Club Volleyball Overview
The club season runs from December through April. Tryouts are the first weekend in November and teams are generally formed in the following week. In November, players will come to commitment night, and have team bonding events. Practice will start in the first week of December, followed by a break through the Holidays. Practices resume in January and the season will end in early May.
Most teams practice 3x per week, generally two hours per practice and usually during the weeknight evenings and on Sunday. 12s and under practice 2x per week.
Tournaments and League play will be held approximately twice per month, and are generally all-day or even multi-day affairs, and will start in January It’s important to know, a tournament day is generally a full one. Teams often meet between 6:00 am and 7:00 am and often don’t return to Santa Cruz until 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm, or even later depending on the “wave” (am or pm).
The coaching staff is assigned to a team to maintain a 1:6 Coach to Player ratio. Head coaches often have 10+ years of playing the game, and 5+ years of coaching, and are professional and very knowledgeable about the game. Club Cruz takes extra effort to curate our coaching staff to have those individuals who understand our unique approach to putting the Player development first.
Club Volleyball is much more expensive than other recreational programs. The coaching staff, hotel expense/travel expense for coaches, facilities, league fees, tournament fees, team equipment, player gear, insurance, etc all combine to make the expense for a player to be in the range of $1900 to $3900 depending on the team. (See Team Fees for details on the current season.) Financial aid may be available to those families that need it, and payment plans are available as well. We strive to not turn any player away due to financial circumstance.
That all being said, Club Volleyball experiences are great for the girls that participate in them. Being with a supportive team environment, working with professional coaches, and traveling at times to play in tournaments and league events with the team and parent community are quite rewarding, and the memories and friendships are lifelong.
Club Cruz Club Team Levels
Grey Teams – (September – December) These Developmental Teams are designed to give the player who is new to the game the opportunity to play on a recreational team in a relaxed environment. These teams are a part of our Academy program.
Blue Teams – (December – May) Blue teams are for players that are ready for their next step in volleyball. These teams typically play in the NCVA Premier league consisting of a qualifier, 4 -5 league game days and a championship at the end of the season. Blue Teams may attend an additional tournament. Travel is ideally limited to the extended San Francisco Bay Area.
Gold Teams – (December – May) Gold Teams are a higher level of commitment and competition and are our elite “travel” teams. Teams will play in the NCVA Power league consisting of a qualifier, 3-4 league game days and a championship at the end of the season. Additionally, Gold teams will participate in 2 additional tournaments, plus a National Qualifier in Reno.
Club Cruz Club Teams Structure
Club Cruz takes a unique approach to our club teams – We focus on the player first, and the teams second from a developmental perspective. We want to create the ideal conditions for players to become much better at the game, not necessarily trying to create the best teams possible. Focusing on the team first can have detrimental effects on players.
Club sports, as opposed to School team sports, is to develop the skills and strengths of the player. To that end, we create great team environments for player development by limiting the team to 10 players that have similar skill levels and are complementary roles for the team. If offered a role on the team, the player will know what she is to expect. These 10 players may be joined by 2 practice players for a total of 12 on a team.
- 10 Tournament Players – These players participate in all of the practices and will also participate in the games the team plays in the league and/or tournaments. All players play. Not all players play the same amount of time, but all will play in the league and/or tournament games.
- 2 Practice Players – The coach may decide to carry 2 additional players that will participate in all team activities, with the exception of playing in the league and/or tournaments. The coach, at his or her discretion, may ask a practice player to play in the league and/or tournament games if a Tournament Player can’t play and the practice player has the same role. In all cases, Practice Players are welcome to travel with the team and participate in all of the other activities.
To Learn more
Since no program is perfect for every player, we encourage families to do their research and make the decision that is right for them. There are many factors that go into the decision, but before deciding to play for a club, families should understand the club and coaching philosophy, the expenses and commitment required, and learn something about the coaching staff and the instruction that will be provided.
While we have worked hard to provide volleyball opportunities to a wide range of players, we do not believe that Club Cruz Volleyball is the best club for every family. We encourage players to attend clinics and seminars to get feel for the coaches and the culture of the program, and for parents to attend our informational meetings, speak with other Club Cruz families, and meet the coaches.
Contact us and/or attend our informational session in October. We are happy to discuss your daughter to see if a Club Team is an appropriate fit for her and her family.