Kansas City guide to girls youth volleyball
Nationally girls volleyball is one of the most popular youth sports and that is no different in the Kansas City area where opportunities to play abound across the Kansas City metro for girls 10 and older.
RECENT CHANGES TO THE GAME
Significant rule changes to serving and scoring were introduced in 2000 which have made noticeable changes to the game. Rally scoring, a rule change that now requires a point to be scored on every play, has sped gameplay. In addition, the introduction of a defensive specialist, called the libero, has lead to more specialization and sophisticated gameplay schemes and substitution systems. These changes coupled with impact of Title IX have generated a lot of interest for the sport of volleyball.
Learning volleyball involves mastering six fundamental skills including passing, serving, blocking, setting, attacking, and digging. A good instructional or recreational league will cover these skills in practice with beginners focusing on serving, passing, and setting. Competitive play will challenge girls with systematic play involving attacking and player specialization. Camps and clinics are offered throughout the year to help girls develop their volleyball skills.
GET THE EQUIPMENT
Volleyball has one of the smaller equipment lists which includes court shoes and knee pads. You may want to purchase a practice volleyball so be sure to check with your leagues as their are a few different sizes of volleyballs. In general, girls 12 and under will play with a volleyball referred to as volley-lite while girls 12 and over will play with a regulation sized volleyball. The two vary only in weight with the volley-lite weighing less to reduce the risk of strain and injury to younger players.
WHERE TO PLAY
Volleyball beginners should get acquainted with youth volleyball through local youth recreation leagues where the emphasis is on participation and instruction and the costs are much lower. Recreation league schedules can vary throughout the metro area and since the leagues are popular be sure to register early as spots do fill fast. Another option is youth sand volleyball leagues which are offered during the warmer months and are hosted at metro area outdoor sand volleyball facilities.
Like many of the popular youth sports in Kansas City their is also opportunities to play volleyball at a higher level where the emphasis is on performance and competition at both a local and national level. Known as Junior or Club Volleyball, teams are organized into clubs and compete in local and national tournaments depending on the skill level of the team. Costs and time committments for Junior Volleyball can be much higher than recreation leagues so be sure to do your research by visiting our club volleyball list to find a club that fits your needs.
Club season, as it is often referred, starts in October with open gyms hosted by clubs which allow participants to practice and meet team administrators. While not technically for the purpose of recruiting open gyms can sometimes help recruits get an early start on tryouts which begin in early November.
Kansas City Junior volleyball participants must be members of Heart of America Region Volleyball before than can participate in open gyms or tryouts. Heart of America Volleyball is an incorporated member of USA Volleyball and oversees the state of Kansas and the western half of the state of Missouri. Visit the Heart of America website for complete details on HOA membership.