Finding a Club for your Son or Daughter:
Following is some information on area Volleyball clubs and the process to find a club for your son or daughter
What is Heart of America Volleyball:The Heart of America Region of USA Volleyball provides a platform for competition. Clubs and players inform us through the registration process who is playing for which club/team. Once club information is received and certain conditions are met, teams are approved by HOA for competition. It requires a release from the club for a player to transfer to another club in the same season. At the end of the season, all players are free to join other clubs for the next season. In order to have good competition, we need to have stable teams.
Information for the 2016-17 season:We have asked the clubs to start submitting some basic information about their plans for the upcoming season. This way, clubs that are new for the upcoming season, also have a way to present themselves.
The Registration Process:
Registration for the new season will start in September. Individuals can start registering on September 1, but nobody will be able to select a club until September 10. There is no reason for Junior players to start registering before that date. Clubs need a few days to be able to get their clubs set up and approved after September 1. From September 10 on , players can select their club for the 2015-16 season. Once a player has selected a club, the club will then be able to put that player on the roster of a team. The player is then officially committed to that club. All rosters, complete or not, will be available from the HOA website after September 10th and will be public.
The club selection process locks you in the for the season, unless a formal transfer takes place. A transfer requires a written release from the club you selected. Do NOT select a club in the online registration system unless you want to commit to that club. It is permissible to leave the club selection choice as “undecided” until you have made a final decision. If the club you intend to play for isn’t in the system, they may not have finished the application process yet. You can come back later to select the club once it is registered with HOA.
At the end of the season and during the summer months all players are free to join other clubs for the next season.
Club activities that are not regulated by HOA:
Many clubs will offer a variety of programs, especially in the summer months including private lessons, clinics, tryouts, open gyms, open houses and camps. These activities are not regulated nor endorsed by Heart of America Volleyball.
HOA will offer the clubs the opportunity to run Open Gyms and Tryouts in October and November that are regulated and will be posted on the HOA website.
Junior volleyball divisions are based on age. The cutoff date is September 1. For national level competition (Gold level teams) there are no exceptions to the age rule. HOA allows certain players to compete as wavered players in the lower age group with their classmates if they are in the lower grade. Waivered players and teams may only compete in Regional (non-gold) competition.
High School and Collegiate Rules:
Keep in mind that High School Activities Associations and Intercollegiate Athletic Associations (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA etc.) have rules that can affect eligibility to compete for these organizations. It is the responsibility of the parents and the clubs to be familiar with these rules and to stay in compliance.
Kansas State High School Activities Association
Missouri State High School Activities Association
Agreements between players and clubs:
HOA is not a party to any of the agreements between players and clubs. We do not determine the fee structure of the clubs. We do not tell players which clubs to join. We do not tell clubs what they must offer or at what cost. We do not collect fees for the clubs. We do not interfere if players decide to quit and want a refund. The team forming and recruitment of players is an ongoing process that happens year-round.
Fees for clubs in the Heart of America Region are roughly anywhere between $200 and $3,000. What is included in these fees differs from club to club. Some of the fees are all-inclusive, other clubs will add cost for coaches’ travel, uniforms and various other expenses to the fees. Make sure to check up front what is included with the club fee.
Early Signing and Deposits
Some clubs will give you a very short time to decide whether to join them or not. Do not get pushed into signing an agreement that you are not comfortable with. Compare it to buying a car: the dealer will tell you that you have to decide now, because the car you are looking at may be gone by tomorrow. You will need to make a decision to accept or hold off on it and check out other options.
Clubs that are very pushy about signing early agreements, may not be a good situation for your son or daughter. If they apply a lot of pressure now, think about how they may treat you during the season! Take your time and look around.
Make sure you read all details before you sign any agreement. It is probably wise to make sure you have copies of any agreement. Some clubs will also ask for a deposit with the agreements. We do not recommend you pay a deposit, especially early on however if the club requires one you may have to make a choice to secure a spot for your child.
If you do pay a deposit, anticipate that you will lose it if you change your mind to join a different club. In actuality, early agreements are non-binding per HOA and players are still free to explore other club opportunities. No player is bound to a club for HOA competition until they officially commit on-line after September 10th.
Some of the Questions to ask clubs you are interested in:
What is the goal of the club? Is it “competitive”, “recreational” or “developmental”?
Costs/fees for Participation:
• What is the projected fee?
• What does the fee cover? (gym costs, coach stipends, club dues, USAV registration, uniform costs, Etc)
• If the team travels to out of town tournaments (Qualifiers or other National level tournaments) who covers the costs of the coaches’ expenses, traveling costs, hotel rooms?
• Are there any other additional costs (additional tournaments, travel fees, clothing/merchandise) and do fees have to be paid up front? Is there a payment plan?
• How many practices per week? What is the length of the practice? What times are reserved for practice?
• Will my practice schedule change or will it remain the same throughout the season?
• What happens if I miss a practice-possibly due to participation in other sports…sickness…religious events?
• Are practices held during major holidays…if so what days and times?
Length of Season:
• When does the season start and end?
• When can I expect to start tournament play?
• Will the team participate in local, regional or national level tournaments…how many tournaments?
• Will the team participate in “convention center” events and other 2 or 3 day events (MLK Tournament, Silver Heart, Gold Heart, Power League, Regionals)? What is the expectation in regards to hotel choices and travel?
• Will the team participate in Jr. National Qualifiers or other end of Season Tournaments (USAV sanctioned events in May/June)
Other Important Questions to ask prior to committing to a club:
• How many players will be on the team….how many spots on the team have been filled?
• What is the policy on playing time (equal, mandatory, performance only, play to win)?
• Will players/and or parents be expected to participate in fundraisers?
• What does the club expect in terms of time commitment and participation in other sports
• Who is the coach of my team and what are their credentials/ and or experience?
2nd or 3rd teams in a club
The concept of being on a number 1 team in a club is over-rated. Many 2 or 3 teams within the club structure are stronger than the number 1 teams from other clubs. What matters is the level of coaching, amount of practice and the skill level of the players on a team; not the number that is assigned for administrative purposes.
Gold versus Silver:
Clubs decide which teams are Gold or Silver levels. Do not overestimate the value of a “gold” level team. The top teams in the gold division are stronger than the Silver level teams, but the teams in the bottom third of the gold divisions tend to be weaker than the top teams in the Silver level divisions. In the HOA ranking system you can directly compare the ranking value of Gold and Silver level teams. For example, in the 14 Silver division, the top teams have a value of around 120, which would rank them around the 20th place in the gold division out of 50+ teams. It is often a better experience to be on a good Silver level team that wins a lot of matches over a Gold level team that is losing a lot. There is something for everyone in club volleyball and the vast majority of HOA teams register as Silver.
Club volleyball is typical played in tournament formats. Single day tournaments typically start play at 8 am and are done around 4-5 pm for Sunday tournaments and 6-7 pm for Saturday events. Teams will start with pool play and the top 2 or 3 finishers will go to single elimination playoffs. If your team is eliminated after pool play, you may be done around 2-3 pm for the day.
3-day tournaments are usually played in waves, in which teams play the first 2 days either from 8 am till about 3 pm or from about 2 pm till 10 pm. Third day is typically single elimination. For 2 day events several formats are possible, but usually teams are pretty full days in the gym.
At the multiple day events, usually up-officials are provided and the teams will have to fulfill the other officiating duties (keep score, down ref, line judge etc.). For most one day tournaments the teams will also provide the up-official.