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What is Club Volleyball?

FAQ for 12 and Younger

What is club volleyball? 

Club volleyball exists all over the world and consists of organizations that love, promote and train athletes in the sport of volleyball at a high level. Generally speaking, just about every starting high school volleyball player on a varsity team plays club.

Why should I choose AP Volleyball?
Often times the main consideration of a new parent is price and proximity. However, after the first season they realize that the biggest consideration should have been quality.  AP is in its thirteenth year. Every year we have grown and now enjoy being one of the largest club in the Lone Star Region which includes Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the Valley. One of our biggest assets is our coaching. We truly believe we have the best staff in the country. AP boasts of a number of high school, middle school, college, former player and state championship coaches on our staff. Additionally, when we place players on our teams we are able to do it on levels of competency since there are multiple teams within each age group. This way every player can contribute.  AP Coaches coach with integrity and have a genuine interest in developing each player to their fullest potential. AP also employs recruiting coordinators for athletes seeking college scholarships. 

How do I know what the correct age group is?
The rule of thumb is how old will your athlete be between July 1st 2020 and June 30 of the next season. The exact dates are posted on our website in our tryouts section.

Can I wait until next year to play club?
Kids are starting earlier and earlier. What we see is that often players that start the earliest and have the most experience are generally the ones that make the “A” teams at their schools. Many are starting club at 9s, 10s and 11s. When they start at 12 they are finding that they have some catching up to do. 13s is generally the latest that kids start but it is not unheard of to start at 14. 

What is the cost?
Please check out our FEES page. All clubs are connected by an umbrella organization called USAV but each is independent and has different fees.

Do you have 9s, 10s and 11s teams?
YES! This year we continue to have our 11s teams. 9s, 10s and 11s can play together. The teams will be separated by levels of competency.  In the past we have allowed 10s and 11s to try-out for 12s teams. If they made a team they would have been placed on a 12s team that their skill level was appropriate for. If there is enough interest we will also have a 10s team (4th graders) which will have an abbreviated season. Practice twice a week and only 5 tournaments and end the season in late March or early April.

When does the season start and end?
AP Club volleyball starts the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and ends the last weekend in April or first weekend in May. AP’s 12 National teams will continue through the end of June to beginning of July. For older teams (13 and up) the season may extend into late June or early July depending on what level team they make.

How many tournaments are there?
Generally speaking we participate in 8 to 10 tournaments. The teams will be playing in about two tournaments a month.  The top 11s and 12s teams pays a bit more and may have additional tournaments.

Do 12 and under teams travel?
Most tournaments for 12s are what we call “local” which is Austin – San Antonio area. There is also one tournament in Dallas and one in Houston.  Our 12 National teams will play in an additional out of state tournament. If an 11s or 12s team qualifies for Junior Nationals there is an extended season and the 11s have an additional fee.

What is a tournament?
Tournaments are where you go and play matches in a competitive atmosphere. They generally go from 8am to 3pm. Sometimes they are 3pm to 9pm. They are normally half day affairs held on Saturday or Sunday. There may be one tournament that lasts for three days which includes a Friday and one tournament that is a two day.

How often do you practice?
Two times a week unless your athlete is place on the top 11s or 12s team in which case you will practice three times a week. One practice is usually on Sunday in the early afternoon and the others are weekday practices. 

Where are your practice sites?
AP has made a commitment to lease the Westlake Athletic and Community Center located at the corner of 360 and Westbank Dr. which is central. We also have programs north (Wilco/Williamson County area) which practice at the Premier Athletic Club (PAC) and west (Hilco/Hill Country area) which practices in the Lake Travis area.

How do you get on a team?
You must tryout to be on an AP team. Visit our 12U TRYOUT PAGE for more information and to register.

What is the try out process?
All age groups have a two session try-out process. The sessions for ages 13 to 18 are scheduled within days of each other. The 12 and under try-outs have two sessions but the last date of the sessions are separated by 6-7 weeks. If you attend the first session you will be given an opportunity to sign up and we will guarantee you a place on a team, however, those teams are not formed until day 2 of tryouts. If you choose to come to the first session but wait to commit to sign up at the second session, when we separate and place teams, you will not be guaranteed a place. The reality is that we try to take all kids but the numbers may not allow us to take everyone depending on coaching staff, number of participants and contracted gym facilities. A guaranteed roster spot is only offered at the first session by committing to a contract to play for AP at that time.

Why the long time differential between the two sessions?
AP has found that many kids that would potentially play club but have not been in the “communication loop” would not have an opportunity to play because try-outs would have already past as the first session is very early (before school starts). AP advertises the first two weeks of school announcing a “Fall Training” program in which many kids enroll and are informed of club and end up wanting to play club. At that point they would be invited to attend the second 10s, 11s, 12s and under session and hope to be placed on a team along with the group that is guaranteed a spot on a roster from the first session. The players that signed up at the first session of 10s, 11s and 12 and under try-outs are encouraged to participate in the fall training session which is held on Sundays. This will give them a good head start on the season but participation is not absolutely necessary. 

How are teams chosen?
During the try-out process directors and coaches will evaluate the players and place them on teams appropriate for their level of competency. The end result is that the players are on teams that have the same level of skills, generally speaking. It is difficult in clubs smaller than AP to place players in this way, consequently  you may end up with high skill players placed with not so high skill players and neither grows as well as they could if placed on teams where they are similar to each other.

What other volleyball training does AP offer 12 and unders?
We offer “AP Fall Training (in the fall)” and “Summer Camps (during the summer)”. Fall training is held on Sundays and starts about the second or third Sunday after school starts and lasts for 4, 5 or 6 Sundays depending on your area.  Fees for these programs will be posted on the website at the appropriate time.

We wish all that participate in the AP program the best!

Denver Lee
AP Co-Director