Competitive Volleyball

So, your daughter wants to play volleyball for her middle or high school…or, she may to play “club” or “travel.”

What does that even mean?

Like any other sport, there are levels of competition and there is a spot for almost anyone. Some come with a nominal investment of time and money; others have you crossing the country every week or two. If you go down this road, you’ll want to sit down and discuss what works best for your family (because IT IS a family commitment).

Middle and High School

If your daughter want to play for a middle school team, rest assured in most instances tryouts, practices and games are relatively painless and it isn’t overly expensive.

  • Uniforms are typically provided by the school; you may want to invest in volleyball shoes and spandex, but it typically isn’t required at this level.
  • Practices are typically right after school; normally everyday with the exception of game days.
  • Games are after school – maybe 2-3 hours after the end of the school day. Transportation to and from away games is provided by the school.

High school may be a bit more competitive. If you live in a local district or state where volleyball is popular, your daughter may be competing with girls and young women who play travel. Making a freshman team might even prove difficult.

Most schools offer a junior varsity (JV) and varsity team, but some schools also offer freshman teams. Tips to keep in mind:

  • School volleyball is a fall sport;  in most areas of the United States, school volleyball doesn’t overlap with club/travel.
  • Much like other fall school sports, tryouts may take place weeks before school starts. Once teams are formed, practice will start immediately – every day until scrimmages and games begin.
  • School teams are much bigger than club/travel teams. Skill, athleticism and attitude can dictate playing time. Some players may not see much playing time depending on these factors and the level of competition with the opposing team.

And then, there’s Club or Travel Volleyball...  Short of the Olympics, club volleyball is at the top of the heap for many girls and young women who play this exciting sport.