This page attempts to answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Advancement Academy, Tryouts, and Club Volleyball in general. If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page, feel free to use the contact us link and someone will get back to you.
Club Volleyball FAQ
1. What is the OVR and what is the meaning of National, American, and Regional levels?
Each USA Volleyball (USAV) club participates in a designated region. Advancement Academy participates in the Ohio Valley Region (OVR) of USA Volleyball. At most age levels, the OVR/USAV supports 3 increasing levels of play — Regional is considered the lowest level of competition and National is the most competitive.
2. At A2, what is the primary difference between National, American, and Regional levels?
- Practice Time — At A2, all teams will typically practice two times a week for 2 – 2.5 hours each practice throughout the entire season. American and National teams will have a 3rd practice prior to the start of the tournament season and then continue to have 3 practices as the tournament schedule allows.
- Travel — At A2, Regional teams typically play OVR sanctioned tournaments within Ohio. American teams will play a mix of OVR sanctioned tournaments in Ohio, along with occasionally traveling to larger tournaments that might be outside of the OVR region. National teams may play in some OVR sanctioned tournaments, but typically travel to larger tournaments and/or National qualifying tournaments that are generally outside of Ohio.
- Tournament Play Dates — Play dates are the number of actual dates a team plays in a tournament. Tournaments typically range from 1 day to 3 days (for National Qualifying tournaments). Regional teams generally have the fewest play dates, following by American teams, and National teams will have the most tournament play dates. More information on number of play dates for the various teams can be found in the Team area of each club.
- Club Fees — Consistent with the other areas, the cost of the program is higher with the higher level of play. More information regarding team cost can be found in the Team area of each club.
3. How many teams will A2 have for the upcoming 2020-2021 season and at what levels?
In 2020-2021, Advancement Academy is planning for approximately 30-35 total teams at A2, 10-15 teams at A2 East, and 8-12 A2 Boys teams and still TBD for A2 Boys West. We will have a mix of National, American, and Regional teams at most age levels. The decision on which teams will play and at which level is made based on the ability level of the athletes that participate in the tryouts and then ultimately decide to join the club. A2 teams typically consist of 10 players. It is our belief that having a team that is competitive, while still being challenged, creates the best atmosphere to allow an athlete to continue to grow and expand their skills. The breakdown of ages/levels we plan to offer in 2020-2021 season will be listed in the Team area of each club sometime prior to tryouts.
4. Are there options other than Club Volleyball?
We have a number of other opportunities that can be considered for those not interested or ready for club volleyball. Check out the Leagues and opportunities for younger players in the Programs section. And you can always review the clinics, camps, and group training for the various clubs.
5. What is the difference between an OVR/USAV Tryout Membership and Full Membership?
All players that eventually commit to play for a club will be required to obtain a full OVR/USAV Full Junior Membership that covers the entire club season. However, if a player wants to tryout and is not yet certain they are going to play the club season, they can elect to purchase a “Tryout only” membership. This allows them to tryout at multiple clubs. If they choose to accept an offer after tryouts, they would then need to convert this Tryout Membership to a Full Membership, including paying the price difference, and specify the club they are playing for. OVR/USAV registration is a separate fee from the club dues and is paid directly to USA Volleyball. More information on the membership options can be found on the OVR Membership Options page. More information including links to complete the OVR registration can be found on the Female Junior Registration page or Male Junior Registration page.
6. What do I need to bring for tryouts?
All athletes must have the following items:
- A printed copy of the USAV/OVR membership card that is current. This can be a Full or Tryout only membership.
- A completed copy of the 2020-2021 Player Medical Release Form signed by both the player and the parent that will be collected by A2.
- The appropriate tryout fees as listed on the tryout registration page if that payment has not yet been made.
7. What should I wear to tryouts?
All athletes should wear comfortable athletic clothes and shoes. Each athlete will be given a numbered shirt that they will wear during the tryout. This number allows us to identify each player.
8. When should I arrive at tryouts?
Athletes should plan to arrive at least 30-40 minutes prior to the start of the tryout. For those that have all the required items noted above, the check-in process should go very quickly, but we do expect a large number of athletes at many of the tryouts and therefore it is important that players arrive early enough to complete the check-in process and be on the court and ready to go at the beginning of the tryout. Players are welcome to start warming up on the courts once they have completed the check-in process prior to the start of the tryout.
9. As a parent, can I stay and watch tryouts?
Parents are welcome to stay and watch the tryout process. While a tryout has different components than a club practice, it will still allow you to see how the club operates in a group setting. Note: Due to the current pandemic and specific requirements regarding gym capacity, parents will not be able to stay and watch tryouts for the 2020-2021 club season.
10. Will the tryout take the entire time?
In general, we will need to utilize the entire planned time for the tryout. Occasionally, we will see an age group/level with a smaller tryout group and we might be able to finish a little earlier, but you should generally plan to be at the tryout for the entire tryout interval.
11. When will I found out my status regarding the tryout? (i.e., Did I make a team?)
Generally, at the conclusion of the tryout, every player will be given an envelope informing them of their status. The contents of the envelope contain either an offer to play on a specific team or notification that the athlete has been placed on a call back list. We instruct all athletes to return to their parents to open the envelope. If you prefer to leave the facility and open the envelope in your car, that is fine too. We do encourage athletes that made a team to come back to the court and meet the other athletes that were offered a position on that team, the coaches of the team (and/or a designated staff member), and to review the practice/tournament plans for that team. Alternatively, we may elect to release all players at the conclusion of the tryout and notifications will take place via email within 24 hours. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages and we realize that no solution is perfect. Note: Due to the current pandemic, we will likely not do envelopes and immediately release the players at conclusion of the tryouts. We will then be contacting players of their status via email/phone within 24 hours of the tryout.
12. What happens if I am placed on the call back list?
Players that are placed on the call back list could still get an offer to play for the club. Athletes that receive an offer to participate on a club team the day of tryouts will have 3 days to decide to accept the offer for National teams and 10 days for American/Regional teams. If athletes decline the offer to participate, we will then notify individual placed on the call back list (in the order of their ranking) if they would like the opportunity to join a club team and will be given the chance to accept or decline the offer. The notifications for these call back offers are typically made through email, so it is critical we get an accurate contact email from you during tryouts.
Age Rules FAQ
13. How do I know what age group my son/daughter should register for?
Refer to the OVR age definition page to help determine what age a child will be eligible for. If you find the information confusing, most girl players can use the following methodology to help determine the appropriate age group. What age will the athlete be on June 30, 2021. And then for the 2020-2021 club volleyball season, use that age for the appropriate age group. For example, if Susie will be 14 on June 30, 2021, then based on her age she would be a 14U player. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to every rule since players can also be grade eligible for a certain age group that might be different than their age. See the next question for more on age vs. grade level eligibility.
14. What if my daughter/son is too old based on her age for a certain age group, but is eligible for that age group based on their grade in school.
At A2, all Regional teams and most American teams can (and will) use Grade Level definition for teams where required since the OVR and most out-of-region tournaments that A2 attends allow the use of “grade level” players. However, all National teams (and any teams that participate in National Qualifying tournaments) will use “traditional” or “true age” level definitions since this is required of all players during all USAV national tournaments. This would also be the case for any A2 American team that plans to compete in the OVR bid play-in tournament. Therefore, if you are only interested in playing on a National team, please use the “traditional/age” level definition when determining which age group you wish to tryout for. For players that register at tryouts for an age group where the player is only eligible for that age group based on their grade, they will only be considered for American (that do not plan to play in qualifiers) and Regional teams. For further details on age level definitions for USAV and OVR, refer to the OVR age definition page.
15. What about special provisions for Boys at 12U, 13U, 14U and both Boys and Girls at 18U?
As noted on the OVR age definition page, there are special provisions for Boys 14U and under. Boys in divisions 12U, 13U, and 14U can use the grade-level definition and still be allowed to participate in National USAV events if they are granted a regional waiver. The OVR supports the Regional waiver rule. Additionally, all players (boys and girls) at 18U can use the grade level definition assuming they will not be older than 19 based on the birth date definition.
16. What if my daughter/son is younger than most students in their grade and is eligible for a younger age group than most athletes in their grade?
Since the “traditional/age” level definition is considered to be the most stringent criteria used by USAV for qualification of a player at a certain age level, a player in this situation could play with that “younger” age group based on their age or they could elect to “play up” with players that are in the same grade as they are. Such a player would be eligible to play on any level team (including National teams) at either age group. For further details, refer to the OVR age definition page