FAQs Club Volleyball What is club volleyball? Club volleyball is for athletes 12 to 18 years of age. Players of differing abilities are able to develop their volleyball skills through training and competition. To compete players must attend a tryout and be selected to play for a team based upon skill, athletic ability, attitude, and potential. Valley Volleyball Academy is a competitive club volleyball program and competes in the USA Volleyball (USAV), Junior Volleyball Association (JVA), and West Coast Volleyball Association (WCVBA) events. USAV and JVA are the primary organizers of tournaments around the country with a major annual season ending tournament. WCVBA is the regional league of JVA which is providing consistent, high-level play for only a few of the best clubs in Northern California. Why play VVA? We have the most experienced coaches who teach the fundamental skills in an enthusiastic environment where the athletes will be able to thrive. We are working to compete at the highest level nationally, and also looking to provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to play regardless of level or financial situation. The synergy between high schools and colleges has produced a group of coaches and athletes that are passionate about the sport and committed to helping each athlete find joy in the game and achieve their max potential. We are a team for all players from Bakersfield to Merced. There are no direct high school affiliations. The club exists for the betterment of the sport in our Valley and for the betterment of the athletes in the Valley. All are welcome to participate in our events and compete on our teams. What are tryouts? All age groups (except 12U-14U) have tryout sessions that take place before high school starts. Tryout format consists of testing, position-specific skill testing, overall skill testing, and team competition evaluation. All players are evaluated on all skills. Players will receive an email notification of their team placement following the last day of tryouts. Players and their family will have 24 hours after receiving the team invitation to sign-up for the club season. The 12U, 13U, and 14U tryouts will have one tryout session in October. The session will result in invites to the program to guarantee your daughter a place within our program. We do our best to accept all players, but the numbers may not allow us to take everyone depending on the coaching staff and facility availability. Please reference tryout information for the 2021-2022 season. How are VVA teams chosen? During the tryout selection process, coaches evaluate all players and place them on teams appropriate for their level of ability. We work hard to place players in a position to increase their overall volleyball skills and have a successful season contributing to their team. Additionally, we take into consideration the level of financial and time commitment the athlete can make. We have structured the teams so that all teams get equal training time, however the experiences of coaches, travel schedule of the team, and extra sport performance can alter the cost of the teams. Families should make sure to sign up for the appropriate level of team they can commit to based upon finances and schedule commitments. How can VVA get my daughter recruited? We have a Recruiting Coordinator on staff for our players on the National Level teams, as well as teams 16 and older to assist with the entire recruiting process. VVA offers players one-on-one meetings, assistance with email communications with college coaches, access to highlight reel creation (HUDL- match storage and creation platform), and assistance through the University Athlete platform. For those players wishing to play at the next level, we are committed to finding them a home to play! Please see our Recruiting Coordinators' bios under the recruiting tab on the website. When and how long is the season? Club volleyball season for California and West Coast teams begins at the beginning of November and runs through the middle of April or first week in May (depending on age group and team level). National teams attending USAV or AAU Girls’ Junior Nationals will follow the same schedule but then take a one-week break in May. They will continue their season through the end of June or first week of July (depending on age group). There are no mandatory practices during Christmas break, Spring Break, or the post-season break. How do I know what age group my daughter should register/play? That is the age group in which she should be trying out. VVA recommends players play with their grade for recruiting purposes if they are eligible to play for two age groups (i.e. It is recommended a 13U player in 8th grade plays 14U with her grade). Please reference USAV’s age chart Age Classification for the 2021-2022 Season 18 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2003 OR Players who were born on or after July 1, 2002 and a high school student in the 12th grade or below during some part of the current academic year 17 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2004 OR Players who were born on or after July 1, 2003 (18 years or younger) who shall neither have completed nor are in a grade higher than the 11th grade during the current academic year will be allowed to participate at the USA Junior National Championships on 17 and under teams. 16 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2005 15 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2006 14 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2007 13 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2008 12 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2009 11 and Under Division: Players who were born on or after July 1, 2010 Fees/Payments What is the cost of the club season? The season fee differs from team to team due to level, travel, and age. Please reference the 2021-2022 season fees chart. The fees cover the cost of gym rental, equipment, insurance, tournament entry fees, coaches’ salaries, coaches’ travel, administrative fees, HUDL film access, and player gear. Season fees do not include player airfare, hotels, food, or any ground transportation to and from practice sessions and out-of-town tournaments. Once accepting a spot on the team, the families have a choice to either pay in full up front for a lower cost (lower rate because of eliminating credit card processing and other fees) or spread the payments out over the next 9 months. With the first payment in August, the last payment will finish in April. Once accepting a spot on a team, the remaining balance of the dues are non-refundable. How can my daughter apply for financial assistance? Valley Volleyball Academy is committed to being a home for players who wish to play regardless of financial status. Please see our scholarship application link here to apply for financial assistance. Tournaments What is my daughter’s tournament schedule? Tournament schedules vary based on which team your child plays for. Please see the tournament calendar here (insert tournament list by team) for which tournaments each level will play at. What can I do if I can’t travel with my daughter? If you are unable to travel, you have the option of sending them with another family attending the same tournament or putting them on the same flight as your coach. Coaches will make sure to get players from the airplane to the hotel and from the hotel to the airplane in the absence of parents. Coaches are not responsible for any players at the hotel or during their down/free time. Please make sure to notify your coach and administrator that you need a flight travel companion for your daughter Will my daughter miss any school? It is our goal to make sure all athletes are Student-Athletes first. There are times where tournament travel requires player to miss minimal school. All teams attending any in-state or out-of-state National Qualifiers will miss at least one day of school to participate (travel and or play). Issues What can my daughter expect in playing time? Valley Volleyball Academy believes playing time is valuable to each players’ overall growth. We understand players need to be able to apply the skills and fundamentals learned in practice to live match situations. We work hard with our coaches to make sure we are finding as much quality playing time as possible for each player. Players’ season fees go towards time and instruction by qualified, experienced coaches. Fees do not go towards playing time in tournaments. Playing time is earned by being at practice, working hard to improve, and executing the skills. Equal playing time is NOT guaranteed. Coaches are advised to give everyone an opportunity to contribute their individual skills and abilities to the team during pool play matches. When teams advance past pool play, teams will tighten the line-up and play players who will put the team in the best position to be successful. Playing time amounts for all players is at the coaches’ discretion and may not be equal for all players. The National level teams will be participating in more multi-day tournaments and qualifiers, placing them in environments which are more competitive where the line-ups are more narrow. If your priority is playing time, we encourage you to try out for a California or West Coast team to be competing more regularly in environments where everyone is playing equitably. How does my daughter handle any issues with the coach/team/club? Although we hope it does not occur, we understand parents or players may not agree with all coaching decisions throughout the season and have questions. If a situation occurs, the first step is to have the player communicate with her coaches. If this does not resolve the issue, the second step is to set-up a meeting with the coaches, player, and parent. The final step is to set-up a meeting with a Director, coaches, player, and parents. Please understand there will not be any meetings without the player present. The Director will not take any meetings until the 48 hour rule has been applied, as well as steps one and two have been followed. All players, parents, and coaches must adhere to a 48-hour rule: You must wait 48 hours until after tournament play has completed before emailing or calling in regard to playing time. Parents are strictly forbidden from approaching coaches before, during, or immediately after tournament play with playtime issues. Uniforms What if my daughter is missing or has damaged equipment? If you are missing equipment or have damaged equipment, you need to contact Heather Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any gear that is lost or needs to be replaced during the season, will be an additional charge for the player. Visit the Shop on our website to purchase Adidas and VVA branded gear at lower prices than through the retail stores. What gear will my daughter receive? Standard for every team is: 2 jerseys, 2 practice shirts, 1 pair of spandex, 1 pair of shoes, 1 warm-up jacket, 1 pair of warm-up pants and 1 backpack - all through our Adidas partnership. Adidas is the official sponsor of the USA Volleyball National Team and the premier volleyball brand in the world. Players are required to bring all issued gear with them to tournaments. Players must wear Adidas or Valley Volleyball Academy gear at tournaments and practices.