Could you please give me your opinion on a girl graduating high school early to start taking college classes in January and then join the team early? How does that affect her playing eligibility? Any information that you could give me on this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you - T
My opinion is that I don't agree with this path into college volleyball.
The senior year of high school and club volleyball is such a special and irreplaceable time, that to leave it early to become an extended freshman is a poor choice. I believe that the senior year and not just the senior year of high school volleyball, allows for leadership development, for physical/mental maturity, and for just the natural cycle of a kid's youth, that to shorten this time period to go get reps in spring practice and take some introductory history class is not the smartest thing to do.
In terms of eligibility, I believe the SA would need to redshirt that spring, but since the redshirt rules allow for participation in the non-traditional season, she could play (but again, she would have used her redshirt year and this would mandate applying for a 6th year of eligibility if she were to actually suffer an injury later in her career). On this point, I am not 100% sure, but I am willing to bet I am correct on these rules.
I can only see supporting such an endeavour provided the PSA is extremely intelligent and wanted the immediate academic challenge of college (was already long completed with high school graduation requirements), was athletically beyond the training cycle of 18 open club volleyball, already possessed a very mature personality and had the confidence to handle the transition from a high school to a collegiate lifestyle 9 month early.
I think college coaches/families should let high school kids be high school kids. This time of their lives will NEVER happen again, and to push a PSA into college early is misguided.