Tryout Changes for 2020/2021
As a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a number of changes to the tryout process this year as compared to a typical year. If you have participated in MVSA tryouts in the past and/or are familiar with how we typically run tryouts, here are some of the changes you can expect:
- Tryouts will only be one day.
- If a player has a conflict with the scheduled time for their age group, please contact us and we will attempt to slot them into a neighboring age group.
- There will be no walk-ins. You must register ahead of time. We will close registration on the Wednesday preceding tryouts (October 28th) so that we have time to prepare everything.
- Payment is required at registration time. We will not be accepting any money on site.
- When registering, you can specify that you are interested in being considered for more than one age group, but for capacity reasons, you will only be able to attend one tryout session. Be aware, the change in the age cutoff by USAV this year has resulted in an increased number of players who can play multiple age groups. As a result, while you can request to be considered for multiple age groups, MVSA simply does not have the bandwidth to make players offers to multiple teams. When registering, you should choose the age group that you are most interested in playing (see "Thoughts on Age Groups" below for additional information).
- Region rules prevent any parents from being in the tryout facility.
- Team offers are only valid for 72 hours after they are made (new CHRVA rule for this year)
2020/21 Age Groups
Age groups are defined by USAV and are consistent across all volleyball clubs. It is possible to play up an age group but you cannot play down a group -- if you are age eligible for 15U, you are allowed (per USAV) to play 16U, but you can't play 14U.
MVSA fields teams for the following age groups:
18 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2002
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2001 and a high school student in the twelfth (12th) grade or below during some part of the current academic year
17 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2003
16 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2004
15 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2005
14 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2006
13 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2007
12 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2008
11 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2009
10 and Under:
Players who were born on or after July 1, 2010
You can download the USAV age group chart for an easier way to calculate the correct age group given someone's birth month and year.
Thoughts on Age Groups
For some players, the decision of what age group to play is a straightforward and simple process. Just use the USAV age group chart and you are done. For others, it can be a difficult decision and there may not be one right answer.
The people for whom the decision can be difficult generally fall into one of two (often related) groups:
- Players whose school grade level is "higher" than their age group
- Players born between July1 and September 1
Age groups and grade levels
Generally speaking, USAV age groups and school grade levels align as follows:
If a player started school early (relative to their peers), or if a player was born between July 1st and September 1st, their age group and expected grade level may not match. When this happens, families have some decisions to make.
Generally speaking, and assuming a player is actually age eligible (per USAV age guidelines), MVSA believes that players and their families are best served by choosing an age group based on their school grade level more so than their age group. This allows a player to play with their school peers (i.e., play with their friends) and better aligns them with expectations at the higher age groups. While it is less important when young, at the older age groups (U15 and higher) there is a general expectation that you will be playing alongside those of your same grade level. So, if you are a senior in high school, you will be expected to play in the U18 division even if you are U17 eligible according to your age. This is especially true for players who have the desire to be recruited and play volleyball in college.
While playing on grade level is our general recommendation, it may not be best for all players. A year's worth of physical development can make a huge difference, especially among the younger age groups. There will be a material difference between being the youngest U13 player on a team versus the oldest U12 player on a team. If your daughter is also a "late bloomer", the differences can be even more pronounced.
MVSA understands that a number of clubs in the Chesapeake region are telling players to strictly adhere to the age groups as defined by USAV. This results in simpler decision making and also likely results in stronger teams for the club since they will be composed of older girls. However, what may be advantageous to a particular team is not MVSA's main priority. You know where your daughter is on the development spectrum (both physical and mental) and therefore will be in the best position to determine which age group makes the most sense for her. While playing on a top 12s team may seem better than playing on the second or third 13s team, please don't let playing for a top team distract you from what is best for your child and her long term development.
If you are still not sure, here are some additional points worth considering:
- Playing outside of your grade level can be more difficult at "school boundary" grade levels. Being the only high schooler (9th grade) on a 14s team (usually composed of 8th graders) can be challenging for some kids. Other kids couldn't care less.
- Since this change is new for the 2020/21 season, some players will be able to repeat the age group they played last season. The fact that the 2019/20 club season was cut short due to the pandemic may or may not play into your decision making.
- If other players you know or played with last season are facing the same choice, what decision have they made?
- If you play for an age group below your grade level now, but want to be aligned with your grade level later on, you can do that, but you have to skip an age group at some point. For example, one club season you play U14, the next season you play U16. That can be a difficult leap.
- Playing in a higher age group than is indicated by your birthdate OR grade level is uncommon at MVSA. If you have "played up" at a previous club, you may not be able to do so at MVSA.
If after reading this you still are not sure which age group you should try out for, please contact us and we will do our best to advise you.
2020/21 Club Tryout Schedule
Directions to the tryout facilitiy can be found on the Directions tab of our website.
Sunday, Nov. 1 at Adventist HealthCare Fieldhouse:
11s and under:
- Check-in from 8:00am to 8:30am
- Tryouts from 8:30am to 11:00am
12s and under:
- Check-in from 8:00am to 8:30am
- Tryouts from 8:30am to 11:00am
13s and under:
- Check-in from 11:30am to 12:00pm
- Tryouts from 12:00pm to 2:30pm
14s and under:
- Check-in from 3:00pm to 3:30pm
- Tryouts from 3:30pm to 6:30pm
15s and under:
- Check-in from 9:00am to 9:30am
- Tryouts from 9:30am to 12:30pm
16s and under:
- Check-in from 1:00pm to 1:30pm
- Tryouts from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
17s & 18s and under:
- Check-in from 5:00pm to 5:30pm
- Tryouts from 5:30pm to 8:00pm