January 26, 2015

NCAA Division II Volleyball Scholarship Questions

Hi, my name is T and I need your help

Can you tell me how this works? Are all teams under the guidelines of the NCAA? Does every Division 2 team have to abide by the same rules?  How many Athletic Scholarships does a Division 2 program get for Women’s Volleyball and where does that money come from? How are those scholarships allowed to be awarded? Half, partial or Full? Who has the control over those scholarships and how they are awarded?  If you could explain this process to me it would really be helpful. I need to understand so I know if they are providing me with the truth or just leading me on? 

Your response would be very helpful.


NCAA Division II has a different terminology for volleyball scholarships, than Division I.  Most notably is that DII is an Equivalency Sport, as opposed to being a DI Head Count Sport; quick summary is packaging partial scholarships versus a full athletic scholarship!  To make the DII recruiting process a bit more confusing, is that DII has a different set of contact rules than DI.  VolleyFamilies tend to get their 'recruiting education' via the media, which is focused on the DI sports!

And now, without further delay…… your answers:

- Yes, every member of NCAA Division II must follow the same rules, as written/published in the NCAA compliance manual.

- Please note, that DI and DII have different rules in many cases (eligibility, contact, etc), while some rules are the same (continuing eligibility, countable hours of volleyball, etc).

-  NCAA DII says that a program can be funded up to 8 athletic scholarships, but each conference and/or school makes its own determination as to what level the volleyball program(s) will be funded.  A large number of DII schools/conferences do not fund their volleyball programs at 8 scholarships.

-  Athletic Scholarships come from the university/college.

-  In DII, the majority of Athletic Scholarships are in partial scholarships.  "Partial" can be anything up to a  Full (so a 1/8 scholarship and a 7/8 scholarship would both be considered a partial athletic scholarship).

-  The Head Coach will make the determination of how much athletic scholarship money to award each individual player, and has control over the renewal/reduction/increase of said athletic scholarships.

-  College coaches have to look at prioritizing their recruits/players because they have limited athletic scholarship funds (when compared to DI).  This means some players will be on more or less athletic scholarship money than other players.

- The largest component of a DII scholarship comes from outside athletics; academic, merit and need based scholarship avenues.  And, the college coach will have zero influence over these non-athletic scholarships.

-  All of the above, results in DII Volleyball players being awarded scholarship packages. These packages are usually compiled and presented to families by the volleyball coach, but the coach only has control over the athletic amount!

Hope the above information was helpful!

The Coach

January 19, 2015

College Volleyball Recruiting and Libero Question #1458

I am a junior in highschool and have only played volleyball for 3 years. I was pulled up to varsity my sophomore year from playing the freshmen volleyball team. I am 5'6" and play libero in club and outside/middle in a school of short kids. 

During club tryouts this year I got sick, and to make the story short, I ended up in a 17/18 team that is not so strong. I was told that I have great passing and footwork skills by the Combines and camps I've previously attended and by my previous club coaches,  but I feel that my chances of getting looked at by college coaches are now diminshed since the team that I am in only attend the most basic tournaments and they are not that solid to get any audience. Is there anything else I can do or attend to showcase my skills? 

Im in Northern California.

Thank you


T….T….T……You have not read through the 931 posts of collegevolleyballcoach.com have you?  T….T….T……

You are in the alternative college volleyball recruiting world called Mundo Libero - Basically an altered state where the Liberos are the last player taken in the recruiting process and families exist in this half life of volleyball enjoyment and recruiting agony!  

A few points for your to consider and many of which I have written about in Inside College Volleyball:

1.  College volleyball coaches recruit players, not teams.

2.  Talent is what matters and your Talent with create your Opportunities.

3.  "…outside/middle in a school of short kids."  Outstanding!!!!  Look at the positive; you now understand what goes through the minds of attackers, which should increase your ability as a Libero!

4.  Patience Obi Wan Kenobi……Liberos are traditionally the last player taken, so you have plenty of time in the recruiting process.

5.  Don't stress about this year's club playing schedule because you really won't 'engage' heavily in recruiting until next year. Focus upon building up your skill sets via club/camps/combines.  Each touch can make you better if you make each touch count.

6.  For 18's, be aware of trying out for/selecting the best team (training) with the best travel schedule (as to get seen).

7.  If you don't have that luxury or success, then use technology - video, emails and NCSA Athletic Recruiting can be great resources for you.  

8.  Reach out to college coaches; don't wait for them to find you.

Good luck and keep working the recruiting process!

Coach Sonnichsen