Creating the best volleyball team for your club starts with tryouts, and at the heart of these sessions are the players’ skills you will evaluate.

Selecting what abilities to test can vary based on your club’s priorities and what you are looking for in players. You should evaluate core skills to ensure you are building a reliable team with excellent fundamental abilities. There are also other skills — that while they might be considered secondary skills behind the core volleyball abilities — they can help create a strong squad that best represents your volleyball club.

To determine which skills were used the most during player evaluations, we looked at the data from more than 75,000 volleyball player evaluations to see what skills volleyball clubs that use TeamGenius most often evaluate during tryouts. Take a look at the most popular skills below to get help determining which skills to include in your club’s next evaluation.

Most Popular Skills to Evaluate Volleyball Players On

During tryouts, it’s essential to test athletes on the basics to ensure they can perform fundamental skills. You need to know the players you are putting on the court can perform offensively and defensively and successfully move the ball around to set up scoring opportunities. The most popular skills evaluated by clubs include:

Serving (89%): Serving is the most frequently tested skill during tryouts, based on what the 75,000 volleyball players in TeamGenius are evaluated on. Without solid serving skills, your club cannot score points and will struggle offensively.

Passing and Setting (87%): Passing and setting were evaluated equally as often amongst clubs. These work together to set up a team’s offense, so it makes sense that clubs would deem these equally important to test in athletes. Passing is a fundamental skill to ensure your team can successfully move the ball around and get it to the setter, who can then set up the attack.

Attacking (76%): The highlight of a club’s offensive game plan can be the attack. Clubs can test players’ hitting skills to evaluate their techniques and determine how they perform at the net.

Defense (48%): While it can be easy to get caught up in evaluating offensive skills like serving, passing, setting, and attacking, it’s also vital to test athletes on their defensive skills. After all, your squad will spend about half of the match on defense. Forty-eight percent of the clubs we work with evaluate players on defense.

Other Skills to Test at Tryouts

While scoring volleyball players on the fundamental skills of serving, passing, setting, attacking, and defensive abilities might already be on your tryouts list, there are other areas you might have overlooked to evaluate. Some of the other popular skills volleyball clubs score at tryouts are:

Communication (37%): While you might not have considered communication to be a skill to evaluate at tryouts, 37 percent of Volleyball Clubs that use TeamGenius, test players on this. Teamwork is pivotal during volleyball matches, and players need to communicate with each other while setting up offensive executions and playing defense. Using this criteria will help you get an idea of how well each player communicates during drills and scrimmages.

Vertical Jump (34%): When determining which athletes should play at the net, it’s important to mark how well they can jump. Thirty-four percent of clubs test their players’ vertical jump during tryouts. Evaluating this skill can also help determine players’ overall athletic abilities.

Leadership (16%): An invaluable skill to test in players is their leadership abilities. It’s critical to know which players can lead your team during competitions. Just as it’s important to note who you can rely on to serve in a close match, you also need to know who can step up and show leadership to bring the team together when needed.

Agility (17%): A player’s overall athleticism is important to note during tryouts. Evaluating athletes on how well they jump, move, and perform footwork is key to knowing a player’s abilities and how well they can cover the court and make plays.

Wingspan (11%): Another category 11 percent of athletes are evaluated on is their wingspan. This is important to note when determining how much territory a player can cover at the net or how much court is within the player’s reach.

Clubs score these skills on a variety of scales, typically 1-5 or 1-10. We see clubs get the best results when they go for simplicity v.s overcomplicating things, so use a 1-5 scale to keep it simple for your coaches.

When creating your volleyball tryout plan, there are no right and wrong skills to test. The skills you opt to evaluate should reflect your club’s philosophy and the structure of your club program.

If you want to see what the inside of a TeamGenius account looks like, check out Rodrigo Gomes, President & CEO of Northern Virginia Volleyball Club explain how he sets up his club for success at tryouts.

About TeamGenius
Used by 1000’s of organizations across North America, TeamGenius provides an easy-to-use mobile app for any evaluation and gives clubs instant access to evaluation data so they can make informed roster decisions. Learn more at