Women’s volleyball is an incredibly fast-growing sport—in 2017, there were 444,779 high school volleyball players. Only 5.9% of those athletes will go on to compete on a college volleyball team, and a mere 1.2% will play for a Division 1 school. Needless to say, getting recruited to play in college is extremely competitive, and it’s imperative that athletes understand how to successfully navigate the volleyball recruiting process if they want to make it to the next level.
NCSA provides an in-depth look at the volleyball recruiting process, including insider tips from former collegiate volleyball coaches and players. We help families gauge the right division levels to target, create a recruiting video that will capture coaches’ attention and understand the NCAA volleyball recruiting rules.
The NCAA is responsible for enforcing its volleyball recruiting rules, which mandate when and how coaches can proactively contact athletes. At the Division 1 and Division 2 levels, most communication is permissible starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year in high school. On the other hand, college coaches at the Division 3 and NAIA levels do not have limits on phone calls and electronic communications.
For most families, one of the biggest draws to competing on a college volleyball team is the allure of getting a volleyball scholarship. And over 1,300 schools at the Division 1, Division 2, NAIA and junior college levels could offer volleyball scholarships, depending on how well-funded their program is. Though Division 3 schools don’t provide athletic scholarships, they do help connect athletes with other forms of financial aid that can pay for a portion—or all—of the cost of tuition.
At the Division 1 level, volleyball is considered a headcount sport, which means that every scholarship is a full ride to the school. D1 teams are allowed to provide a maximum of 12 full-ride scholarships to talented volleyball recruits. At the other division levels, coaches can divide up their scholarship dollars however they want, usually giving the most money to athletes who have the potential to make an immediate, positive impact on the success of the team.
There’s increasing pressure for volleyball recruits to start the volleyball recruiting process earlier and earlier. According to our survey of college coaches, D1 coaches begin searching for talent the earliest of the division levels, with the majority starting when prospects are in 9th grade. For coaches in power conferences (think: the Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC), coaches scout out talented 8th graders, as well as freshmen in high school. D2 and D3 coaches reported that they begin evaluating recruits in 10th grade, and the majority of junior college coaches kick off their evaluations in 11th grade.
Because of this trend toward early recruiting, there’s a lot of pressure on volleyball recruits to become experts in the volleyball recruiting process at a young age. This means young athletes and their families need to understand how to:
A volleyball recruiting video is a compilation of an athlete’s best plays to showcase her volleyball skillset. While only 3–5 minutes in length, volleyball recruiting videos have to pack a punch, as college coaches use recruiting videos to determine if they will reach out to a volleyball recruit—or move on to the next athlete. In fact, most coaches say that they can tell within the first 25 seconds of a recruiting video if they are interested in that athlete or not.
Creating a volleyball recruiting video is both an art and a science. Based on the athlete’s position and strengths, there’s a certain set of skills that she must include in her video. How those skills are put together and what games the volleyball recruit decides to showcase are really up to families and club and high school coaches. We provide a list of skills coaches look for at each position, and key tips for how to capture the footage your family needs to create your athlete’s best recruiting video.
There are a few major club tournaments that volleyball recruits must attend if they want to get recruited by volleyball coaches. National Qualifier tournaments take place almost every weekend in March and April. These tournaments decide which teams get a bid for the Junior National Championships, and they attract the most talented club teams. College coaches know that when they attend these events, there will be hundreds of elite volleyball recruits to evaluate, all in one place.
The first step to becoming an NCAA student-athlete.
SKJ highly recommends all players create a free profile on UA, which is the leading recruiting platform for college coaches.
A detailed breakdown of the volleyball recruiting calendar for DI, DII, and DIII.
A list of the Florida colleges that offer volleyball.
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Club Contact: Chad Davis
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We are a member club of the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. As a player you may stop any unwanted contact from a club representative by simply asking (either verbally or in writing) that all contact cease. Any player believing a club representative of any Florida Region volleyball club has been intimidating, harassing, or acted inappropriately in any manner of contact or recruiting should contact the Florida Region office at (352) 742-0080