Rules & Regulations
HOA Sanctioned Events
HOA & USA Volleyball provide a structure for Junior Volleyball Competition.
There are two separate seasons for competition, an indoor season and an outdoor season.
Events that are sanctioned by HOA have to meet standard requirements, like Impact and SafeSport certified and background screened coaches. Tournament directors have to follow certain procedures that help to ensure quality events.
Clubs are either an indoor or an outdoor club. An outdoor club can be run by the same administration as an indoor club. The same name can be used for the outdoor club as for the indoor club with the distinction “beach”, “outdoor” or “sand”. For administrative purposes the clubs will be considered separate clubs.
Players are not bound to an indoor club and may play with any outdoor club during the sanctioned season. The exception is that players that are on the roster of a team that is going to the indoor junior National Championships, need a release from the indoor club in order to participate with an outdoor club.
The indoor season runs from November 1 until August 31
During this time frame, the following activities are sanctioned by HOA:
1. Scheduled practices by an HOA approved club. Participants are all members of that club and registered with HOA. At all times during a practice there is an Impact and SafeSport certified, registered and background screened adult coach present. All participating adults have to be registered and background screened.
2. Scrimmages between 2 fully registered and approved HOA teams during the indoor season as defined above. An IMPACT and SafeSport certified and HOA registered and background screened adult coach has to be present at all times during the scrimmage.
3. All tournaments that are posted on the HOA tournament calendar.
4. Tryouts posted on the HOA website that are held in the period of Mid-July or late October till December 31
5. Open gyms, posted on the HOA website
6. All other events that are explicitly sanctioned, in writing, by the HOA office. Typically all sanctioned events are posted on the HOA website.
The Outdoor Season runs from May 1 till August 31
During this time frame, the following activities are sanctioned by HOA:
1. Scheduled practices by an HOA approved club. Participants are all members of the club and registered with HOA. At all times of a practice there is an Impact certified, registered and background screened adult coach present. All participating adults have to be registered and background screened.
2. All tournaments and leagues that are posted on the HOA tournament calendar.
3. All other events that are explicitly sanctioned, in writing, by the HOA office. Typically all sanctioned events are posted on the HOA website.
Any other events, clinics, camps, tryouts, open gyms, private lessons etc. that are organized by HOA affiliated clubs, groups or individuals are outside the scope and regulations of Heart of America Volleyball. These events are not sanctioned, regulated nor covered by insurance by Heart of America Volleyball or USA Volleyball.
Open Gym Policies:
Open Gyms are allowed so players, after their school season is over, can retain their volleyball skills for HOA tryouts. Here are approved additions to the current HOA policy for Open Gyms:
- Only registered HOA members are allowed to participate in Open Gyms. All participants will need proof of their membership by bringing their individual membership card to the open gym. Clubs/facility managers will need to check the membership cards.
- Coaches shall be facilitators only. There shall be no individual or group instruction. Coaches may set up drills or controlled scrimmage situations.
- Players attending Open Gym shall be afforded similar playing time.
- Players are not to be divided into skill levels, only into general age groups.
- Parents should be allowed to watch, unless space prevents.
- The maximum fee charged to players is $10.
- The maximum length of an open gym is 2 hours.
- Notification to HOA: Clubs need to notify HOA in writing their intend to have sanctioned tryouts. No tryouts will be sanctioned and posted unless the club rep is a registered HOA member (all forms, fees need to be submitted and background screen completed).
- Clubs must post and announce at the beginning of all tryouts (i.e., the day of tryouts) the number of playing spots open for tryouts for each age division.
- Length and times of Tryouts: Sanctioned tryouts are limited to a maximum of 3 hours.
- Club Information Needed for Tryouts: Regardless of whether your club has one team or several teams, as much information as possible should be provided about your club to all prospective players. This should include a statement of the club mission, philosophy and any pertinent policies. Clubs are asked to include notification of applicable club fees within an approximate (+/-) $150 to all prospective players as part of their tryout schedule.
- Tryout Fees: Clubs may not charge more than $15 per participant for tryouts.
General Eligibility Information for membership
Heart of America Region USA Volleyball membership is not automatic. The region may NOT grant membership to individuals / clubs that have been convicted of a felony, or have outstanding sanctions imposed by this or other regions of USAV. Membership may be terminated if the above conditions are found to exist. Parties with the above conditions may apply for membership by including a complete written statement of the situation and reasons for acceptance. All such applications will be handled according to the appeals process.
- All sanctioned tournaments in the Heart of America Region will be conducted under the player and club/team eligibility rules as printed in the USAV Guide. (See USAV Definitions and Requirements: II. Player and Club/team Eligibility).
- In order to be considered a registered player in the Heart of America Region, the Region office must have received all fees and the online registration must be completed.
- The Heart of America region sponsors sanctioned events all year long. A person must be a currently registered member of USAV to participate in a sanctioned event.
- A junior player may register and play on one and only one club/team during the USAV season. EXCEPTIONS: See DUAL REGISTRATION and PLAYER TRANSFERS TO ANOTHER CLUB/TEAM (see below).
- All adult participants involved with junior competition (coaches, parent members, tournament directors, officials etc.) must have passed a USA Volleyball background screen and be SafeSport certified.
- All junior coaches have to be IMPACT or CAP certified, have current SafeSport certification and have completed mandated officiating clinics.
- To be an official coach for junior competition, you have to be 18 years of age. A registered and approved adult coach has to be present at any HOA sanctioned activity, including practices.
A Junior player may not be registered with, or represent more than one junior club at any time, with the exception of a junior player, who is 18 years of age and coaches for a different club than the 18 and under team he/she plays for. A Junior player is allowed to be a Student Assistant for another club than he/she is registered with.
Adults may be a member of more than one club (coach for more than one Junior club or play on an adult team and coach a Junior team, etc.). Only one registration is required.
Age requirements for developmental players who play on Select teams may be waived to play with other players in their own grade. For example: a player who misses the July cutoff date for the 14 and under age division by less than a year, but who is still in the 8th grade, can compete on a 14 and under Select level team, but not on a 14 and under Premier level team.
All Premier level competition is dictated by national eligibility rules as the Premier division is intended for teams that try to qualify for the Junior National Championships. Teams with age waived players cannot play in Premier level competition.
HOA Recruiting Policy
Player Transfer to Another Club
In some circumstances it may be in everybody’s interest for a player to transfer from one club to another. To make a formal transfer, the following is required:
- A release from the club director of the club the player is leaving
- An acceptance from the club director of the club the player is moving to
- A note from the parents of the player, agreeing to the transfer
- A ten ($10) dollar transfer fee
Once all notes and fees have been received by the HOA office, the transfer will be considered. All notes can be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under National USA Volleyball rules, players can only play in National Qualifying events for one club. The HOA Powerleague and the Premier Regional Championships are National Qualifying events. If a player has played in the Powerleague for a club, they no longer can play in a National Qualifier or in the Premier Regional Championships for another club.
Borrowing Players from other teams
Within a club, teams can borrow players from (a) same level, or (b) lower level, or (c) younger teams to complete their roster.(for example: a 14 Premier team can either borrow players from another 14 Premier team, from a 14 Select team or from any 13’s, 12’s, 11′ s team from within the club).
Select level teams cannot borrow players from Premier level teams in the same age divisions.
Players who are on the roster of an older team, but still meet the age requirements for a younger team, can NOT play for a younger team (for example; a 13 year old player who is registered with a 15 year old team, cannot play with a 13’s or 14’s team within that club.
No junior players can be borrowed from other clubs!
A club may enter more than one team in a tournament, but an individual player may compete (play) for only one of the teams in that tournament. This even applies if different divisions of the event are played on different dates (for example, a player cannot play in for a 15’s team and for a 16’s team in the Powerleague, even if the playing dates do not overlap).
Once a female junior player has participated in a GJNC qualifying event (Regional or National), she may not be on the Official Roster of, or participate in, another GJNC qualifying or championship event with a different club. (Regional GJNC qualifying events are Powerleague and Premier Region Championships)
Violation of these rules will result in forfeiture of all matches in a tournament in which an illegal player was put on the roster/played and possible further sanctions.
All USAV Junior Coaches must be IMPACT or CAP certified. IMPACT clinics are all done online. All Junior Coaches are required to have a current SafeSport certification. Coaches will also have to meet all HOA Officiating requirements.
Junior teams cannot compete in the Junior Regional Championships (Select and Premier) in any other division than their assigned level. A Select level team cannot compete in the Premier Regional Championships. No team can play on an older age division in these events.
In tournaments other than the Regional Championships and the HOA region Powerleagues, teams are allowed to register in a higher age division or level, with the following exceptions:
- Teams who use an age waiver for any of their players cannot play in Premier tournaments in the same age division, even without the age-waived player.
- Premier level teams cannot play in Select level tournaments, one age up (a 14 Premier team cannot play in a 15 Select tournament, they can register for a 15 Premier or 16 Select level tournament).
Premier level tournaments require that 2 out of 3 teams in the tournament are Premier level teams in the correct age division.
Up till March 1, club directors can request a change of level between Premier and Select for a team. The HOA director will decide if the results warrants honoring the request.
A Junior team may play in an adult division BUT be advised that if they do, they must play by the rules of the adult competition (ie., the junior team must supply adult certified referees and scorekeepers).
Male Junior Players
With restrictions, Boys teams up to 14 and under can compete in girl’s tournaments in Combined and Select level events, since there are not enough boy’s teams in the HOA region to provide a separated competition. Male players up to 14 and under can play on Female teams in regional competition only (Combined and Select level events).
- Boys up to 12 and under can play on girl’s teams in Select and Combined tournaments in their own age divisions (a 12 and under boy can play on a 12 and under girls Select level team). Boys teams 12 and younger can play in Select and Combined girl’s tournaments in their own age group.
- Boys 13 and 14 and under can play on a girl’s team, but have to play up one age division. A 14 and under age boy, can play on a 15 Select girl’s team. Boy’s teams 13 and 14 and under are eligible to play in girl’s Select tournaments, but have to play up one age division.
- Boys teams 15 and over, or individual male player that no longer qualify for the 14 and under age group cannot participate in girl’s competition.
Tournament Entry and Withdrawal
Team representatives are responsible for insuring that their team is in the tournament. If you are not on a schedule, or have received other notification from the tournament director, do not assume that you are entered. Do not just show up on the tournament date.
Teams failing to appear on the tournament date, regardless of reason, shall forfeit all entry fees. (Inclement weather is not a valid reason for failure to appear)
For a team to receive a refund of the tournament entry fee, after being accepted into a tournament, the team will have to provide at least three weeks written notice to the tournament director. The written notice has to be received by the tournament director no later than noon on the Friday three weeks prior to the tournament.
If a tournament director places a team in a different division than the team signed up for, the team need to be notified. The team will have the right to withdraw from the tournament and the tournament entry fee refunded.
Tournament Officiating Responsibility
In the age groups 10 thru 14, the Head or Assistant Coach will have to be the Up official for his/her team. This applies to all matches in which a team is assigned officiating duties and no paid official is provided.
In the age groups 15 thru 18, the Head or Assistant Coach will either be the R1, the R2 or the active Scorer.
All HOA coaches, student assistants and parent reps will be issued credentials for the season
- The only adults that can be on the bench during competition are wearing their green coaches credentials.
- The only parents that can help with the scorekeeping and check balls are wearing their red parent membership credentials
- Junior Assistants are older age kids that help out with younger teams. They cannot be official coaches and cannot be the up-official for the age groups 14 and below. They are allowed to be on the bench if they are on the roster and wear the proper (blue) credentials.
Tournament Rules of Play
Tournament play shall be governed by the rules as prescribed in the USAV Domestic Competition Regulations. Exceptions for Select and Combined level tournaments only:
- Select level teams are allowed to play with age waivers
- Teams are allowed to play with 5 players. A “ghost” player will be used in the line up
- Boys teams or individual players in the age groups 14 and below are allowed in girls competition under certain conditions.
- Age groups 12 and younger will use a step-in-line for serving. The step-in line will be 6’6” from the end line.
In single day HOA sanctioned tournaments, no tie-breaking sets will be played unless all tie-breakers are exhausted and no conclusion has been reached. Teams will be eliminated on points from continuing to playoffs if needed.
Penalty for illegal uniform
A 5-point penalty per set shall be assessed against a team playing in illegal uniforms, regardless of the number of illegal uniforms on the court. This penalty will be applied for every set in which illegal uniforms are used. The officiating team shall assess the penalty automatically and any appeal will be made to the tournament director. This rule will be enforced at all sanctioned tournaments within the Heart of America Region, including the Regional Championships.
Single days tournaments on Sundays are limited to a maximum of 4 teams per court. Saturday tournament may have up to 5 teams per court.
All tournament directors need to be fully registered and background screen. All tournament directors have to complete an online training every year.
If a tournament director runs multiple sites, every site needs to have a site manager who is fully registered, SafeSport certified and background screened.
Tournament directors and site managers are not allowed to coach a team that participates in the tournament.
Tournament directors are required to enter all tournament results, after completion of the event, in the HOA Online tournament system.
Unless special permission is received, before the event, in writing from HOA, teams must be guaranteed a minimum of eight (8) sets to twenty-one (21) points in a one day tournament.
No tournament may charge an admission fee without prior written approval from the Heart of America office. Only very special conditions will warrant such an approval (like an event in which all proceeds go to a charity).
The losing team from a playoff match will officiate the next playoff match. Teams that are eliminated from Play-off competition, cannot be assigned to officiate play-off matches.
The warm up procedure to be followed for all HOA sanctioned tournament is 2 minutes shared ball handling, each team on one side of the net. After that, there will be 4 minutes court time for the serving team, followed by 4 minutes court time for the receiving team. The 10 minutes warm up time starts immediately after the teams from the previous match have shaken hands.
Combined Level Tournaments
Combined tournaments are not allowed in the following counties:
Missouri: Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray.
Kansas: Atchison, Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Osage, Shawnee, Wyandotte.
Possession of Alcohol or Illegal Drugs by Club/Team Members
Any player or persons affiliated with a team, discovered with any alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs within a tournament facility, will be immediately disqualified for the remainder of that tournament.
Heart of America Volleyball does not allow the use of E-cigarettes inside facilities that are used for HOA competitions. Since it can be hard to distinguish certain models of e-cigarettes from regular cigarettes and the health impact of e-cigarettes is not clear at this point in time, we think that people need to use these devices outside or in designated smoking areas if available.