Travel Team FAQs
Practices are held at RVC-Byrdhill or RVC-Stonebridge. It will depend upon your team and coaching assignment as to where you will practice, but most teams will have practices held at both locations.
The National, Zonal, Regional and Metro teams begin training in early December with teams beginning tournament competition in January. The City teams will begin practicing in January with tournament competition beginning in February. The City season will typically conclude the last weekend of April/ first weekend in May. Regional and Metro will conclude Memorial Day weekend. Zonal teams have the option to conclude their season at AAU National Championships in mid/late June.
Boys National teams compete through USA Junior National Volleyball Championships in late June or early July.
The Zonal and National level teams will practice 2-3 times a week. The Metro and Regional level teams will practice 2 times a week. The City level teams will practice 1-2 times a week. Generally, each practice session will last for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The earliest practice start time is 4:30 pm and the latest practice start time is 8:00 pm.
The specific practice time will depend upon the availability of the coach and the courts.
Tournaments USUALLY occur about 2 times a month on Saturdays. Tournaments are decided upon by the coach and will vary team by team.
No. It should be a mutual decision among the parents, the child and the coach. If your child is selected to play on a higher-level travel team, and you don’t wish to make the time and financial commitment, you can elect to have your child play on a lower-level team (with less time and financial commitments) that may be a better fit.
If a player is interested in trying out for a team one age group higher than their age group, they must meet one of the eligibility requirements below. In addition, the player is required to attend all sessions of both age groups. See RVC Juniors Tryout Schedule for dates, times and locations. National teams are selected first, followed by Zonal teams, State/Metro (where applicable), Regional and City teams.
A player may try out for a team one age group higher than their playing age only if ONE of the following conditions is met:
- The player is presently involved in the USAV National Team pipeline (USAV Select Age Camp, Youth National Team, Junior National Team, Continental Team, etc.), OR
- The player participated on the top team of the age group higher than his or her playing age the year before, OR
- The travel team level desired by the player is not offered at their playing age.
The above conditions allow for the opportunity to try out for a higher age group. It does not guarantee acceptance to the higher age group nor is it implied that you will always be allowed to try out/play in a higher age group.
Players may not participate on a team two age groups higher than their playing age.
Solely at the discretion of RVC, players may be asked to play up one age group in certain situations if their experience allows. For example, RVC may request players to play up to fill out a team roster.
Players 13 and younger may play up more than one age group if selected to participate on a 14-and-under travel team. But parents should also consider their child’s level of maturity. If you do not want your child to stay in a hotel room with their teammates, then they should not try out for a travel team!
After tryouts are complete, the coaches will meet and select teams. Once the process is complete, the tryout numbers will be posted on the website. Then, players are contacted by a coach through phone calls.
Each year after tryouts, many athletes are taken aback when they aren’t selected for the top team in their age group. At RVC, some players view their selection to the second team as a failure. This is not how the coaches see it nor intend it. There are many benefits to playing on the 2’s team — or as we call it “Zonals” here at RVC. The benefits of a Zonal team may outweigh the benefits of being a part of a National team. Sometimes, the Zonal team is a better fit because you can play a larger role. Of course, we think you’ll benefit more from your association with RVC: our coaching reputation, value for your money, college connections, and level of competition just to mention a few. But, don’t take our word for it. This article does a great job explaining the differences in 1’s and 2’s teams at big competitive clubs. It points out key factors to help you make a decision concerning what’s best for an athlete looking to advance their skills and play at the next level. RVC is committed to the development of every athlete that plays for us no matter their team level.
Carpools are encouraged with the teams. Parents will generally work together to help get players to practices and tournaments.
RVC will provide you with an itemized billing statement of all costs incurred. The season cost includes all of the coaching fees, administrative fees, travel expenses (hotel, rental car, flights), etc. An unforeseen cost that is not included would be late charges that might be applied to your account when necessary.
Other costs that you should take into account would be parents’ personal expenses for gas (driving to tournaments) or food for the player to eat, etc. These minimal costs happen in any activity.
As with virtually all youth sports programs, RVC athletes have fundraising requirements when participating in our travel and city league programs. There are two mandatory fundraisers for each participant involved with our junior city and travel teams. The fundraisers are a means to keep the team dues for players as low as possible.
The first is our raffle ticket program: you are given $50 worth of raffle tickets to sell (for which you have prepaid). You may sell the raffle tickets to other people (and keep the money), thereby reimbursing your cost. If you choose not to sell the tickets, you may enter them in the raffle under your name and any money you win, you keep!
Our other opportunity is to assist with court set-up/tear-down for a RVC-hosted tournament during the year. Players participate in court set-up for RVC-hosted tournaments as a way to receive reimbursement to their accounts. A team may choose to work the tournament on Martin Luther King weekend (in January) or Memorial Day weekend by performing court setup (on Thursday before the weekend) AND court tear-down (Monday after the weekend) at the Great Richmond Convention Center. Participating in set-up/tear-down earns the player a $60 credit onto their account.
By participating in both the raffle tickets and the court set-up/tear-down your player will earn the $110 fundraising part of their registration cost back.
Please keep in mind we are a private organization and do not receive any facility support from surrounding municipalities as do many other local youth groups. Additional fundraising would be held on a team-by-team basis. RVC encourages team fundraising to help with costs. Parents interested in fundraising should work with the team parent to discuss team fundraising opportunities (such as those found here).
Parents and older children can also work at RVC to help offset costs. Check with us to see what opportunities are available. RVC is happy to work with parents on payment plans when the need arises. Contact Patti@RVC.net for assistance. In addition, Financial Aid is also available through our Robison Fund.
How does volleyball work with my child’s other personal commitments (school, church, other sports, etc.)?
We understand there can be a lot of commitments with a limited amount of time. Depending upon the level being played, it can be tough to do volleyball combined with our social activities, but it is very possible. The best thing for you to do is to communicate up front with the coaches and let them know about any potential conflicts.
Tournaments are held on weekends from January into May (July for National and some Zonal teams). Most events begin around 9 A.M. and may finish as late as 9 P.M. Tournament pools and schedules are generally posted on the tournaments’ website or Old Dominion Region website prior to the tournament. On tournament days, players should arrive 1 hour before the first match and should be at the court at least 45 minutes prior to a match. About 30 minutes before game time, the team should be warming up indoors with a volleyball (if space and tournament rules permit).
During the day, each team should stay together and must notify their coach if players leave the site to obtain food. Be aware of the match schedules (i.e. when your team plays, referees/works or rests). The schedule is available at the tournament site. Sometimes, after the last match of pool play, a team which has not qualified for playoffs at a tournament may need to stay and referee one match. Those teams with the least distance traveled to the tournament site will generally officiate. Before leaving the tournament, each team should be considerate and properly dispose of its own trash.
National and Zonal team players will only wear RVC-approved attire while attending tournaments. There should be no high school paraphernalia worn at any time. RVC apparel will be provided this year for National and Zonal teams. Coaches may have specific dress code for tournaments and, if so, they will be provided at parents’ meeting. One other note: players are not allowed to wear watches or jewelry during tournaments and will not be allowed to wear them during practice. Further, the club strongly recommends that every player wear knee pads during practices and tournaments.
If you have a concern regarding a coach’s professional behavior (such as a repeated tardiness, excessive schedule changes, lack of communication, bullying or harassment, etc.), please share those concerns as quickly as possible via email to RVC@RVC.net.
When parents have a problem that is specific to their own player, we encourage them to talk to the coach first. However, if the matter is not resolved (and it doesn’t involve a coaching decision), the following steps may be taken:
All concerns should be addressed by first, the player speaking to or asking to meet with their coach about the matter.
- If the matter remains unresolved, the parent and player should schedule a meeting with the coach. An in-person meeting with the coach should be set up either through email or over the telephone. Please note that no meeting should take place during or at a tournament. It’s our policy there be a 48-hour “cooling off period” after any tournament before a meeting should take place. The recommended time for a parent or a player to meet with a coach about a problem is a pre-arranged time usually either before or immediately after a scheduled practice (but after the “cooling off” period.) It is RVC’s requirement that the player be present and aware of any meetings between the parents and coach. It is up to the coach’s discretion, to determine if it is unnecessary or inappropriate to include the player. Once again, this is the coach’s decision — not the parents.
- If a parent approaches a coach during a tournament, we have instructed the coach to politely refuse to discuss any controversial matter, to refer the parent to the Junior Programs Manager, and to move away from the parent.
- If the matter is still unresolved, then the parent should schedule a meeting with the player, coach and Junior Programs Manager. The Junior Programs Manager will not engage in discussions about coaching decisions.
- If the parent and/or the player are not satisfied by the action taken by the Junior Programs Manager, they may request, in writing, that the Director of Programs review the matter. The Director of Programs may, at his/her sole discretion, review or refuse to review the matter. The Director of Programs will not review coaching decisions, training regimes or skill development.
Other general policies regarding grievances with RVC are:
Richmond Volleyball Club will not tolerate hostile, aggressive confrontations between a parent or player and: any official, any other parent, any coach, any player, regardless of whether the coach, player or other parent is a member of RVC or not. Violation of this policy may result in the player being dismissed from RVC. However, all financial obligations will remain in force.
It is not appropriate for a player or a parent to complain to other RVC members about a problem the player or parent is having with an RVC coach, about objections to coaching decisions, or about disagreement with an administrative decision.
Asking uninvolved persons to take sides in an issue is unfair to those third parties and to RVC. Competitive team athletics, by its very nature, creates situations where everyone may not be happy all the time. For the psychological health of the players and the Club as a whole, grievances need to be handled between the parties involved and the decision-makers in the situation.
Any member who is asked to listen to or express an opinion about matters between two other parties at RVC is strongly encouraged to suggest that the complaining party take the matter up with either the coach in question or the Junior Programs Manager, and refuse to listen further.
Any member who, as a third party, hears remarks or stories about RVC, its employees or its policies, that cause the member to be concerned is encouraged to call the Junior Programs Manager immediately to determine the facts, or to alert RVC’s administration to a situation of which it may be unaware.
It is detrimental to all persons involved to repeat complaints you hear (or overhear) to other uninvolved parties. By the time a story gets to the third or fourth party, it frequently bears little resemblance to the facts of the situation.
It is also detrimental to your player and disruptive to his or her team to complain about the coach, the coach’s style or RVC’s policies.
If you, as a parent, are unhappy or concerned about these matters, you should address the party in control. If the player is the unhappy person, the player needs to address the appropriate party.
Repetitive complaining to the player(s) or other third parties that interferes with RVC’s efforts to pursue its stated mission and purpose may be cause, in the sole determination of RVC, to ask a member or player to resign.
If you see a Richmond Volleyball Club employee behave in a way you believe appears to be inappropriate, or if you experience behavior from a coach or administrator that you believe is inappropriate, report it immediately to the Director of Operations or Executive Director. All complaints will be investigated. Any employee found to be in violation of the harassment policy will be subject to discipline, which may include dismissal. There will be no retaliation against any complainants or any witnesses who participate in an investigation of a harassment charge.