Frequently Asked Questions
What is club volleyball?
Junior Olympic (JO) volleyball or "club volleyball" offers athletes the opportunity to continue playing volleyball after their regular school volleyball seasons are over. Minneapolis VIBE currently offers participation in club volleyball for girls from age 10 (or possibly younger) to 18 to play in competitive tournaments and get advanced training. Most JO club seasons run from November or December until April. A few clubs continue training with their top teams until the National Championships, which are held in June. Club volleyball provides additional training, knowledge, and tournament play. Players will be placed on a team based on their age and skill level. Teams are entered into tournaments based on their age group divisions (18's, 17's, 16's, 15's, 14's, 13's & 12's). This allows teams to compete against other teams in their same age group. Each player has a different experience as a club member, and some players have greater success over the course of the season than others. Players who put more effort into the program tend to get more out of it.
The following are some of the benefits of club volleyball:
INCREASED FITNESS & SKILLS IMPROVEMENT
If you put in the effort, you will get better! It takes hard work and dedication to become a great volleyball player. During a typical practice or training session, players should experience periods of increased heart rates and moderate muscle fatigue. This is normal, as volleyball is a fast-paced, physically-demanding sport that requires excellent cardiovascular health and physical fitness in order to perform at a high level. Every serve, pass, set, hit, dig and block that you attempt during practice improves your skills and makes you better during competition.
Bringing players together from different schools with similar goals and skill sets helps to promote new friendships. The relationships that have been formed through practice and team play can become friendships that last a lifetime.
EXPOSURE TO COLLEGE RECRUITERS
College coaches regularly attend JO tournaments. The majority of colleges now recruit directly from club programs instead of high school programs. Collegiate volleyball coaches are more likely to see a player during the club season than the high school season for the simple reason that the college and high school volleyball seasons occur at the same time, so the collegiate coaches are busy with their own programs and teams. Last year, over 98% of the high school girls from Georgia and South Carolina that received college scholarships played club volleyball because they knew they needed more practice and competition than the short high school season offered. In fact, many players now view their middle school or high school seasons as a warm-up for their "real" season. Remember, if you want to play in college, plan to play club!
JO tournaments are where the athletes showcase their skills that have been sharpened during practices and clinics. The majority of a player's improvement occurs during practice where physical instruction and skills training lead to greater performance during competition. Tournament play is where the players learn to become a stronger team by using their skills to work together and communicate with each other, and it's where many favorable memories are made. JO tournaments are usually far more competitive and more physically demanding than high school matches.
Why play club volleyball?
It is our firm belief that enrolling your daughter in club volleyball will give her the edge she needs to succeed in volleyball in the future. The sport of volleyball is growing in popularity and expanding in number of players each year. If your daughter is planning on playing volleyball in college or thinks that she might like to play volleyball at the collegiate level, then it is imperative that she plays club now. We cannot stress this enough! Even if she can only play for one season, that alone will improve her game tremendously. So successful are club programs in improving players' abilities that most college coaches recruit exclusively from the JO program ranks. The fact is that if you plan to play in college, playing club volleyball is a MUST!
We find that most players fall into one of several goal categories. For the very young or beginners, their goals are to learn more about the sport, improve their skill level, and get some playing time in tournaments. For others, they want to continue beyond their high school season by a few more months because they want to keep improving their skills before the next high school season. They may want to be selected for a higher team, or challenge other players on their school team for more playing time during the next high school season. And for a few players, it will be the exposure needed to compete for future college team placement opportunities.
Today, you will find that nearly all athletes who play in college participated in club volleyball during high school. All participants enjoy competitive tournament play. Many successful high school coaches are encouraging their athletes to play club volleyball for the experience, instruction, and additional training time. Also, where you find successful high school programs, you will find players who participate in club volleyball. But is JO volleyball only for the college-bound athlete? Certainly not! For most players, JO volleyball is simply another fun, challenging experience that should lead to more enjoyment and success on the court as playing skills improve. Many players find that the club season is “their volleyball season” due to the fact that they may experience little playing time during their high school season and find that tournament play is very rewarding. Your daughter might be the best player at her school. If that's true, then that's great. Unfortunately, that may mean that she always plays with and against other players that are not as good, so she may never be challenged or, even worse, play at a level that is below her potential. If she plays club volleyball, she will be playing with girls that are equal to or better than her. This will push her and make her the best player she can be.
How long is the season?
Minneapolis VIBE’s season typically runs from late November to late April or early May, however, some other clubs/teams in the Twin Cities metro area are actively practicing and competing through the end of June.
When, where, and how often are practices?
The club director and coaches will determine team practice schedules for the season.
Team practices are held in various Minneapolis school gyms, however, each team will be in the same location for the entire season.
Teams practice 2 times per week, usually after 6:00 pm.
When and where are tournaments held?
Minneapolis VIBE registers its various teams into USAV and JVA sanctioned events. USAV (USA Volleyball) is composed of 40 "regions", and the North Country Region (NCR) is the upper Midwest chapter of USAV, which consists of clubs/teams from Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. JVA (Junior Volleyball Association) is a relatively new organization that focuses solely on youth and junior volleyball, and provides guidance and support for its member clubs and teams. Both organizations sanction tournaments and other competition events that are offered through their member clubs, and all competitions abide by USAV playing and participation rules.
We do our best to register our teams into tournaments located within the metro area, but since club volleyball is technically "traveling volleyball", there may be tournaments located farther out, but still usually within a 2-hour drive of the metro area (for example, Rochester or St. Cloud). If agreed upon in advance, coaches and teams may want to travel farther to be exposed to different regions and/or stronger competition (such as the "Diggin' in the Dells" tournament, located in the Wisconsin Dells resort). The club will pay for lodging for players and coaches for any regularly-scheduled two-day tournaments.
Depending on the age level, some teams will play in a "power league", which typically consists of 4 - 5 single-day competition events, and 3 - 4 full tournaments, while other teams will participate in 7 - 8 tournaments (which may be a combination of 1-day and 2-day tournaments) throughout the season.
How is team placement determined?
Another major concern for many players and parents is team placement. Since Minneapolis VIBE is a competitive JO club, our goal is to put together the strongest teams at each age group based on the skill level of the players at the time of tryouts. This means that players that may play together on the same school team may not be on the same club team if there is too much of a difference in their individual skills. And we will not place players together on the same team simply because they want to carpool together. If their skills differ too greatly, it wouldn't be fair for the rest of the team to be at a much higher level than the one or two players that are on the team just because they want to arrive and leave with their friends. Additionally, teams from previous years are not necessarily kept together - each year, every player's talent is re-evaluated since some players may have improved dramatically while others made little to no improvement (particularly if they'd suffered an injury that sidelined them for weeks or even months).
We adhere to the USAV age guidelines to determine the correct age group that each player will be trying-out for and competing in during the season. The guideline is based on the players' birth dates, not their grade in school. Because of this, there may be instances where a player has to join a team either in an age group older or younger than the grade she's currently enrolled in school. This circumstance is rare, but it does happen. If a player is particularly old for her grade, then she must play at an older age group - there is no exception that allows her to play at a younger age group; if she is very young for her grade, then she may have to play at a younger age group, unless her skill set is far superior to the rest of the younger age group - there is an exception for this situation.
The tryout process we use is very fair and accurate. Players are evaluated by multiple coaches as they are put through various drills designed to spotlight each individual skill. At the end of tryouts, the coaches will discuss with each other their notes and observations and the players are selected for placement on various teams. Starting with the top team in each age group, the players are notified of the team they've been placed on, and they are asked to commit to playing for the team/club. Players have the right to try-out at multiple clubs, but if they choose to pass-up the offer and take their chances at another club, VIBE will not hold the spot open for the player - we will move on to the next player, and the next, until the roster is filled for that team. If the player decides later to join VIBE, she will be placed on a lower team (assuming there is still room). Our ultimate goal is to make-up teams of players of equal skill levels. There are multiple reasons for this:
It is easier for the coaches to train the team and keep both the drill difficulty and pace the same for the entire team as opposed to having to modify drills one way or another, depending on if the coach has to cater to a more advanced player or a lesser-skilled player on the team.
Higher-skilled players won't have to feel frustrated with lesser-skilled players, and lesser-skilled players will not feel as self-conscious about their skill level if they are placed on teams according to their abilities.
There is greater bonding among a team of players with relatively the same skill levels because they typically have the same goals since they are more likely to be at the same level with one another on their respective high school teams.
There will inevitably be players who are on the border between being placed on a higher or lower team within the same age group. If a player is a number 7, 8, or 9 player on the team, they could be the number 1, 2, or 3 player on the next team. There are advantages to playing on a lower team, more playing time, being one of the top players verses the lower players, self-esteem, etc.
Will I play the same position that I played in school?
Most likely, but not always. While we try to place players in their preferred positions, we may have to move and train a player to play a different position than they played in school. This may happen due to a shortage of players at a specific position. The needs of the team come before the needs of the player if the goal is to have a successful season. This also allows the player to become more versatile, and can provide more options for the next high school season. On our top teams, you must be willing to play any position the coach deems necessary.
How much does it cost to play for Minneapolis VIBE?
At Minneapolis VIBE, we believe in offering a quality experience at a reasonable price. For the 2019-2020 season, participation fees will be $1,500.
What do our fees pay for?
Your participation fees cover all registration fees for competition events, gym/court rental for practices, membership with USAV, coaching and training, uniforms (2 jerseys), warm-ups, backpack, player lodging (for an regularly-scheduled 2-day tournaments), and other training equipment that may be needed.
What is Minneapolis VIBE?
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) Junior Olympic volleyball organization based in Minneapolis, MN, dedicated to the growth of youth volleyball in and around the Minneapolis area. Our club is a registered member of USA Volleyball, and as such, we follow all USAV rules and regulations pertaining to youth volleyball to ensure a safe and positive experience. We are also able to participate in any sanctioned local, state and national competitions. VIBE is an acronym for "Volleyball with Integrity Brings Excellence", and we make every effort to train and treat our players with decency and fairness so that they can practice and compete with confidence and team unity for positive outcomes. We have three primary goals:
To train and develop youth athletes between the ages of 10 and 18 with quality instruction, equipment and facilities, in order to play and compete at the highest levels possible.
To instill positive personal and professional characteristics in our players that will stay with them long after their middle school, high school, or collegiate playing careers have ended. Traits such as self-confidence, respect for others, inclusiveness, leadership, support, and openness to other viewpoints and ideas are all important qualities that we believe will help today's adolescents become outstanding adults in the future.
To increase the athletes' knowledge and love for this great sport. As athletes become more proficient in their individual and team skills, they become a more unified group, have greater success on (and off) the court, and ultimately have more fun!