USA VOLLEYBALL JUNIOR PLAYER AGE DEFINITION
11’S *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
12’S *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2008
13’S *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2007
14’S *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2006
15’S *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
16’s *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2004
17’s *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2003
18’s *BORN ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2002
“Tryouts” is the process through which players are chosen for the various Houston Juniors teams. We have 3-4 evaluators for each position, depending on the number of players trying out for that position. This process consists of written evaluations and observation of the player’s skill practice contexts as well as in game like situations. The evaluators are also looking at a player’s prior level of play, competitiveness, coachability and motivation. It is up to the team coaches and evaluators to determine how much weight is given to each aspect of the tryout process to form the best teams possible; and the weighting may vary from year to year for the same age group. Tryout participants will be given t-shirts with a tryout number. This is to help identify the players when evaluating their skill and performance.
Private Evaluations is a one-on-one tryout with a HJV coach. The coach is evaluating and observing the player in the position she is trying out for. As in “tryouts”, the coach is looking for skill level, competitiveness, motivation and coachability. The player will find out if she has been selected for a team after the tryout for (her age group) is complete.
EVALUATING SKILL LEVELS
All evaluations are obviously subjective – coaches from different clubs, and even within the same club, may disagree on the potential of any given athlete. At Houston Juniors, coaches understand this and generally try to seek out the opinions of their colleagues within the club when making final roster choices.
While volleyball experience and skill levels are clearly the greatest indicator of an athlete making a team, there are other factors that come into play, namely attitude, work ethic, and the “coachability” factor. These are all part of the evaluation process during the tryout.
A BIG TIP FOR ATHLETES
If you are able to demonstrate, during the tryout, that you are able to take a coach’s suggestion and CHANGE your usual method by trying the method suggested by the coach, and improving your skill – then you have demonstrated exactly the thing that most coaches are looking for.
ATHLETES “PLAYING UP” IN AGE GROUP
All players interested in being considered for a team are expected to attend the tryout for that team’s age group. If a player cannot attend for a legitimate reason, then the evaluating coaches and the club director will discuss how to assess that player and whether she will be offered a spot on a team.
On occasion, some athletes “play up” in another age group, although the club does not encourage this sort of roster move unless it makes clear and obvious sense – i.e., an athlete has been competing at that level in the past and still maintains the capability to do so, or an athlete new to the club with previous experience playing at high levels is clearly skilled enough to be considered for an older team.
A second case of “playing up” would be encouraged if an athlete in a younger age group: 1) did not make the “A” team in her designated group, and 2) was talented enough to make the “A” or “B” team in a higher age group, or 3) offered a positional advantage to a coach looking to fill roster with her particular skill set.
MOVEMENT BETWEEN TEAMS
Houston Juniors teams are Elite, Premier (14s-18s), National, Molten, Adidas, Navy, Orange and White. In some cases, there is roster movement from year to year – athletes may have improved a skill set over the previous year, or a coach may be looking to fill a specific position with a new player. Movement between “A” and “B” teams (i.e, between “Elite” and “Premier”), where appropriate, is necessary to preclude players and/or their parents from believing that they have a “right” to stay on “their” team even if the player does not possess the requisite skill level to play on the team. Also, holding on to an unqualified “A” team player is unfair to the “B” team player or new player that deserves to make an “A” team.
Immediately after the tryouts, coaches make a preliminary assessment and player allocation. No team parents or players take part in this meeting. Generally, head coaches of the older age groups make their team choices first (e.g. evaluating a talented athlete wishing to “play up.”) Head coaches of all the “A” teams, in conference with “B” team coaches, have first selection. Based on the “A” team selections, the “B” team follows.
OFFERS AND COMMITMENTS
After the completion of the tryout session. The evaluating coaches and club director will get together and discuss how the teams will be formed. The selected players will receive an offer to a team prior to leaving the gym. The family must then accept or decline the offer. Upon acceptance, the $650 (Elite & Premier teams) or $575 (all other teams) non-refundable deposit will be processed. In extenuating circumstances, Houston Juniors reserves the right to selectively begin the process of extending “offers” to chosen players as coaches make roster decisions. Please note that all offers may not be given out at the same time. This is simply because some decisions can be made easier than others. Also, often, “B” team coaches must wait until “A” team rosters are set before they can assign spots to remaining players.
If you did not receive an offer at the end of tryouts, there is a possibility that positions will open on teams. If this does occur, we will then make calls to those players based on ranking by positions that open up. Please do NOT contact Houston Juniors regarding team roster decisions. While we wish we could provide the coaches and facilities to be able to accept all interested athletes, the reality is we do not have the resources to do so, and thus, every year, final cuts must be made. We thank you in advance for educating yourself on the tryout process, realistically preparing yourself and your daughter for all possible outcomes, and understanding that this is a necessary part of elite level athletics. We ask all players and parents to respect the decisions made by Houston Juniors coaches and staff, and encourage all players who do not make a team to seek out alternative volleyball opportunities and always to return the following year.