skip navigation
Finding a Juniors' Club Volleyball Team in the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR UPCOMING JUNIORS' CLUB TRYOUTS

By Jen Barber, 10/29/19, 2:30PM MST

Share

Finding a Juniors' Club Volleyball Team in the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball

Girls club volleyball is gearing up in the Arizona region. Here's a play-by-play of nearly everything you need to know to find the right club team for you.

FINDING THE RIGHT CLUB TEAM FOR YOUR ATHLETE

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be providing resources to help families prepare for girls club volleyball tryouts. Please be sure to invite your friends to like our social media pages - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - so they can get in on these good tips, too!

First, let’s start with the basics.

Why play volleyball?

Burn calories. Burn fat. Tone and shape the body. Improve eye-hand coordination. Speed, balance, and agility are gained. Moods get a boost. And, most important, volleyball is a great way to make new friends!

Oh. Did we mention it’s played indoors? 6 hour tournaments aren’t so bad when you’re in the A/C. A bonus for the supportive parents and fans we see year after year!

WHERE TO START

Most girls get a taste for the game at their local recreation spots or school PE classes. Whether in your hometown or with a nonprofit sports organization, that first introduction to the game usually is the tipping point leading to the search for a bigger commitment.

Faster play, higher level instruction, and more game time can be found at the club level.

That’s where we come in. The Arizona Region of USA Volleyball.

Our mission is to promote, govern, oversee, plan, and coordinate amateur indoor and outdoor volleyball in the “Arizona region.” It’s a mouthful. But, if you want to play hard court or sand volleyball at the next level, we’ve got you covered.

The Arizona Region is one of nearly 40+ regions within USAV - U.S.A. Volleyball. At the conclusion of our girls' club season in June, qualifying teams compete against teams from other regions at the Girls Junior National Championships.

Back here in Arizona, under our region umbrella, we oversee a variety of volleyball clubs. 7,640 girls played indoor club volleyball this past season. A record 1,219 boys played prompting clubs to add more teams for boys throughout the state.

Within our region, club teams compete in divisions at the Club, Championship, and Open divisions.

AGES AND DIVISIONS

Our juniors’ division - for boys and girls - is coordinated by Charlotte Pottle. She explains the different divisions for us.

“Girls club volleyball has become wildly popular since we founded in 1989. It’s also a year-round commitment,” explains Pottle. “When first starting out as a young female player, you should start looking into prospective clubs around September/October. Tryouts are in mid-November.”

Q: What's the difference between Club, Championship, and Open divisions?

A: The Arizona Region offers three levels of volleyball for boys and girls. The purpose is to provide volleyball opportunities for children at a variety of levels and ages.

The “Club” division is for athletes with little to no volleyball experience. It is for the 12 and under (12U) age groups as well as new/developmental athletes in the 13-16 and under (13U-16U) age groups. Club teams typically do not travel out of state. Since Club division is the only option for 12U teams, the higher level teams may travel to out of state tournaments. On tournament days, club level teams play in a morning pool or an afternoon pool. A girls' schedule of game days is posted on our region website and will be given to you by your club coach for advance planning.

Championship” is the region’s “mid-level” competitive division. Some Championship teams travel, but not a lot. These teams want more tournaments in-state at a higher level of play than the introductory club level. Championship division tourneys also have morning or afternoon pool waves. You typically know what time and where you’ll play the Thursday prior to your matches. Follow the region on social media for tournament alerts as soon as they are released.

Open” division is the highest level of club volleyball the region. Open has fewer scheduled days for tournaments by design so the elite teams can travel to more National Qualifiers held out of state. However, Open teams play more matches during an Open tournament in the Arizona region. For example, Open teams will play their 3 matches in pool play in the morning... then play 1-2 more matches in cross pool play in the afternoon. Remember, Club and Championship teams just play their bracket pool play in either the morning or the afternoon. Open tourneys are all day long and some are played on Sundays.

HOW DO WE FIND A VOLLEYBALL CLUB?

Before you dive in looking for a club, you need to ask yourself a few important questions.

  • Why does your child want to play volleyball? For fun? For stress relief? Because she LOVES the game? (We hope this is why!!) Knowing what you want to accomplish over the next 8-9 months is a good place to start.
  • How important is it to you to be playing with a team near your home? How far are you willing to travel to practice a few times a week? If the answer is 10 minutes, you should look for clubs in your area. If you play at a higher level and are looking for a more elite team, your travel time might be much longer. Teams might practice on weekends, too. Be sure to know your answer to this question before tryouts.
  • Realistically, what is your athlete’s knowledge of the game and athleticism? Trying out for an elite team may not be in your best interest until that knowledge and skill has been developed. Attending open gyms prior to tryouts and asking potential clubs and coaches questions about how your child fits into their program is worth your time and effort. Because club tryouts are held on the same day… and usually at the same time… you don’t want to miss out making a team. Open gyms also are a great opportunity to meet the other players who might be forming teams and to find out if you enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Understand each child grows at a different pace. If your child is a six-rotation player at the beginning of the season and a teammate surpasses your child's skill level, are you okay with bench time? No coach can guarantee your child’s playing time. Playing time is usually earned. It’s another good discussion to have with your child about expectations heading into the season.
  • Expense. Be sure to ask about the cost of any team you’re considering joining. Find out if travel expenses are included. If your team travels, understand flights, hotels, and meals are added expenses. Ask about any additional uniform expenses such as shoes, volleyballs, and knee pads. Many clubs ask for an initial down payment at the time of signing. Again, ask these questions during open gyms.
  • Team’s goals. Is your team hoping to qualify for USAV Nationals next summer? Are additional tournament expenses included in your monthly fees? Or will the fee for entering Nationals be tacked on next summer if you qualify? Are you contractually required to be a member of your team if it qualifies for Nationals? (The answer to this is mostly likely YES.)
  • How many players are kept on the team? If the coach and/or team are not consistent with what your family was told before you signed the contract, will you be granted a refund and allowed to go to a different club?
  • Where do your children’s friends play club volleyball? Are they happy? It’s always a good idea to reach out to other parents and ask about the pros and cons.

CLUB DIRECTORY

The Arizona Region has a club directory for you to begin your search.

Also check out how teams finished at the end of the last season by visiting our Tournament Info page. You can click into “Open Division”, “Championship” or the club division links to see how the teams placed.

Wanting to play at the elite level? Which Arizona teams made it to the Girls Junior National Championships? Visit our Nationals Archives to see historical data on final placements at the USAV’s highest levels.

PREPARE FOR TRYOUTS

A few things need to happen before tryouts.

  1. You may start the application process for your 2019-2020 season membership on or after September 1st. Any involvement in boys teams or girls' pre-season Open House sessions or clinics require a 2020 membership. Login Link
  2. Be sure to read and sign all the necessary waivers.
  3. Determine which team your daughter is eligible to play for by visiting our AGE CALCULATOR

OPEN GYMS

The best way to meet coaches and learn about clubs is by attending open gyms.

The Arizona Region has established an Open House Period for players and their parents to visit different clubs in an attempt to decide which club to tryout and join for the 2019-20 season. The Open House Period is a 10-day period prior to the specific age group tryouts.

During the Open House Period, a club may offer a maximum of 3 Open House sessions for each age group which is not more than 2 hours in length. The club MAY evaluate potential club members by running athletes through skills tests and physical tests, MAY talk to the players and their parents about their club, and MAY let you know about what level you might fit into in their club.

The club MAY NOT offer verbal, written or implied any player a position on any of their teams. Clubs MAY NOT collect any commitment fees or down payments to hold a spot on their team. Clubs MAY NOT ask a player for a commitment prior to tryouts and MAY NOT require you to attend more than one Open House session at their club.

A helpful link to review at this time is here. Information about ages and tryouts is available on our website. It’s YOUR responsibility to know some important rules about the quiet period for high school volleyball players and private lessons during the Open House period.

**Private Lessons MAY NOT be held for any age player November 13 - 15. 2019**

Find more rules and information on our website here.

THE CONTRACT

It should go without saying… but here it goes. READ THE CONTRACT.

Clubs have very strict policies regarding how and when a player may be released from a contract. Remember, committing to a spot on a team means you commit through the end of the season. Read every word of every sentence in your contract before you sign.

**Players are not released from their club affiliation for the season until after the Girls Jr. National Championships ending in July. Players who leave a club to join another club without first getting a release from the first club and the release being approved by the Region are subject to sanction.**

BEST PRACTICES - THE POLICIES

To find out more about rules and regulations through the Arizona Region, please review our Policies Manual.

Summary: If one club has to badmouth another club to convince you to join their club, what does that tell you about that club? Are those the type of people you want to deal with all season?

Beware of clubs promising starting positions, college scholarships or other flattering come-ons. All players in the 12s and 14s divisions should be developed in all positions and not concerned with scholarships. Find out if the club will develop your son/daughter to their potential no matter what their place on the team. Some offers of camp scholarships or other financial arrangements can be a violation of the NCAA or AIA Paid Athlete Policies and would jeopardize your child's status for school or collegiate play.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US.