The SMA Volleyball program is growing bigger and better every year. Our 1st and 2nd graders participate in a league with other Catholic Schools. Our 3rd through 8th graders play in CSAA leagues across the community. Sign-ups occur over the summer, with tryouts and practices in late July.
SMA Girls’ Volleyball Tryout Information
When and where are tryouts?
Beginning tryout dates are set by the CSAA and are typically the 4th week of July. All tryout dates will be posted on the SMA web site. They may also be posted in newsletters, handouts, emails, etc. All tryouts will be held in the SMA gym. Per SMA policy, anyone unable to attend tryouts will be placed on the lowest team with no exceptions.
Fees and Refunds
Fees should have been paid at sign-ups. If not, you will need to bring a check for the full amount of the fee prior to tryouts. The amount of the fee will be posted on the SMA web site and in newsletters, etc. Absent previous arrangements, if you have not paid the full registration fee, you will not be permitted to try out.
Once a player goes through try-outs, there will be no refunds. The reasons for this are (1) The school must turn in team registrations fees to the CSAA by a deadline and it is possible that all teams may not have completed tryouts by then. Team selection normally occurs AFTER the CSAA deadline. Accordingly, it is expected that all players who have signed up are expected to play; the total number of teams reported to CSAA is based on the number of kids who signed up. The school will not be allowed to change the number of teams after the CSAA deadline, so we need to maintain our numbers, and (2) In order to have uniforms by the start of the season, uniforms will be ordered immediately after tryouts.
Separate tryouts will be held for grades 3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, and grades 7 and 8 and shall comply with CSAA time limits. Some grades may have too many players to conduct a single tryout per night. In the event this occurs, a second (or more , as needed) tryout time will be added on each night. The players will be sorted differently on the two nights to make sure that everyone is evaluated properly.
The Volleyball Coordinator, selected volleyball coaches and volunteers will have an organized tryout comprised of drills and scrimmages to ensure that each player will be able to demonstrate her skill level. Drills for 5-8 will include passing, setting, attacking, serving and scrimmage play. Grades 3-4 will include passing, attacking, serving and scrimmage play.
A panel of independent evaluators will evaluate the players. An independent evaluator is defined as someone with knowledge of the sport and previous coaching and/or playing experience. The independent evaluator may be an SMA coach at a different grade level. No parent may grade their own child and may not attend tryouts unless they have been selected to coach a team. There will be a minimum of three and a maximum of five evaluators per tryout.
There will be a single scoring form used for all tryouts. This will allow evaluators to maintain consistency across multiple grade groups. However, evaluators will still be observing players scrimmaging and their individual skills and volleyball acumen will be based upon an evaluator’s subjective observation. The grading formula for determining a composite score for each player will also be the same for all tryouts.
Each player will be given a score from 1-5 for each drill and scrimmage play by each evaluator. The evaluators’ scores for passing, setting, attacking and serving will be averaged together and then added to their score for scrimmage play (will account for 50% of the player’s grade) giving each player a final score with 10 being the highest. We highly encourage girls to come both dates for tryouts. Each tryout date, the girls will be given a score—the higher of the two is used for evaluation.
The grading scale will be defined as follows:
- 5 = Excellent skill level, moves feet to the ball, calls the ball, core balance is strong, technique is correct
- 4 = Very good, moves feet to the ball, calls the ball, core balance is stable, technique is good
- 3 = Good, moves OK, calls the ball only part of the time, average strength in core, technique inconsistent
- 2 = Coordinated but no skills, tries very hard all of the time, wants to learn, has potential
- 1 = Gave effort but no skills, tries hard, good attitude, but very weak in core and not coordinated
- 0 = No effort, no skills
Who is allowed inside the gym during tryouts?
The only people allowed inside the gym during tryouts are the registered players, evaluators, Coaches for that grade, viable potential coaching candidates for that particular grade level, and athletic board members.
How will teams be formed after the tryouts?
In Grades 3-4, the level of play and abilities is such that there is no need to fill specific positions on the Team. Therefore, for Grades 3-4, the players will be sorted by final grades from highest to lowest. The top players will be assigned to the A team, the next group to the B Team, etc. The A team coach will have an opportunity to make two changes (at most) based on position needs, in order to balance the team, provided the coach presents a valid reason. No player may be moved down more than one level. NOTE: If the A coach’s child was not placed on the team because of his/her score, but because of a coaching assignment and meeting the above criteria, then this will be considered one of the two allowed changes. The B and C1 coaches will then go through the same process. In the event there are multiple teams at and below the C2 level, these teams will be divided as evenly as possible to ensure they are competitive and balanced.
In Grades 5-8, the level of play is such that there is a need to fill specific positions on the team, i.e. setter, attacker, libero. Therefore, for Grades 5-8, scoring sheets and composite scores will be collected for reference during team selection. The A team coach picks his/her entire team first, then the B team, then C1 and so on.
After the teams are selected, the players will be contacted by their coach and informed of what team they are on and when/where the first practice will be.
SMA Girls’ Volleyball Team Levels and Playing Time
Playing time is approached differently at each of the three divisions.
4th grade division includes players from both 3rd and 4th grade. This is a developmental division – there is no tournament play. The focus is on fundamental skill development and learning to play the sport the correct way. The three-contact concept (pass, set, hit/pass) is not always the winning method at this level, but will make the players better in the years to come. Playing time should be equal for all the girls.
6th grade division includes players from both 5th and 6th grade. This is an instructional division and will participate in the CSAA City Tournament. The focus is a continuation of the fundamental skills, utilizing the three-contact concept and developing offensive/ defensive strategies. Playing time is not equal; however, it should be fair – we are trying to work everyone in at this level but this is a competitive league so we are going for the win.
8th grade division includes players from 7th and 8th grade. This is a competitive division participating in the CSAA Tournament. Playing time is not equal but at the coaches’ discretion for best strategy to win. It is at this division the fundamentals come into play – players are worked into positions. Practice time should be equal for all players.
Couple of notes to keep in mind—as a Catholic Grade School, we are a “no-cut” athletic sport. Meaning, regardless of the guidelines above, we do not cut any girl due to skill level and we will work hard to make sure everyone progresses during the season.
Additionally, equal playing time is a hard one to measure. We ask our coaches to make it fair but at their discretion. If your daughter wants more playing time (6th-8th grade), encourage her to talk to her coach one-on-one. This is a skill they will need at any level of play. If you have a complaint or concern, please use the 24-hour rule before contacting the coach, either in person, by phone, or by e-mail. If you feel strongly in the moment, please contact the Coordinator, or if not the Coordinator, then our Athletic Directors. Usually after 24 hours, we can address the concern—we all have the girls’ best interests in mind.
Also – playing time is different from practice time. We all invest hours of time for practice – every girl made the team they are on fairly and should be practiced equally. Everyone should feel a part of the team’s success and equally prepared to play on game day.
Any questions, please contact Amanda Young, SMA Volleyball Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMA offers Boys Volleyball for students in Grades 3 through 8. Sign-ups typically occur in January with practices beginning in February.
Any questions, please contact Erin Brown, SMA Boys Volleyball Coordinator at email@example.com.