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What is Club Volleyball

What is Club Volleyball?

Club Unite offers a season tabbed as Club Volleyball. Club Unite enters it’s 9th Club Volleyball season for 24/25. A typical club volleyball season is November-April (teams interested in pursuing post season play such as USA or AAU Nationals will practice and play in May & June). 

Club Unite had 30 travel teams for the 23/24 season. Each team had its own practice schedule and travel schedule. 

The costs for Club Volleyball will be posted on the website (typically 4 weeks prior to tryouts). 

Two club locations are provided under the Club Unite umbrella. Knoxville and the Lakeway Area (Morristown, TN). 

Players interested in playing club volleyball should register for Club Volleyball tryouts. Players may tryout for each location but should indicate their preference for the best team placement. The registration provides directors necessary information about the player. The player will need to attend tryout/evaluations held in October.  Club Unite welcomes parents/guardians to watch practices other than tryouts. We kindly ask players be dropped off for tryouts. (A detailed email will be sent to each registrant closer to tryouts about the tryout process). 

Club Unite plays under the Southern Region umbrella. The Southern Region falls under USA Volleyball. The Southern Region passed bylaws this year to allow clubs to host club volleyball tryouts as early as July. At this current time Club Unite is choosing to host tryouts traditionally in the fall; however, moving tryouts to the late summer will most likely be in the future for the Club. 

What makes Club Volleyball unique is consistent team practices throughout the season providing players an opportunity to learn the game as a team. The middle/high school season is so short, filled with many game nights, players often miss the team training that club volleyball provides. Club Volleyball also offers streamlined club-wide positional training which enhance a player's individual abilities. Players can work on their position more intently asking their positional coaches questions while also getting court repetitions. In addition to training, the tournament experience is what players enjoy most. Hanging with the team & coach during the tournaments, playing outside teams and enjoying the team bonding are where many wonderful memories are made. 

Knoxville teams will practice in a variety of gym locations (provided once teams are formed). Morristown teams will practice at the Morristown Landing.There m ay be occasions where teams meet each other in a gym they have not been practicing in to provide an intra squad scrimmage type situation. 

Once teams are formed, each team will be provided a practice and tournament schedule (list of tournaments with the tournament dates and the location). Most club volleyball tournament events are Saturday/Sunday. The tournament will specify if the team is a Saturday morning wave 8am-2pm or a Saturday afternoon wave 2pm-8pm. The team will be in the gym during that window of time. There are tournaments which operate outside of the wave format however for the most part wave format is the norm. The time teams play on Sunday is dependent upon how the team finishes on Saturday. Teams are placed in a pool with other teams who each battle for seeding. Saturdays record slots the team into either a gold, silver, or bronze bracket which funnels the team into like-skilled competition for Sunday. Typically on Sunday the team plays two matches (sometimes only one match if the event is set up to a single elimination) however the team could play three matches if they win. All teams will be asked to officiate a match that is happening on the court they are assigned to for the day. Players will be certified to line judge, score flip, scorebook keep and down ref (the club will assure players understand how to do each job). Parents/Guardians should know that teams will not only play but will also work a match or two during their tournament. Players are required to stay and work and most often the team will stay and work the match following theirs on Sunday. 

Families & Players can discuss which club option they prefer to play in :  LOCAL vs TRAVEL. 

Club Unite's Local Program is perfect for players who need to stay close to home but still want to enjoy the club experience. The Local program is offered for all ages (12-18).  Local teams will practice up to 2x per week and play in a 5-6 weekend local tournaments  with the goal being to keep the travel to under a 90 minute drive with no hotel requirement. It is almost assured all players who try out for a local team will make a local team. Our local teams will be playing in Gatlinburg and Morristown. 

Club Unite offers a Travel Division for Club Volleyball and has two levels inside that-National & Premier. The most frequently asked question for new members is: what the difference between National and Premier in terms of the travel?

In short, National teams may have a greater radius of travel than Premier teams. National teams may also play in more 3-day events than Premier.  Premier teams will travel 2-4 hours from home and may only play in one 3-day event. National teams may travel further than 4 hours from home and may play in multiple 3-day events each season.< Premier ages 13-18 will play in 8 tournaments, Premier ages 10-12 will play in 6 tournaments.>

During tryouts, club leadership will place players on teams based on a variety of skill sets including but not limited to the player's  a. Age b. Skill & Experience c. Commitment & Participation. d. Position

All players are welcome to tryout for the team. We understand that each player has unique goals and needs, so we will work with each individual player to determine the best fit for their skill set and personal preferences. 

We strongly encourage you to attend all tryouts, as this is your chance to show us what you're made of! Players will be asked to COMMIT to Club Unite which places them onto a team which we call rostering. The commit fee goes towards the players total Club Volleyball dues. Families will receive an email from the organization asking them to accept their roster spot and finalize their membership with the Southern Region (SRVA). The region requires families to pay a membership fee that goes to the Southern Region and to USA volleyball (not Club Unite). Their srva/usa membership fee covers their insurance for the season in all practice gyms and tournament venues. However Club Unite acquires additional insurance for its athletes in addition to the USA/SRVA for safety purposes. Teams who play in an AAU event will also need an AAU Membership which Club Unite will purchase for them and ask players to pay back the $14 membership. Not all teams play in AAU events and thus not all players are asked to pay the fee. 

Any player interested in learning and playing the sport on a more consistent basis and at a higher level than they would receive from school ball or leagues will enjoy Club. 

Club Coaches are paid adults who have had an extensive volleyball background. Club Unite is committed to educating its coaching staff on a consistent basis not only with the X’s & O’s of the game but also education in how to manage a group of individuals who are growing and learning to navigate being a team player. Club Unite obtains background checks from the coaches as well as assures all coach certifications are up to date. 

The Club season practice begins in November and ends in late April  Some teams may choose to play into post season play which would be May & June. Teams who play post season are typically tabbed as a National team and teams who play Nov-April are typically tabbed Local or Premier in the Club Unite system. 

During tryouts, the tryout committee leadership groups will discuss which team is the best fit for each player AND which player is the best fit for each team. Both the teams' needs and the individual players needs are both considered during evaluations. 

Club Volleyball is offered for players as early as age 10 and runs through age 18.  Although Club Unite attempts to keep players at their age level, occasions  arise when players are asked to play up an age (ie a 15 year may play on a 16u or 17u team if the teams' needs fit that player and vice versa). Typically our 10u-12u program focuses on development and stays local in an attempt to not burnout younger athletes.

Each Club Volleyball division & age is a different cost based on the expenses/needs of the team. Club Unite offers installment payments for players who would prefer to pay over the course of the season, Club Unite also accepts a one time season payment at the beginning. Club dues cover everything except player gear, uniforms, player hotel/lodging and the memberships (USA, AAU).

Many of the athlete's who play Club Volleyball have a desire to play in college. If this is the case, players will be assigned to a recruiting coordinator within the Club Unite Organization who will assist the player and family through the process. Club Unite has a team of coaches who play a role in the recruitment process. Although it is not mandatory players who play club should want to play in college, we have found many do, and we want to provide the very best opportunities for the player's to be exposed to college recruiters.  The recruiting process is very different for each player and we discourage players / families from comparing each others process. Players interested in playing for a college should inform the Club Unite directors.