Tryout Specifics for 2022/23

  • There will be no walk-ins. You must register ahead of time.
  • Tryouts registration will close at noon on the Wednesday preceding tryouts so that we have time to prepare everything. This is November 2nd for 10s-14s and November 9th for 15s-18s.
  • Payment is required at registration time. We will not be accepting any money on site.
  • For capacity reasons...
    • You can only attend the tryouts for one age group and will specify that age group during registration. If you would like to be considered for more than one age group please let us know in the registration comments box.
    • Parents/spectators will not be allowed in the tryout facility. Athletes may be accompanied into the building for check-in purposes only. All athletes should plan to meet their ride in front of the building after tryouts.
  • CHRVA has changed tryouts for 14U to be the first weekend in November, not the second weekend as is typical.
  • CHRVA has shortened the open tryout period this year. Team offers must now be accepted by 10pm on the Tuesday following tryouts.

2022/23 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 an age group. If you are age eligible for 15U, you are allowed (per USAV) to play 16U, but you can't play 14U. To determine your age group, please reference the USAV age group definition document. All you need is someone's birth month and year.

MVSA fields teams in the 10U through 18U age groups.

Thoughts on Age Groups

The decision of what age group to play is a straightforward and simple process for most players. Just follow the directions in the previous section 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:

  1. Players whose school grade level is "higher" than their age group
  2. Players born between July1 and September 1

Age groups and grade levels

Generally speaking, USAV age groups and school grade levels align as follows:

• 10U - 4th grade

• 13U - 7th grade

• 16U - 10th grade

• 11U - 5th grade

• 14U - 8th grade

• 17U - 11th grade

• 12U - 6th grade

• 15U - 9th grade

• 18U - 12th grade

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 birthdate. 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 (15U 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 18U division even if you are 17U 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 13U player on a team versus the oldest 12U player on a team. If your daughter is also a "late bloomer", the differences can be even more pronounced.

Additional considerations

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.
  • Do you know other players who are facing the same choice, what decision have they made? For many, playing with friends is more important than any other considerations.
  • 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 14U, the next season you play 16U. That can be a difficult leap for some.
  • Playing in a higher age group than is indicated by both your birthdate AND 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 are still not sure which age group you should try out for, please contact us and we will do our best to advise you.