Frequently Asked Questions about Surge:
Q: What age groups does your club offer for girls?
A: We hold tryouts for ages 10 to 18 with teams created based on availability of players and coaches.
Q: Where does the club practice and host it’s tournaments?
A: All practices and tournaments are held in the Fleetwood area. Practices at Surge gym along with tournaments with some larger tournaments using the Fleetwood Middle School.
Q: What is the address of the Surge Gym?
A: Our facility address is 110 West Arch Street, Fleetwood, PA 19522 inside the Fleetwood Community Center. Our Club’s mailing address is Surge Volleyball PO box 343 Blandon Pa 19510
Q: Where can I see a list of rules and club by-laws?
A: The club rules and by-laws are outlined in our Parent and Player Handbooks located on our Documents page.
Frequently Asked Questions about Club Volleyball:
Q: What is club volleyball?
A: USA Junior Olympic and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Volleyball, or Club Volleyball, is a nationwide program that offers athletes the opportunity to train and play volleyball beyond the normal school season. For thousands across the US, the end of the volleyball middle and high school seasons signifies the beginning of club. Club volleyball typically is not associated with any school or college, but is made up of teams that register to play in scheduled USAV & AAU tournaments. Volleyball clubs are independent and privately-owned businesses. Each club may have many age-dependent teams, each team with dedicated coaches. Club Volleyball is NOT FREE. A club team roster is created by selecting players from the club’s own scheduled tryout. If selected, a player will be offered a spot on the team and will need to sign a contract which commits that player to that club for the season.
Q: Why should I play club?
A: Club volleyball has surpassed high school volleyball in terms of college recruiting, training, and level of competition. Since clubs require tryouts, many top club teams are essentially hand picked “all-star” teams consisting of the best players in the area. However, there are different levels of competition, skill level, and age groups. In any particular age group, there may be 2 or 3 teams (maybe more) selected. The best players at the tryouts normally are selected for the club’s top team and then the remaining teams are formed from the remaining players. Club volleyball gives you the opportunity to play nearly year round with players of equal talent and trained by experienced coaches. Some important aspects of club volleyball is to improve your individual skills, play with a variety of different athletes and for college recruiting. If you want to play volleyball in college, then you should play club. College recruiters have a very limited number of visits to watch a player. A typical club tournament consists of many participating club teams (10-100) and a recruiter can use only one of their visits and watch 100 to upwards of 1000 potential college prospects. A college recruiter rarely uses a visit to attend a high school match where they can only see 20 players.
Q: When should I start playing club?
A: If you love volleyball and have a desire to play in college, then start as young as you can. YMCA and City programs offer league volleyball for elementary age girls as well as some junior volleyball clubs. Volleyball is a sport that requires allot of skill that doesn’t come naturally to most athletes. You need to practice repeatedly in order to improve. Starting in middle school gives you a significant advantage once you enter high school.
Q: What is the real purpose of club volleyball?
A: Player development should be the primary purpose of playing club volleyball. Clubs often have notable volleyball teachers who work to teach the correct mechanics and fundamentals of volleyball. Team success is also an important factor. Teams in the area are ranked based on their finishes at dedicated ranking tournaments. The holy grail of any club volleyball team is playing in the Junior Olympic National Championship tournament in July. This tournament only accepts a limited number of teams who must earn a “BID” by placing in the top 3 at special qualifying tournaments. This tournament is a national tournament consisting of qualifying teams from across the USA. College recruiting is very active at the qualifying and national tournaments. The AAU Championship tournament is in June where teams can earn their entry by winning AAU Qualifiers.
Q: Who coaches at these clubs?
A: Every coach in the club system must have a coaching certificate. It’s not unusual to see middle/high school coaches employed by clubs. Some coaches are full-time coaches, other’s are part-time. Most have played volleyball in both high school and college. Club coaches usually manage to have a full time job/career outside of volleyball. Practices are typically 2 days a week after school/work and can last 1-3 hours. Club Tournaments are normally on weekends (Sat/Sun).
Q: Which club is best for me?
A: That will depend on a number of factors like practice location, cost, coaching, reputation, etc. Most clubs have pre-tryout (PTO) clinics and open gyms beginning in late September. The clinics allow you to meet the club staff, assess the location, and evaluate the level of competition and coaching style. These clinics can run for 1 to 2 hours and cost $5-$35/session. Expect to be grouped into age groups and run through a series of skill drills/stations like passing, digging, hitting, serving, etc. This is a chance for the club coaches to see you as well as you see the club. As with many things, use your social network and ask others who play for a club to give you recommendations. Club Volleyball is a business and the operation can be pretty complex. Club directors/Owners must manage coaches, players, payments, tournament scheduling, practice schedules, etc. Clubs are also very competitive among the club circuit. A club’s success will attract new players and younger players allowing the business to grow.
Q: What should I expect from a PTO clinic/Open Gym?
A: Most PTOs will separate players by position at some point in the clinic. If you desire to play a certain position, make sure you join that position group when instructed or inform the coach/staff before. e.g. if you want to be a Middle Blocker, jump into the MB group. If you’re a libero, join the libero and defensive specialist group(s). Many of the drills are position specific. Coaches are looking for the best volleyball players to fill their team. Don’t be shy!! Coaches are attracted to vocal, happy, cheerful players. Putting a team together and having good chemistry is a very important element of a successful club experience.
Q: How do I make a team?
A: Every year tryouts are held at the club location. For information on tryouts this year, please refer to the club’s website. Some also will have an informational meeting prior to tryouts. Check the calendar on their website to find out when. Tryouts are usually early November and the informational meeting is a week or so prior to these.
Q: How many clubs can I try out for and do I need to sign with the first club that offers me a spot?
A: You can tryout at as many clubs as you want, but competing clubs will schedule their tryouts at the same time as other clubs. Most clubs have 2 tryouts over a period of 2 days and ALL clubs must have their tryouts over those 2 days. This makes it very difficult to schedule multiple tryouts. It is common for the club to start offering spots after their 1st tryout and often filling a team (10-12 players) before the next scheduled tryout. You need to plan carefully. You DO NOT have to sign if offered, but the club may withdraw the offer if you don’t sign immediately. If you’ve got offers from multiple clubs, you will have only a few days to decide. This can be very stressful so be prepared. If the club wants you, they will want to lock you in asap so you don’t leave and sign somewhere else.
TIP:Plan ahead and make sure you can go and tryout for 2 clubs. Tryouts are extremely competitive and even if you feel confident that you can make a team based on your PTO/Open Gym experiences or a verbal guarantee made by a club staff member, they can change their mind or some very good player unexpectedly shows up and tries out for the same position and same team. If not prepared and you are not offered a position on any team, you may be scrambling to find another tryout for a club that wasn’t on your desired list.
Q: What happens during and after the tryouts?
A: After the tryout, you will be notified by someone from the staff as to which team you are offered a spot. Most age groups typically have at least 2 teams per age group which is usually split between a National/Travel team (normally be best players at the tryouts) and a Local/non-Travel team (the next best players). Once you’ve accepted their offer and signed up to play for that club, you cannot change your mind and accept another offer at another club.
Q: What should I be aware of before/during/or after a tryout?
A: If you went to a tryout where you were not allowed to leave the gym without committing to a team so that you could go to other tryouts, if you were promised a spot and then not given one, or if you simply didn’t like the way you were treated, then the only and best way to deal with those situations is to take your business elsewhere.
Q: Do I need to sign a contract?
A: Yes. The contract is between the player, USA/AAU volleyball and the club with terms that the player cannot leave the club to join another club during the season (regardless of reason) and the player will pay in full all dues for that season. The contract is in effect once written (email) acceptance is sent by the parent/player to play with that club. Without written consent, there is no contract but offers do expire. Contract terms are based on one club season. You are free to join another club after the season (i.e. the next season).
Q: Does the club season interfere with the CYO, middle or high school volleyball season?
A: No. Club tryouts begin AFTER the end of the school regular season. There can be some overlap for high school teams that compete in the state playoffs. There is no interaction or commitment between any of these and club. You can play CYO and then play club for any organization you feel is the right fit.
Q: Does a club ever just take returning players or pre-select their teams?
A: Most clubs will NEVER fill a team before tryouts. No position is filled until tryouts. The Region won’t even recognize official rosters until after certain dates and anyone who is promised a team spot before then has no guarantee that the clubs will honor that promise. Most have open tryouts and take the best kids they can. That said, there may be preferential treatment for returning players who have been with the club for many years and have shown loyalty to the club. See the TIP above.
Q: How much time is involved?
A: Tryouts are in November and all the teams start practice in December. The regular season is over in May, but those teams that qualify for the USAV National Junior Olympic tournament will compete through the e/o June. Practices are as often as twice a week for some teams and once a week for others. Most clubs try to make practice time appropriate for each age group. That is, the younger teams (12s-14s) practice earlier in the evening than the older teams (15-18’s). Each level plays approximately 8 to 10 weekend tournaments during the season, most of which are Saturday and Sunday. Some teams will also travel to one or two out of state tournaments.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Depending on the team’s practice and travel schedule, the cost can be between $500 and $5000 – it depends on each club and whether the team is a travel or non-travel team. These fees may or may not include travel costs if on a travel team. Lower priced clubs will expect payment upon acceptance of offer. High priced clubs typically take a down payment of (10-20%) is required after the player is offered and accepts a spot on the roster as a good-faith commitment. The remaining payment is split up and made monthly through March or April. Most club websites do list their costs. If not, contact the club director and ask. Details about a certain club and season will be presented during that club’s information meeting – normally scheduled before tryouts. Check their website for schedules.
Q: Where do they practice?
A: Only a few clubs have their own facility and most share a facility like churches, community centers, schools. Some practice at area middle schools. Check the club website for their practice locations.
Q: What can I do to get better if I don’t want to play club?
A: Many clubs offer a variety of options for people outside of club. There are off-season clinics, summer leagues, youth programs, and private lessons. Check websites for offerings.
Q: What do I need to purchase in order to play volleyball?
A: Some clubs supply uniforms (2 jersey’s, spandex, knee pads), bags, and possibly volleyball shoes. The cost of this equipment is sometimes included in the club fees. It varies from club to club. For the tryouts, most athletes will wear a t-shirt, athletic shorts or spandex, knee pads, and athletic shoes. You do not need to buy your own ball or any other equipment.
Q: Can you suggest or recommend a club?
A: It’s best to check them out yourself. Researching the club website is the best way to start. Attending a pre-tryout clinic or some other similar event at the club is also good. Asking other parents or players who have club experience is a great way to learn if a club is for you or not.
Q: How do I know which club to pick?
A: Again, it’s best to check them out yourself. There are no perfect answers as there are many factors to consider. Some of the top areas to consider are: reputation of the club, coaching staff and knowledge, price, location, feeling you get when you are there.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CLUB VOLLEYBALL SEASON!