Navigate Your Volleyball Experience
Is my player too young for club?
Nope! Most teams in this area will start around 12 and under (6th grade). However, many times you'll find players as young as 3rd grade on some of the 12 & under teams! The earlier exposure, the better!d a new question go to app settings and press "Manage Questions" button.
Is it true I have to play for a specific club to make my high school team?
Nope! When I coached at the high school level in Tucson, I had players from 5 different clubs. The other successful programs in the area also have players from multiple clubs. Coaches mostly care that you are getting reps in the time between high school season ending and tryouts beginning.
Do I have to play club volleyball to play in high school?
No, but it helps. The high school season is such a small sliver of time in the game. So while you aren't playing in the high school off season, your competition is.
What if I can't afford club volleyball?
There are programs and clubs out there that offer credits for volunteering or a reduced tuition if you qualify. Since the dynamics of club volleyball always change, please reach out to me and I'll try to steer you in the right direction.
I didn't make my high school team. My volleyball life is over.
NO IT'S NOT! Volleyball is a LIFELONG sport. There is literally a division for men and women's 70 years old and over! Move on and get back on the court.
What are my options for volleyball in Tucson?
AUG - OCT
High school tryouts are typically the first or second week of August with matches beginning mid-August. The regular season goes through October with state championships in early November.
For players in middle school or younger, or those that didn't make their HS team but want to keep playing, DIWS puts on Fall Select during this timeframe. There are other clubs that run similar programs during this time as well.
NYS leagues also run during this time.
NOV - MAY
November is the beginning of the club volleyball season.
What's club volleyball? Club volleyball refers to the national network of teams and regions under various governing bodies, but mostly under USA Volleyball. This is a pipeline to playing at a more competitive level.
Basically you tryout with a bunch of players your age/grade and teams are formed. Teams could have players from a lot of different schools. It's a great way to meet new people! Club teams usually practice 2-3x a week for about 2 hrs. Tournaments are normally on Saturdays, 1-2 times a month. Some tournaments are multiple days or in other states.
In Southern Arizona there are a few clubs to chose from. The Arizona Region has a club directory that can help you find clubs. I have been coaching for Club Cactus since I moved to Tucson in 2014. I have coached everything from 13s through 18s, though I have found I enjoy the 13/14U age group the most. That's typically the group I coach.
Depending on the club, there are teams for players 12 and under through 18 and under. For those in the 8 years old - 11 years old group - you would likely be placed on a 12 and under team with other players around your age, size, or ability. Don't let the fact that you're not 11 or 12 years old yet discourage your from playing at the club level if you're interested! The sooner you get into the club pipeline, the better prepared you'll be for high school level play (and maybe even college!!).
Unfortunately, club volleyball can be a significant financial investment that not all families can make. Check with the club to see if there are fundraising opportunities or ways to reduce your tuition. If you really want to play but can't find a club that's affordable, please reach out to me so I can try to help find a club for you.
The club season runs from after tryouts (mid-November) until sometime at the end of April or mid-May. There are some teams that play in national tournaments that go all the way through June!
JUN - JUL
For those club teams not playing beyond region championships, this is when summer camps start up! DIWS runs camps in June and July as well as the annual Beat the Heat doubles tournament!
Local high schools will run camps as well as the University of Arizona (in July).
Everything wraps up at the end of July so we can start the process all over again in August!