Yes, boys volleyball can be a year-round sport. However, in most parts of the country, the participation numbers are not high enough to offer dedicated boys programs and travel teams. According to the NFHS the participation rates in boys high school volleyball has risen 12.0 percent in the last five years, which is the second highest among any sport.
If you want to start or grow a boys program, we’ve shared a boys programming calendar from JVA clubs who started with small participations numbers and are now offering year round boys volleyball. The program can begin with just a handful of boys, one coach and the opportunity to play.
Boys Program Calendar plus ideas to keep the boys playing all year round:
Fall Youth League begins and runs until early October
Fall High School Training begins and runs until early October
Fall Preview Camp in early August provides ability for players to meet the coaches that will be coaching in the U14s-U11s programs (offered by HPSTL)
Carolina Union runs Boys Specific Camps through September.
Free Boys Clinic
Rust Busters/Open Gyms leading up to tryouts
WAVE boys program hosts a recruiting seminar and brings in a guest college coach for a full day of training with the boys
HPSTL offers several clinics that start after Labor Day and run up until Tryouts.
Travel club try-outs begin middle to end of the month
“In September the last two years we have has hosted Stanford Associate Head Coach Ken Shibuya and it has been a fantastic learning opportunity for all involved!” shares Carolina Union Club Director John Brannon.
Club practices start. These include positional training.
“Practices are three times per week through December, then two times per week in January and February when the heavy tourney schedule starts” shares Carlos Capo, Boys Co-Director at The Academy . “When we had our first season four years ago, we had two boys teams (14’s and 18’s). We have since grown the program and last year we had 6 travel teams (13’s through 18’s), plus a training-only option. Many of your players are getting recruited to play in college and our expectation this year is to have a record number of our players play at the next level.“
“Depending on the program our teams practice 2-4 times per week” says HPSTL Club Director Scott Mebruer. “Regional teams that do not travel will practice less. Elite travel teams will train more. Tournament seasons will impact some of the training frequency, but we try to limit the amount of weekend practices we have for elite travel teams, so that they are still able to train 3-4 times a week even through the heavier tournament months.”
Carolina Union runs Boys Tryouts. Practices will begin informally in October and November. “Because the program is still developing in the Southeast, practice schedules can fluctuate greatly. The last couple of years we have gone once during the week and then on the weekend to allow for players who travel in from out of town to be there and not have to worry about school” adds Brannon.
Club tournaments start and continue through February
First tournament mid-November in Orlando for A5 Boys Volleyball Program
The Academy is hosting its 3rd Annual Men’s Collegiate Invite for local players to experience up close the speed and power of the college level. In addition, The Academy is hosting the first ever boys recruiting showcase in Indianapolis. “We expect many local players to participate, as well as, players from regional clubs, such as Fury in Louisville” adds Capo.
“We run a boys ladder series starting in November that continues through February” adds Mebruer. “This format allows everyone to find a level of play that challenges them, so that our top teams are not playing teams that don’t have much experience, and vice versa. It makes for a better experience for everyone while being able to round out our local schedule. We have had teams from Kansas City and Louisville come to this event in the past. Out of town teams can attend one date or multiple dates.”
December through February
Practices and tournaments. The Academy offers regional and elite travel options. Regional teams will play in about 5 to 7 tournaments, while Elite teams will go to 9 or 10 tournaments.
“Our practice frequency does not change during this time, as we believe that practice in some ways is more important than tournaments” says Mebruer. “Our regional teams will have approximately 10 tournament dates, our elite teams will travel 4-5 times, and have over 20 dates of play.”
Mebruer also adds “We run an Alumni tournament before the holidays while our past players are on winter break. They get together with their past friends to form Alumni teams that participate in the tournament, and we enter our top travel teams in the event as well. This allows our past players and families to interact with our current players and families. This event is my favorite of the season as it allows our current players to see the players that have come before them, while it also inspires them to see some really great players that started where they are. Getting to connect with our Alumni is always a great time!”
The Academy created a training-only option to provide opportunities for players that either play other sports and can’t commit to full travel or players that did not make a travel team roster.
A5 holds practices twice a week through the middle of February with several USAV and JVA tournaments.
“The tournament season for us (Carolina Union) begins in late December and early January. Our 18’s teams have frequented a few college club tournaments over the past few years to get match experience together without having to travel to the west coast or midwest. Other than our top team, that will travel quite a bit, our teams follow more of a girls calendar, January through March. From mid-march to April, all of our boys teams take a little bit of break, because everywhere else in the country it’s high school season” shares Brannon.
March through April or May
High school season starts for states that offer boys volleyball, and these players can’t participate in any club activities. Many boys are competing in another spring sport, so it is common for the boys travel programs to take a break (The Academy).
Spring training can be offered for non-high school aged players, or players who are not competing in another spring sport.
HPSTL players that do not have high school teams to play can continue to come in and train with the girls teams. This helps our girls teams add to their practice experience by elevating play with the male athletes as well. The boys middle school and grade school teams will continue training and competing through early April.
HPSTL also begins its Outdoor Extension Program for Boys Middle/Grade School teams in May. “This is an outdoor doubles training opportunity to help promote the doubles game, which has a great value in helping our boys overall volleyball IQ, as well as help them become more well-rounded volleyball players from a skill perspective. I cannot say enough about the benefits of playing outdoor doubles from a player development standpoint” shares Mebruer.
“Additionally, we offer an abbreviated introduction to club volleyball for high school players after their high school seasons complete in May. Our Summer Development Program is a month long with 10 practices dates, and 2 play dates that allows them to see our top teams side by side with them in the practice and tournament gym. Many boys do not find volleyball until they get to high school, so this opportunity capitalizes on the fact that they just found this great sport that they enjoyed for 3 months, and lets them know that there is something more out there for those interested. Many of our players that go on to play collegiately start in this program.”
“We will continue to support any regional tournaments during the February – April timeframe including our Boys Belligerents and the JVA Challenge in Charlotte” adds A5 Boys Director Kip Buss.
A5 holds spring tryouts the first week of May then competed in the East Coast Championships during Memorial Day weekend
June through early July
Summer club season
Some of The Academy winter club teams come back for the summer session PLUS they hold try-outs for new players to join the summer session
Teams compete in AAU Boys Championships in late June and/or Boys Junior National Championships the first week of July.
HPSTL outdoor program is in full swing
Carolina Union boys kick back into gear in May and June/early July. They finish at either AAU Nationals or USAV Nationals.
High School Summer League. This past July The Academy had a record number of high school teams participating in summer league with 12.
Summer camps and trainings – clubs can offer opportunities for the younger boys together with girls, and dedicated boys summer camp for all ages.
While attended primarily by girls, all Carolina Union camps are open to boys and girls. “We’ve started having more boys join camps for setting and ball control work” adds Brannon.
HPSTL summer camp/clinic season runs through early August. “Our niche has always been specialty camps and clinics. In the last 5 years we started bringing in college coaches to lead an elite series of these positional/specialty camps and clinics. This helps our players hear different voices while also putting them in front of college coaches from a recruiting perspective. Any time college coaches can come and work with our players is a benefit to everyone” says Mebruer.
HPSTL dual indoor/outdoor players will end their outdoor seasons at Beach Nationals in late July.
The Academy (Indianapolis, IN), A5 (Atlanta, GA), WAVE (Del Mar, CA), High Performance St. Louis (St. Louis, MO) and Carolina Union (Charlotte, NC) are members of the Junior Volleyball Association. To learn more about the JVA click HERE.