The Club System
Our club is sanctioned by USA Volleyball, a national organization, which promotes and organizes competitions at the local, regional and national levels. Girl's Club Volleyball is well established in Clear Lake, Houston and the state of Texas and the United States. We are located in the lone star region which encompasses Houston/Austin/San Antonio and surrounding areas. We are in one of the largest regions in the United States with around 14,000 members and 150 clubs.
The level of play in club ball can be very much higher than that found in local recreational leagues, such as the YMCA, and even school programs at the lower grades. This is primarily due to professional coaching, a long season, and teams can be composed of the best players from many different schools. Club experience is important in developing as a player. Most, if not all, girls who make their high school teams (not to mention those that go on to win college scholarships) play club ball. Club volleyball is also recruited much higher than High School volleyball by college coaches.
The club volleyball season begins after school season ends. Clubs have tryouts as early as July or as late as Sept or Oct (This is up to the club). PER USAV rules teams cannot begin practice until November or after school volleyball is over. The USAV official tournament season for juniors begins in December (Boys start tournaments a month earlier). Club season ends at various times, usually late April or first weekend in may. If a team is strong, it may continue to practice and compete later, perhaps even traveling to compete in the Junior National Championships in the summer.
The learning focus of the club experience is for the individuals to work together as a team, how to be competitive. This is done through team practice, a minimum or four hours a week and as much as six hours a week and then tournaments on many Saturdays or Sundays or both.
Some clubs will go recruit players and “scholarship” them into their club teams (letting them play for free). We, the GCVA do not do this because we feel it creates animosity when some players don’t pay, then get the most playing time, while the ones who pay may not get as much court time and coaching/training. The “scholarshiping” of players also causes the cost of “non scholarship” players (those who pay) to be greater due to the fact that fewer players have to pay for team expenses (i.e. the other players/parents pick up the cost of the “scholarship” player). Every player on our team pays club fees. We do have some work programs for the older players to reduce club fees.