August 16, 2011

Club Volleyball Age Limits and College Volleyball Recruiting

I have a daughter who will be entering her freshman year of high school the first week of September.  She has been home schooled for the past 8 years.  Her wish is to play competitive high school volleyball and hopefully to play in college. She is currently 15 years old, with a birthday of October 31st.   According to the high school AD, she is still eligible to play 4 years of high school sports.   She will be 19 years old when she graduates.   

What I have read is that the 16 year old AAU mark is a major year.   My daughter will be a freshman going into her sophomore year when she is 16.  This will be just the beginning of her high school volleyball experience, while others will have several years of high school volleyball. 

Any advice? P.O.

I am not too sure about the age limits/definitions on club teams, but they have specific date ranges for each age group.  Being that many parents will start their child one year behind her class (which my family did), I would think USA Volleyball would allow for 19 year old seniors in high school.  I know you referenced AAU in your question, but 99% of juniors teams are members of USA Volleyball and thus follow their rules of participation.
To find out the date range definition, which should allow your daughter to play with her class age, versus her birth age, please go to

On this page, there will be a box labeled AGE DEFINITIONS and this will give you an idea about what age group your daughter can play in.  If you have any questions, just contact USA Volleyball and ask for the person who oversees Juniors Volleyball to get the answer from them.

The challenge with your PSA's age, is that while she is playing 16's (as a Freshman), she would really have 3 years of high school left, as opposed to the normal two before graduation and off to college. In moving the scenario forward, she will be 19 years old when it is spring of her senior year, but she would technically be in the 18's age group of USA Volleyball Junior participation. 
Again, I would hope USAV would have an understanding of this situation because there are many kids who are older than their year in school.  Don't worry about high school, because your daughter will have the physical advantage of being one year older than all of her classmates.  Plus, college coaches usually don't recruit from high schools, club dominates our recruiting world.
Find out, via USA Volleyball, what age group she must play in and then this, combined with her high school academics and testing, will allow you to plan your recruiting efforts accordingly.  As long as you communicate with college coaches about ages and playing age definitions, you should have no issues on the recruiting end.

But, if I have not comprehended your question, to the end that this question is more based upon High School and not so much Club Volleyball, then I would be less concerned with her birth date and more concerned with her Volleyball skill sets.  As you have referenced, her high school team mates will enjoy a year or more of Volleyball experience, along with possibly Club Volleyball.  What this adds up to, is your daughter could be behind in her development, especially if she was home schooled and did not play  Junior High Volleyball in a home school league.

At this point, if you are trying to make up for lost skill training time, then you would need to consider private lessons, since the summer camp season has come to an end.  You can contact your local Club Volleyball team (if you live in a region or big enough city which supports Club Volleyball) about arranging for private lessons. 
If you are not in that position, then the best thing your daughter can do is go into her freshman year of High School Volleyball with a positive attitude, work very hard and apply those skills and techniques the coaches are showing.  

Good luck and my other advice is to wear sunscreen.

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