The Arizona Region adds clubs each year. Currently we have 11 boys clubs and 77 girls clubs that range in size from one to thirty teams. The clubs are located across the state from the Four Corners area to Yuma with the majority (approx 80%) of them located in the Phoenix metro area. There is a club out there that is right for your son/daughter it is just a matter of finding out which one that is. Before you attend any tryouts, you should do a little homework and find out about several clubs and ask lots of questions. The Region Staff cannot recommend a club for you - nor should we because we don't know everything about each club. Listed below are some questions to think about when shopping for a club.
What age Division am I in?
USA Volleyball has strict guidelines concerning age. Click the Age Definitions link, plug in your birth date and it will tell you what age division you must play in.
Length of Season
The USA Volleyball annual membership begins on Sept 1 and ends Aug 31. Girls tryouts may begin Nov 1st for 14's and younger and the Saturday following the last HS State Championship match in November. Typically the clubs will start practicing soon after their tryouts are complete to prepare for the tournament season.
Girls Tournaments start in January and end in May in the Arizona Region. Season ending tournaments or Junior Nationals will take place in June or July for those teams that extend their season beyond the Arizona Region tournaments.
Questions to ask yourself and prospective clubs -
Know what YOUR philosophy is . . . . what do you want from a club during this season?
Are you determined to attend Nationals? Persistent for a club to help you get a scholarship? Are you looking to get better for high school? Are you wanting to play with your friends on a team? You need to know what you are looking for.
Ask the Club what THEIR philosophy is. Playing time, travel team, non-travel teams
How much do tryouts cost? Do I have to pay for each tryout or does one fee cover all tryout sessions?
How much is due up front once I commit to the club?
How is it paid - monthly payments, 1 or 2 installments?
Are travel expenses included in the payments or are they separate?
Are Nationals or Post-season included? If not, when is that due? Is that refundable if the team does not make it to Post-Season play?
What if my son/daughter gets hurt during the season?
Is Fundraising available to offset the cost?
What player equipment is covered in the cost? shoes? kneepads? socks? jerseys? warm ups? bags?
Members on the team
How many players are kept on the team?
Is playing time guarantee
When will the final roster for each team be determined?
determined If the coach and/or team is not consistent with what our family was told before we signed the contract, will we be granted a refund and allowed to go to a different club?
Level of Commitment
Many players are active in other sports or activities. Try to have a feel for what your schedule might be like in your other activities so you will know if there are any or many conflicts. Always check with the club to see what is tolerated.
Very Cooperative - they will work around anything and everything
Cooperative within reason - there are a few instances that the club may excuse your for being late or absent.
Full Commitment - some clubs expect some or all of their teams to put club volleyball first. They expect you at every practice and every tournament.
How many practices per week? Will this number change preceding a tournament?
How long is each practice?
Where are the practices located?
How many tournaments are played in each month?
How many are in-state tournaments?
How many are out-of-state tournaments?
How many "travel" tournaments will the team be attending? Travel most likely means out of state or multi-day tournaments in another part of the state where overnight stay is required
How are travel arrangements handled?
Does the club offer parent travel?
How many coaches are staffed per team?
What are their qualifications?
How does the club communicate with the Parents/Members? Do they have a web site? Monthly meetings? Newsletters? Handbook?
What is the chain of command should my child have an issue? Many clubs want the child to talk to the coach before the parent gets involved. This develops the maturity of the child in dealing with their coaches or teachers.
Club/Team outings throughout the year?
Clinics/camps throughout the year?
College Recruiting help?
Have their own facility?
Attend the AZ Region Club Night or Club Parent Meeting
These meetings allow the club to present to you what they are all about. It can also give you the opportunity to meet the club director and possibly your son/daughter's potential coach. Here is where you want to ask lots of questions. Some clubs hold meetings before any of their tryouts, some will hold meetings for the parents during the tryouts. If you still have questions, please email or call the directors. They should be happy to answer your questions.
The AZ Region will be hosting a Club Volleyball Night at UA on Friday, Oct 1st, ASU on Friday, Oct 29th and at NAU on Saturday, Oct 30th. Clubs will be given the opportunity to talk to potential players prior to the women's volleyball match. The clubs will be available an hour before the match start time.
Committing to a Club
The AZ Region and USA Volleyball considers a commitment to a club for the entire season. That means that you cannot change clubs in mid season.
The business relationship between a club and a player is outside the purview of the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball. Each club is an independent business whose oversight is outside the Arizona Region. Financial issues between a player and club are to be handled as any other business arrangement - in the Courts. The Arizona Region cannot legally enter into this business arrangement. The Arizona Region does have some regulation as to what clubs can do but not in regards to their business operations with their players.
Please do your homework before committing to a club.
Know the Rules
No club director, coach, parent representative may contact a player or their parents a minimum of 8 hours prior to and the duration of a school practice, match or tournament. They are to leave the parents and players alone so that they can concentrate on their school event until after the event is over. Regarding tournaments, that means the entire tournament - not just the play for the day.
No club may ask anyone to commit to their club before the start dates of the club season - Aug 1st for boys and Nov 1st for 12 - 14's and Nov 21st for 15's and older girls. Anyone signing any commitment prior to those dates may be sanctioned for the current season - including but not limited to suspension for the entire year. Verbal commitments are not binding before the start dates either.
Do not sign a commitment to a club that is longer than one season in duration. USA Volleyball releases all players from their club after the last day of the Junior National Championships each year
Club and/or high school coaches do not all know or understand the rules and regulations of teh Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) that governs high school sports in Arizona nor the NCAA which governs collegiate sports in the US. They may offer advice that could jeopardize eligibility for further participation in high school or collegiate volleyball teams. Know the recruiting and participaton rules of these two very important organizations to avoid any situations
Summary No matter if a club has been around for 20 years or just 2 years. . . .no matter if they have 20 teams or just one,there are quality clubs throughout the Region and they all have something to offer. You need to take the time to investigate several clubs to find the right club for your son/daughter.
Discount the badmouthing of one club by another. If one club has to badmouth another club to convince you to join their club, what does that tell you about that club? Is that the type of people that you want to deal with all season?
Beware of clubs promising starting positions, college scholarships or other flattering come-on's. All players in the 12's & 14's 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.