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Tryout Guidelines

Thank you in advance for educating yourself on the tryout process, realistically preparing yourself and your daughter for all possible outcomes, and understanding that this is a necessary part of elite-level athletics. 

DEFINITIONS
“Tryouts” is the process through which players are chosen for the various NYC Juniors teams.  This process consists of written evaluations, observation of the players in game and drill contexts during designated “tryout” session. Tryout participants will be given color-coded T-Shirts, based on USA Volleyball age guidelines, with numbers.  This is to create an equitable atmosphere to judge skill and performance.

In the younger age groupings (particularly 11s-13s) the Club’s focus is predominately developmental, i.e., a team structure that will develop the skills of as many players as much as possible.  We encourage athletes younger than 11 to tryout for travel teams.  In fact, most years several 11U athletes are 9 or 10 years of age.

EVALUATING SKILL LEVELS
All evaluations are obviously subjective – coaches from different clubs, and even within the same club, may disagree on the potential of any given athlete.  At NYC Juniors, coaches understand this and generally try to seek out the opinions of their colleagues within the club when making final roster choices.

While volleyball experience and skill levels are clearly the greatest indicator of an athlete making a team, there are other factors that come into play, namely attitude, work ethic, and the “coachability” factor.  These are all part of the evaluation process during the tryout. 

A BIG TIP FOR ATHLETES
If you are able to demonstrate, during the tryout, that you are able to take a coach’s suggestion and CHANGE your usual method by trying the method suggested by the coach, and improving your skill – then you have demonstrated  exactly the thing that most coaches are looking for. 

ATHLETES “PLAYING UP” IN AGE GROUP
All players interested in being considered for a team are expected to attend the tryout for that team’s age group.  If a player cannot attend for a legitimate reason, then the coach of the team and assigned evaluators will discuss how to assess that player and whether she will be offered a spot on a team.

On occasion some athletes “play up” in an age group older than their age indicates. The club does not encourage this sort of roster move unless it makes clear and obvious sense – i.e., an athlete has been competing at that level in the past and still maintains the capability to do so, or an athlete new to the club with previous experience playing at a high level is clearly skilled enough to be considered for an older team.

A second case of “playing up” would be encouraged if an athlete in a younger age group: 1) did not make the “National” team in her designated group, and 2) was talented enough to make a team in a higher age group, or 3) offered a positional advantage to a coach looking to fill roster with her particular skill set.

MOVEMENT BETWEEN "NATIONAL" AND "TRAVEL" TEAM 
In many cases there is roster movement from year to year – athletes may have improved a skill set over the previous year, or a coach may be looking to fill a specific position with a new player.

Movement between teams, where appropriate,  is necessary to preclude players and/or their parents from believing that they have a “right” to stay on “their” team even if the player does not possess the requisite skill level to play on the team.  Also, holding on to an unqualified player on a top team is unfair to the new player, that may deserve to make that team.

Immediately after the tryouts, coaches make a preliminary assessment and player allocation.  No team parents or players take part in this meeting.  Generally, head coaches of the older age groups make their team choices first (e.g. evaluating a talented athlete wishing to “play up.”)  Head coaches of all the “National” teams, in conference with “Travel” team coaches, have first selection.  Based on the “National” team selections, the “Travel” team decisions follow. 

OFFERS AND COMMITMENTS

Roster selections for both "National" and "Travel" teams, along with respective alternates, will be communicated to families as soon as decisions are made by the coaching staff, either by email or phone call. Upon roster announcements, details will be extended to prospective team members, including information about the team for which a player has been selected, fees for the season, and the paperwork and deposit necessary to accept a spot on the roster.

In extenuating circumstances, NYC Juniors reserves the right to selectively begin the process of extending "early offers" to chosen players as coaches make roster decisions. Please note that all offers may not be given out at the same time. This is simply because some decisions can be made easier than others, and some athletes may have offers from multiple clubs. Also, often times, "Travel" team coaches will have to wait until "National" team rosters are set before they can assign spots to remaining players.

NYC Juniors competes in the Garden Empire Region under the umbrella of USA Volleyball. The Garden Empire Volleyball Association (GEVA) provides strict tryout guidelines by which all clubs and members are
governed. Complete rules and regulations can be found here: http://www.geva.org/juniors/445-2013-recruiting-and-committment-guide

Per GEVA guidelines, NYC Juniors reserves the right to ask for written commitment to an "offer" after a mandatory 72 hour waiting period. If a player is unable or unwilling to make a commitment after the 72 hours, their position on the team could potentially be offered to another player. In many cases, there will be athletes who have yet to be offered a spot, waiting for word on roster openings.

WHAT IF I DON'T MAKE A TEAM?

Once all roster spots are officially accepted, final rosters will be posted on the club's website, and all families will be notified via email. At this point, all decisions are final. The Club may offer additional playing options (i.e. weekend Skills Academy or future training opportunities). If you have not been offered a spot on a team, please do NOT contact NYC Juniors regarding team roster decisions. While we wish we could provide the coaches and facilities to be able to accept all interested athletes, we do not have the resources to do so, and thus, every year, final cuts must be made.

The reality is that the majority of interested athletes will NOT make an NYC Juniors National or Travel team. For most age-groups, we will see 50-80 athletes at Tryouts, of which only 20-24 will make teams. If you do not make the cut, be proud of yourself for the effort you gave, and continue to work on your skills for future tryouts.

We ask all athletes and parents to respect the decisions made by NYC coaches and staff, and encourage all athletes who do not make a team to seek out alternative volleyball opportunities and always to return the following year.

POST TRYOUT RESPONSIBILITIES

Playing club volleyball with NYC Juniors, or any other club, is not inexpensive. Because our club is a non-profit organization, run by part-time employees, and because gym space in the city is incredibly costly, we rely on prompt payment of all club fees. NYC Juniors is making a one-year commitment to you and your child when you are asked to join a team. Similarly, by accepting this invitation and joining one of our teams, you are assuming the responsibility for paying the required team fees (less any financial aid granted).

**Note that NYC Juniors does NOT ascribe to the belief that elite-level volleyball need be elitist by nature. We strive to offer any and all deserving players an opportunity to play on a club team, regardless of their ability to pay. We have a Scholarship Fund available to support those families who need financial assistance to cover club fees. If you would like to apply for financial aid, you can let us know AFTER you have received an offer to join a team. In this way, we make sure financial need never becomes a factor in the selection process. Requests for Financial Aid go through our online Team Acceptance Registration by simple selecting "I will be applying for Financial Aid" as your payment plan option.**