Club Handbook – VC United

Club Handbook

Club Handbook

Purpose of Handbook #

This Handbook was developed to assist players and their families’ with policies to help them navigate the club volleyball season at VC United.

Eligibility Policy #

Players must maintain eligibility throughout the club season in order to participate in club activities including practices and tournaments.

Pre-Season Eligibility
Players must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to start the season:

  • Step 1 – Attend Tryouts and receive full evaluation
  • Step 2 – Complete the “Verbal” Commitment Form via the VC United website or email
  • Step 3 – Complete Online Registration through PlayMetrics (additional instructions – Coming Soon!)
  • Step 4 – Digitally Sign/Agree to all required docs (Codes of Conduct, Financial Agreement, Parent/Player Contract)
  • Step 5 – Complete Uniform ordering online via OrderMyGear by specified date
  • Step 6 – Complete USAV Membership online (Girls’ Elite Only)
  • Step 7 – Complete and submit all required forms at the Season Kick-Off Meeting, including:

Girls’ Forms

  • JVA Medical Release Form (All Girls) – Submitted Online
  • JVA Release of Liability Form (All Girls) – Submitted Online
  • USAV Medical Release Form (Girls’ Elite Only) – Hard Copy
  • Black & White copy of Birth Certificate or Driver’s License (Girls’ Elite Only) – Hard Copy to be submitted in Main Office.
    • Copies are destroyed annually for security/privacy purposes

Boys’ Forms

  • JVA Medical Release Form (All Girls) – Submitted Online
  • JVA Release of Liability Form (All Girls) – Submitted Online
  • Black & White copy of Birth Certificate or Driver’s License (Boys’ Elite Only) – Hard Copy to be submitted in Main Office.
    • Copies are destroyed annually for security/privacy purposes

In-Season Eligibility
In order for a player to remain eligible to participate throughout the season, the following conditions must be met.  If, for any reason, players are not in compliance with these conditions they will be deemed ineligible and held out of further participation in any VC United event until compliance is met or eligibility is reinstated by the Executive Director.

  • Must not carry an outstanding balance on their account.  All dues and fees (including Travel invoices where applicable and a la carte items) must be current with respect to the terms of our Financial Agreement (see Financial Agreement).
  • Players must comply with Player Code of Conduct at all times. (See Player Code of Conduct)
  • Parents must comply with the Parent Code of Conduct at all times. (See Parent Code of Conduct)

Eligibility Notifications
No notice is required in instances that a player is deemed ineligible.  However, in most cases we will make every reasonable attempt to notify the player and their family through our online system (PlayMetrics) if they are ineligible at any point during the season.

Team Placement Policy #

  • Players that are selected/offered at tryouts are not selected to a team, but instead to a pool of athletes that will be further evaluated once the season begins.  Teams are selected 2-3 weeks after practices officially begin.
  • The objective of team placement is to put each player in the best position possible to compete for playing time and to advance/develop as a player.
  • VC United will not discuss how teams were selected.  We work very hard to make the right choices regarding team selection for every player & team.
  • We reserve the right to make changes to rosters throughout the season if we see that a team or individual player can benefit from a roster change.  For this reason, please be sure all travel arrangements are refundable or flexible.

Playing Time Policy #

Playing time in tournaments (competition) is earned with the understanding that VC United will do everything it can to make sure all players are given the opportunity to showcase their skills. The following outlines our general philosophy on playing time in competition:

  • Playing time is not guaranteed, is not equal and must be earned.
  • Playing time is based on the player’s performance at both practice and in matches.
  • The team’s Head Coach will determine who plays and how much. They will take into account many factors in coming to that decision but the decision is theirs.
Playing time is “Age Appropriate” meaning that playing time is much more liberal at the younger ages and becomes increasingly competitive as players get older.

The level of each program plays a role in determining how playing time is allocated.

  • Girls Regional Program/Boys MS Program – Competitive; Relative to age level we will create a competitive environment for players, but due to the objectives of the program, we anticipate all players seeing an opportunity to play in each match.
  • Girls Premier Program – More Competitive; Relative to age level we will create a more competitive environment for players.  Players will see an opportunity to play on every tournament day, but cannot be guaranteed time in each match.
  • Girls Elite Program/Boys HS Program – Most Competitive; Relative to age level we will create the most competitive environment for our players.  Players are not guaranteed playing time at this level.  However, it is highly unlikely that a player would ever sit an entire tournament.
Training opportunities in practice are intended to be equal for all players relative to their program.
Players are entitled to know what is affecting their playing time as well as be given instruction on how to potentially increase their playing time. We ask that players approach their head coach with these questions whenever there might be a question regarding their role and/or playing time.

Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity Policy #

  • VC United allows for multi-sport/activity athletes in every program.  Practices missed due to a Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity school function are excused. The athlete will have the opportunity (and is encouraged) to make-up a missed practice by attending another team’s practice, in the same week of the missed practice.  Please see Practice Policy to determine how to make-up a practice.
  • Players must provide the Technical Director of their program and their Head Coach (once teams are determined) a practice and competition schedule prior to the start of the season or, in the case of spring sports, in a timely manner that will allow us to determine if any changes to the practice schedule are available.
  • Players who are involved in other sports or activities will not be disciplined for excused absences. However, it is likely that many absences will result in other members of the team advancing at a faster pace within the team and could affect a player’s playing time through competition at their position.  In the case of extreme absence, a player may be moved to another roster.
Tournaments should not be missed for an Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity school function.  The absence would be considered excused, but is strongly discouraged.  We do realize that events such as State Playoff Series and other major school events may take precedence over league play or single day events on a case-by-case basis.  Repeated absences from a tournament would be subject to review by the program Technical Director and/or Associate Director.

Injury Policy #

  • If a player is injured at practice the Technical Director will contact the parents and discuss what happened and what the next steps will be as well as recommended treatment. The Technical Director will maintain a database with every injury, every phone call, every email correspondence, every doctor appointment, etc. The Head Coach for each player will receive a report on a weekly basis.
  • If a player is injured it is important that they seek the proper medical attention that will allow them the opportunity to return to the court/team as soon as possible.
  • Any player that receives medical attention or treatment for an injury is not allowed to participate practice until cleared by a medical professional in writing.  The release must be provided to the player’s Head Coach and Technical Director prior to physically participating in practice.
  • If a player is injured, they are still expected to attend every practice and/or tournament to (1) rehab (2) be with team (3) continue to learn what is being taught and (4) assist as much as they can with the team’s performance.
Exceptions can be made regarding attendance if the player is undergoing physical therapy that conflicts with practice times or is not able to travel due to the nature of the injury.  Please contact your Technical Director (via email) with the nature of the injury and to discuss any limitations.

Practice Policy #

  • Players will observe “Lombardi” time whenever possible (15 minutes early).
  • Practices are closed.  Parents will have designated areas inside our facilities where they may stay if they choose.  However, parents are not allowed on the practice courts or in the performance training area while training is taking place.
  • Practices are mandatory.  If you cannot attend practice, complete the online form found at the top of the home page of the VC United website to arrange a make-up practice with another age group or program.  Please make sure to have your name, team you are on, who your coach is and the reason for your absence.  A member of our staff will respond within 24 hours with a practice that you can attend to make-up your practice.  Additionally, we encourage players to use the VC United app to also let their coach know they won’t be attending a practice for any reason.
  • All Girls’ Elite Program players will be involved in mandatory weight training or conditioning that will meet the standards needed for their age.
    • Girls’ Elite has 3 days/week in our strength training/recovery program

Practice Gear
Players must wear approved VC United practice gear to every practice.  This includes:

  • Official VC United shirts (tournament champion shirts can be worn as well)
  • Navy or black spandex (girls) or shorts (boys)
    (Beginning in 2019, players are now allowed to wear navy or black tights to practice)
  • Volleyball shoes & kneepads
    (Volleyball shoes are to be worn ONLY in the gymnasium; NEVER outside)

Practice Attendance
Practice attendance will factor in determining a player’s role on the team. Attendance will be kept by the coaches’ throughout the season through the VC United mobile app. All absences will be considered unexcused with the following exceptions:

  • Family Emergency
  • Illness/Injury  (A doctor’s note may be requested; See Injury Policy)
  • Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity Conflict  (See Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity Policy)
  • College Visit (Juniors or Seniors w/approval of Technical Director)
  • College Entrance Exam
  • Study Day (see Practice Policy)
  • Significant Weather-Related Event

Consequences for Excessive Absences
Should a player have 3+ or more unexcused absences the following consequences are in place:

  • 3 unexcused absences will result in a player being held out of one match in a tournament
  • 4 unexcused absences will result in a player being held out of one tournament day
  • If the player has 5 or more unexcused absences, a meeting will be held with the player and her family to determine how to proceed
  • While excused absences do not have any direct consequences, we want players and parents to understand that the player’s role may be affected if they miss significant time training with their team. Missing opportunities to work within the team’s system and develop the timing and chemistry necessary to compete may or may not affect how the player is used in tournaments.  Additionally, it is quite possible that other players that are regularly attending practice will advance and develop within the team at a faster rate than those that miss practice frequently.
Missing practice for homework and studying (including finals) is NOT considered an excused absence. Academics are extremely important to us so we have added Study Days for each player to use throughout the season.

Study Days
Study days will be allowed to complete homework projects and prepare for finals and midterms. These study days can be taken Monday through Friday on practice days only. Please notify your Technical Director 48 hours in advance to take a study day.

Program Study Days
Girls Elite 3 Study Days
Girls Premier 2 Study Days
Girls Regional 1 Study Day
Boys HS 2 Study Days
Boys MS 1 Study Day

Tournament Policy #

  • Tournaments are mandatory.  If you cannot attend a tournament, please email your Head Coach and the Technical Director in addition to sending your RSVP through the VC United app.  Please make sure to include your name, team you are on, who your coach is and the reason for your absence in the email.  Do not use the Practice Attendance form for tournament absences.
  • Tournaments hosted by clubs other than VC United are out of VC United’s control. This includes tournament schedules, gym locations, and cancellation of the tournament. Tournament schedules, gym locations and cancellations will be communicated to all parents as soon as possible. In the event that the league/tournament provides a refund back to the team, this refund will be used to enter another event and will not be refunded to a player’s account.
  • For local events, parents/guardians are responsible for getting their child to and from the playing venue at the time designated by the Head Coach.  VC United staff are not allowed to provide transportation to any player (unless directly related to that player) for a local event. Generally, we ask that players arrive one hour prior to their first match if they are playing and 30 minutes prior to their first match if they are the officiating team.  Please see Section 9.4.1 for additional information regarding transportation for Overnight Events.
  • Once at the playing venue, players are released to their Head Coach.  Players are expected to stay together throughout the day and cannot leave the facility.  Players are not released back to their parents/guardians until the completion of play, work duties and support of VC United teams (when possible)
  • We ask that players prepare properly for their tournaments. This includes getting the proper nutrition and rest prior to a tournament day. Please allow for a full 8 hours of sleep prior to a tournament and be sure to eat healthy meals/snacks both the day before and the day of the tournament.
  • Players MUST bring their approved Molten Volleyball to every tournament. Players are not allowed to substitute any other ball.  These balls will be used for warm-ups and individual players are solely responsible to track down and maintain their ball throughout the tournament and season.
  • We ask that players wear their official VC United gear to all events. Players must bring all jerseys and additional uniform items in case of emergency.  Players may only wear VC United gear while at an event (no high school, college, or other branded gear is allowed.)
Use of cellphones/tablets for any other purpose besides making important or emergency calls is not allowed while at a playing site.  Each coach may use discretion in allowing players to use phones to listen to music or take photos of their team during an event.  However, if players are using their phones excessively and excluding themselves from team activities, the coach has the right to terminate all use of cell phones or tablets during an event.

Tournament Attendance Policy

  • All Tournament absences, late arrivals or early departures will be considered unexcused with the following exceptions:
    • Family Emergency
    • Illness/Injury  (A doctor’s note may be requested; See Injury Policy regarding injuries)
    • Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity Conflict (See Multi-Sport/Multi-Activity Policy)
    • College Entrance Exam
    • Significant Weather-Related Event
  • We realize that mistakes happen and there are unavoidable circumstances from time to time regarding your arrival to a tournament.  While it is frowned upon, we allow each player 2 late arrivals under those circumstances.  The following consequences are in place regarding unexcused late arrivals or early departures:
    • 3 unexcused late arrivals or 1 unexcused early departure will result in a player performing 3 service hours at VC United’s facility or at VC United events.
    • 4 unexcused late arrivals or 2 unexcused early departures will result in a player performing 6 service hours at VC United’s facility or at VC United events.
    • If the player has 5 or more unexcused tardies or 3 or more unexcused early departures, a meeting will be held with the player and her family to determine how to proceed
    • Depending on the timing of the arrival or departure, a Head Coach has the right to put the line-up in as they see fit and that decision is independent of the above listed consequences.
  • If a player has 1 or more unexcused absences the following consequences are in play:
    • Each unexcused absence will result in a player performing 6 service hours at VC United or at a VC United event.
    • If the player has 3 or more unexcused absences, a meeting will be held with the player and her family to determine how to proceed

Overnight Tournament/Travel Policy #

We ask that families acknowledge that if tournaments are played outside of the greater Chicagoland area there will be travel costs for those tournaments that are not included in the club dues.  This includes both personal costs and those related to the coaches’ travel that will be invoiced.  Any additional fees will be communicated via email to the families.

We realize that by committing to play for the VC United program our child is committing to attend those events that require out of town travel and we will be responsible for costs associated with attending those events.

READ CAREFULLY: If your child is not able to participate in an “out of town” tournament you may contact the Associate Director to request an Overnight Tournament Waiver at least 4 weeks prior to the trip date to not be charged for travel.  It must be in email format and must be approved by our Executive Director in order to receive a waiver.  You will receive a response within 72 hours.

Travel Policy for Overnight Tournaments

Transportation To/From Host City
Parents/guardians are responsible for getting their child to the host city at the time designated for the event (whether by ground or air).  VC United Staff is not allowed to provide transportation in a personal vehicle to the host city for any player (unless directly related to that player).

VC United reserves the right to provide transportation to Overnight Tournaments if it is determined to be both financially and logistically responsible.  This will only occur on rare occasions and teams will be notified well in advance if this is the case.  (Examples may be events considered to be “Team Bonding” opportunities.)

If we are at an Overnight Tournament that we traveled to as a program players may return home from those tournaments with their family if advance notice is given. Please email the Technical Director to inform them.

Transportation During Tournament
All players will be transported to and from the venue by their parents/guardians or will make arrangements with another family unless otherwise notified prior to the event.

Hotel Policy
When hotel stay is required, players will stay with their parents at any hotel within 20 miles of the host city.

VC United will secure a courtesy room block through our Associate Club Director.  Families are NOT required to book through the room block unless designated as “Stay To Play”

“Stay To Play” events REQUIRE our teams to book through a designated housing service.  We MUST meet the requirements in order for our teams to be accepted and participate in the event.  This is NOT a VC United policy; rather a policy maintained by the tournament organizers.

Team Activities
Players will be encouraged to eat all meals together and participate in team activities throughout the event, but will be released to their parents at the end of the day.  We appreciate full support of this policy.

Booking Travel for Overnight Tournaments

  • VC United will book travel per our Overnight Travel Policy
  • Travel Information will be maintained on our website under the Resources menu
  • Travel Coordinator: Associate Club Director will book all of the travel accommodations.  They will also handle room blocks for parents for all events as well. Contact your Director with any questions you may have via email throughout the season.

Season-Ending Event Policy #

All players are required and expected to attend the Season-Ending Event for their program.  (Please see Tournament Schedule for more details regarding the dates of these events.) Choosing not to attend the season-ending event will likely result in becoming ineligible to return to the program the following season.

The Season-Ending Event may require a Non-Refundable Deposit mid-season (see programs and dates below for additional information on your specific program).
NOTE:  NON-REFUNDABLE means that even if your child does not attend the tournament the deposit will NOT be refunded.  We do not believe that it is fair that those who fulfill their commitment to the end of the season should have to pay more due to a player not attending.

Girls’ Elite Program
U12-U14: To Be Determined
U15-U18: AAU or USAV National Championships
For the AAU or USAV National Championships we will be requiring a $250.00 non-refundable deposit on May 1, 2022.  That amount will be applied to a dues payment.

Girls’ Premier Program
All Ages: Diggin’ in the Dells (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
For Diggin’ in the Dells no deposit will be charged as the fee has been included in your Season Dues.

Girls’ Regional Program
All Ages: March Mania (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
For March Mania no deposit will be charged as the fee has been included in your Season Dues.

Boys’ HS Program (Winter Session)
All Ages: SPVB President’ Day Challenge
For TBD no deposit will be charged as the fee has been included in your Season Dues.

Boys’ MS Program (Winter Session)
All Ages: No Season-Ending Event; Teams will end at a local single day tournament

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