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Volleyball for Kids


Beach Volleyball

What is Volleyball

Volleyball for Kids

How to Buy a Volleyball

Volleyball Court/Player Positions Volleyball Official Signals/terms Volleyball Equipment  


Playing volleyball will help improve your child’s flexibility, balance and coordination. The earlier athletes are introduced to the sport of volleyball the more likely they are to develop the correct technique.

Who plays Volleyball?

Volleyball is for girls and boys as early as 6 years old, however most leagues start at fifth grade or age 9.

Summer camps are a great introduction to organized volleyball, as are local YMCA or in-town community programs.   The largest sponsoring organization for volleyball is USA Volleyball, which oversees what is commonly referred to as "club volleyball" and hosts a Junior Olympic Championship each year.   

In club volleyball, junior players develop their skills and knowledge of the game, usually with the purpose of playing for high school teams.   

USA volleyball sponsors programs for kids ages 7 - 18.  The Junior Olympic "Club" is for ages 12 -18 and the Youth program is for ages 7 - 12.   Regular season for boys is October to January with tryouts in September.  Girls regular season is November to July with tryouts in November. 

Once your child reaches middle school age you will find that most schools have a volleyball team.   Volleyball teams continue through high school and college. 

In most high schools the Volleyball program is available for both girls or boys in grades 9 -12. High school volleyball is a fall sport for girls and spring sport for boys (except in a few states) so the club season works around the high school schedules. The teams are usually broken into Varsity, Junior Varsity, Sophomore, and Freshman.

There are many different levels of college volleyball from junior colleges to Division One colleges. College volleyball is available to men and women in most colleges.  Players are usually recruited from high school based on their abilities.

USA Volleyball has strict guidelines concerning age. Click this link Age Definitions , then enter your child’s birth date and it will tell you what age division you must play in.   See below for a simple, informal guide.


high school seniors and juniors


juniors only


high school sophomores and freshmen


freshmen only


8th and 7th grade middle school


7th graders only


6th and 5th grade


The Types of Volleyball

There are two types of volleyball indoor and outdoor.  Outdoor volleyball is also known as beach volleyball and is a very popular sport, especially in warm climates.  There are two types of Indoor volleyball: select/club teams and house/recreation teams. 

The majority of clubs are only concerned with the development of their select or club teams, which are the competitive divisions for volleyball.  There are however some clubs that do a recreation or instructional division, sometimes known as the house league


Recreational/House Non-Competitive Teams

Recreational leagues are developmental, non-competitive volleyball teams for both boys and girls usually starting in grade 5 or around 9 years old.  There are some clubs that will start kids as young as 6 years old but they are difficult to find.  This type of league will teach the rules of the game, basic fundamental skills, and techniques while competing against each other in matches.  Their goal is to teach volleyball in a fun environment while instilling the love for volleyball in each player. 

There are no tryouts for this league and no experience is required.  Coaches are volunteers. Teams usually meet two times per week. One day is for practices while the other day is for games (two 25-minute games). Practice days are during the week and game days are typically on Saturday morning.  Cost is approximately $100.

Club Volleyball -- Competitive Teams – Select Teams

The objective of clubs is to have at least one highly competitive team at each age level for both boys and girls in a club.  A select team is for players with more advanced skills, similar to travel teams in soccer and lacrosse.  There are open tryouts that are held for team selections

Teams will usually practice 2-3 times a week and play a tournament about every other weekend for 4 - 6 months. Practice is during the week and tournaments are held on weekends. Most local tournaments are one day events and most regional or national tournaments are either two or three day events. Each day of a tournament is an all day affair typically starting about 8:00am and ending around 6:00pm with teams playing multiple matches in a day.

Approximate club dues include an initiation fee, USA Volleyball Registration, and season dues. Initiation fees can be between $295 – $495.  Registration is approximately $60. Season dues can be $800 - $1700 depending on the team and age group.  Travel cost can be an additional $800 – $2000 for select teams. This really depends on how many tournaments the team participates in and where they are located.  Clubs have payment plans to help disperse payment throughout the season.

Tryouts are typically in November and then there could be training camps in December. The season runs from December through June with February, March, and April being the busiest months Teams compete in tournaments from January through June.  Travel could be extensive throughout the season and the season normally ends with a Championship Level Tournament.

Many teams participate in The Volleyball Festival which is the largest volleyball tournament in the world.  Over 900 teams from across the entire USA, and some foreign countries, participate in the 4 age divisions.  A minimum of 13 matches are guaranteed for each team, and the tournament format ensures that teams will compete against other teams of similar ability.  The Festival is usually held in late June/early July, with competition lasting for an entire week. 

Practice makes perfect...

As with any other sport if your child wants to improve their volleyball skills they need to practice.  Aerobic endurance is an important part of being a good volleyball player.  Aerobic classes or running is a great way to improve your child's aerobic endurance and thus their game.

Volleyball can be played all over the world both indoors and outside so you can easily find a location for practice. Practice can be done in your own back yard by simply putting up a net or using a wall.

Encouragement verbally, physically and emotionally is the key to your child’s success in any sport. Parents can promote an interest in volleyball by spending time with their children playing before and after their regular lessons or setting it up with a volleyball friend to come over and practice.

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball is a popular recreational activity on many beaches around the world, and is generally  played in areas with wide sandy beaches. This type of volleyball  evolved from regular team volleyball, and like the indoor sport, it’s all about teams serving and returning a lightweight ball over a tall net.  It’s the perfect team sport for people who love the beach but get bored just lying on a towel all day!  For details on Beach Volleyball click here:  BEACH VOLLEYBALL.


Equipment Needed....

Volleyball is one of the few sports where you do not need a lot of equipment to play.  You will need volleyball shoes, kneepads and ankle supports, a volleyball and a water bottle.  Click here for details on volleyball equipment: EQUIPMENT.


Volleyball Officials

There are two official referees and two line judges for each game. The referee that is on a stand (always opposite the score table) is the Head referee (also known as the First or Up referee). The referee that stands opposite him/her is the Second or Down referee. There are also two line judges, to assist the official referees, that are can be coaches, teammates, or parents who are familiar with the rules of the volleyball.  Click here for volleyball official signals:  SIGNALS