Frequently Asked Questions about Junior Girls Volleyball

Is junior girls volleyball (or Junior Olympics, or JO) the same as traveling volleyball?

Yes, junior girls volleyball fills a similar role for
volleyball as traveling teams for soccer, hockey, and other
sports. Our junior girls volleyball teams play teams from
neighboring communities and in some regional tournaments. Also,
our teams play at a more competitive level and require a greater
commitment to training than community volleyball. Expect 2 or 3
practices per week for 2 hours each and a power league event or
tournament every other weekend.

How is juniors volleyball different from other traveling
sports?

Our younger teams typically play in a “power league” at the Midwest
Volleyball Warehouse in Burnsville. A power league takes up a 6
hour block of time on a Saturday or a Sunday unlike a three-day
long tournament like many of the other traveling sports have. So
less travel, and less time.  Older teams will play in one-day tournaments which consists of pool play, with three or four teams per pool. Pool play results determine seeding in single elimination bracket play.

What is a power league?

Many of our girls juniors team compete in a “power league” at
the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse in Burnsville. Teams at each
age-level are divided into pools of 4, and the teams in each pool
will play all six pairings. When a team is not playing, they will
either rest or ref. The teams that refs provides line judges and
scorekeepers. So a power league event will be either 8am-2pm or
2:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday or Sunday. The team that wins the pool
moves up to a higher pool while the team that loses moves to the
next lower pool. Occasionally the format will change to promote
more movement up and down. The 14s Power League in 2010 had 21
pools!

Is power league the extent of our playtime?

No. The North Central Region of USAV runs a large, 3 day
tournament over the Presidents’ Day weekend. NCR also runs a
season-end regional tournament. Several area clubs will run
one-day tournaments. The older teams did not play in a power
league at all, instead they chose to play a series of 8 and 16
team tournaments.

Who coaches juniors teams?

Our teams generally have a paid coach, but sometimes the coach
is a parent. We have had coaches from the high school coaching
staff, college students, and distinguished alumnae from AVHS. We
prefer to hire coaches who have a background in coaching or have
extensive experience playing volleyball.

What does our fee pay for?

Your fees pay for registration fees for power league or any
tournaments, gym time for practices, coaching, a jersey, shorts,
practice T-shirt, membership in USAV. Shoes, knee pads, warm-ups,
and gym bags are all extras.

Are there tryouts for teams? Can every girl make a team?

There are tryouts, and sometimes girls do not make any team. We
would like to include as many girls as possible, but sometimes the
numbers do not work out well. A roster of ten girls per team is
generaly considered ideal. If 15 girls were to tryout at one age
level, we cannot make a team that includes all 15, and we cannot
make two teams from so few girls. So we hold tryouts for the South
Metro League, and for our juniors teams.

Power League is divided into even numbered age divisions (12s,
14s, 16s, and 18s), but some larger tournaments have divisions at
every age from 11 to 18. Sometimes we have 11s and 12s mixed
together on a team and sometimes separate depending on the number
of girls at each age level and how strong they are as players. The
same statement holds true for 13s and 14s and for 15s and 16s. If
the younger players are very strong, we will have mixed teams.
Tryouts may determine whether you make some team, but teams might
not be divided until after practices have begun.

How are age groups determined for junior volleyball?

The player’s age on September 1 determines their age group. For
example, girls who turn 12 between Sept. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015
will be eligible to play in the 12 and under age group for the
2015 season. Girls may “play up” at the discretion of the club.

Are there state or national tournaments for juniors volleyball?

There is no state tournament for junior volleyball as there is
in many other sports. The NCR of USAV holds multiple “area events”
across the region in late April. Northern Lights and Southern
Minnesota Volleyball (SMV) in Rochester host small tournaments (16
teams per division) in May as well. There are two national
tournaments hosted by AAUs (always in Orlando) and by USAV (which
moves to a new host city every year). The former is open to anyone
who is willing to pay for registration. USAV Girls Junior
Nationals requires that teams qualify for the nationals at a
designated USAV qualifier/event.