know what your dream team is, and do not settle for another club until you know for sure that that team is full. A club cannot give up your spot until the deadline has passed. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we want you to call us to check on the status of a team. We also update our website with commitments as we receive them.
- Decline your Offers: Once you have committed, reach out to other clubs that offered you a spot to decline. This will open opportunities for other players to take that spot.
- Fees: Make sure you understand the fee schedule.
- Recruiting: Ask hard questions about recruiting. At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we want to get as many of our athletes recruited as possible. This means athletes at all levels, not just the best athlete in the gym. We give the athlete and the parents the tools to be successful through this process
At Elite Volleyball Training Center, we offer a very competitive training environment in a family-based atmosphere. Call us if you have additional questions. We have staff available from 10:00am – 7:00pm during the week. We are happy to take the time to help guide you through this process.