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.
- National and Zonal practices will start November 28, 2021
- State and Regional practices will start November 28, 2021
- VYVL practices will start January 3, 2022
State and Regional teams conclude Memorial day weekend while Zonal and National teams typically continue for another month.
- National (Boys’ 1) and Zonal (Boys’ 2) teams practice 3 times/week
- State and Regional (Boys and Girls) teams practice 2 times/week
- VYVL teams practice 1 time/week
Generally, each practice session will last for 1 hour and 45 minutes with the earliest practice start time being 4:30 pm and the latest practice start time being 8:00 pm.
The specific practice days and times will depend upon the availability of the coach and the courts.
Tournament schedules vary greatly depending on the team level and are developed by the two program managers Chris Wakefield and Matt Heffner. They can be accessed here: https://rvc.net/travel/teams/. Typically, most travel tournaments are two day events with Saturday pool play and Sunday single-elimination playoff brackets. USAV qualifiers (boys and girls) will be three day events that COULD require your child to miss one or more days of school. The Old Dominion Region will host local one day tournaments, usually taking place on Saturdays.
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 the eligibility requirements outlined in the player/parent handbook. 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 (where applicable), Regional and Virginia Youth Volleyball League (VYVL) teams.
In all cases, requests to try out for a higher age group must be approve by Juniors management.
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 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 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, and some travel expenses including hotel room for athletes. Additional costs that are not included are 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, nonprofit organization and do not receive any facility support from surrounding municipalities as do many other local youth groups. Additional fundraising may 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). Fundraising activities must be approved by RVC management to ensure they align with our values and do not impact pre-existing sponsor agreements we may have.
Parents and older children can also work at RVC to help offset costs. We frequently need staff to work in our cafe or as referees for our adult leagues. 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 8 A.M. and may finish as late as 10 P.M. Tournament pools and schedules are generally posted on either Advanced Event System , SportWrench or TM2sign 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 updated online after each match. Players should wait at the playing site once they are done for the day to ensure that they do not have to work or play an extra match. Before leaving the tournament, each RVC team needs to be considerate and properly dispose of its own trash and clean the bench/spectator area.
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. 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: Junior Volleyball Association How to Choose a ClubAdditionally, when comparing clubs we know that the overall cost is especially concerning. Be sure to consider the education and support provided to coaches as well as the overall volleyball experience for your player. Not only do our coaches receive coaching education but we also provide training and resources on a number of other topics we believe are important – inclusivity, nutrition, body image, and more.When comparing, be sure to also note how many tournaments your child will participate in. Traveling to tournaments is the most expensive part of playing on a travel team. While our overall costs may appear higher on the surface, RVC generally participates in more tournaments than other clubs. Our longevity and reputation allows us to negotiate favorable pricing at hotels. We are always mindful of the cost to parents and make every effort to keep costs as low as possible while allowing your player the opportunity to play lots of competitive volleyball.
Included in the team fee for your child is membership to the Richmond Volleyball Club. While it is required in order for them to play on a travel team, it also provides discounts for private lessons, camps, opportunities to attend SNAP and open gym at no additional cost, and more. We think it’s a great value!