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, State, and Regional teams begin training in early December with teams beginning tournament competition in January. The Virginia Youth Volleyball League (VYVL) teams will begin practicing in January with tournament competition beginning in February. The VYVL season will typically conclude the last weekend of April/ first weekend in May. Regional will conclude Memorial Day weekend. Zonal teams have the option to conclude their season Memorial Day Weekend or 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 3 times a week. The Regional level teams will practice 2 times a week. The Virginia Youth Volleyball League (VYVL) 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.
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. However, placement on a lower-level team is not guaranteed.
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 sessionsof both age groups. See RVC Juniors Tryout Schedule for dates, times and locations. National teams are selected first, followed by Zonal teams, State (where applicable), Regional and Virginia Youth Volleyball League (VYVL) 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 first be posted on the RVC website, then players will receive an invitation by email. If accepted, there will be a link to pay a portion of the team fee to reserve the place.
Each year after tryouts, some athletes may be disappointed 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 articledoes 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 decide 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 practice and tournaments.
RVC will provide you with an itemized billing statement of all costs incurred. The estimated season cost includes all the coaching fees, administrative fees, some travel expenses including hotel room for athletes and transport from hotel to venue if necessary). An unforeseen cost that is not included would be travel to the tournament city, food, RVC branded apparel or gear not required and part of the uniform package, and late charges that might be applied to your account when necessary. Other costs that you should consider 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 Virginia Youth Volleyball League (VYVL) programs. There are two mandatory fundraisers for each participant involved with our junior travel teams and one for VYVL teams. The fundraisers are a means to keep the team dues for players as low as possible.
The first is our raffle ticket program for both Travel and VYVL teams: 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 for Travel Teams 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 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 Travel Teams 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 administration@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 other activities. The best thing for you to do is to communicate up front with the coaches during tryouts and let them know about any potential conflicts. For our top level teams (National and Zonal) the expectation is that the team comes first above your other activities. For lower level teams (State, Regional, VYVL) coaches may be more flexible, but missing practices may effect a player’s playing time during tournaments. If your child is participating in other activities, he or she may want to consider playing on a team with a lower time commitment.
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 1-2 days 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. 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.
See the age definition chart for which age group your child should tryout for.
Here is an article from Junior Volleyball Association with tips for choosing the right club: http://www.jvaonline.org/blog/club-tryout-common-myths