How are club teams selected?
Each club holds organized tryouts, usually around the first part of November, as required by the Minnesota State High School League for players who play during a school season. Middle school players are not held to these same tryout rules. This procedure can be a one day session, or consist of multiple days of tryout sessions.
The 2019-2020 tryout dates are:
For players who are in grades 5- 8 who are not currently on on a high school JV or V squad at any school, tryouts are:
Thursday, October 17 at LCA Gym, arrive between 5:30 – 6 pm; starts at 6 pm; Parent meeting at 7:30 – 8 pm.
For players who have played on a team during the school season with the Minnesota State High School League on a JV or V team, tryouts are:
Monday, November 11 at LCA Gym, arrive between 6 – 6:15 pm; starts at 6:30 – 8 pm; Parent meeting at 8-8:30 pm.
How are teams formed?
We are interested in developing players who have a love for volleyball and a desire to use their God-given athletic abilities on a team that balances character development as well as volleyball skills. Our Developmental and Advanced Teams are geared for players that are looking to advance their game, continue to build new skills, and compete in local tournaments.
This year we are introducing two Elite level teams. Elite level teams will have a rigorous tryout that evaluates each player for a competitive fit. The goal of these teams is to elevate the strategic level of play and competition, build upon the advanced skillsets of JV/Varsity starters, and will include tournaments against some of the best clubs in the region.
We tentatively plan to have six to eight teams for the 2019-2020 season. Clubs are organized by age level and skills – not by grade like many school settings. We aim for a team to be 8-10 players. The coaches will determine the team rosters at tryouts and will build teams based on ability.
What levels are the teams competing at?
- 12s Team (11s/12s year olds)
This is for players newer to volleyball, or have played simple rotation volleyball who are familiar with the basic rules of the game. At this level, overhand serving and passing skills will be emphasized. Positions and rotations will also be learned. These teams requires a tryout where player evaluations are performed by our experienced coaching staff to determine team selection and positions. The play dates for this team will consist of mini tournaments around 2.5 hours long.
- 12s/13s/14s/15s/16s/17s Teams
This team is selected based upon interest, practice performance, and age criteria set out by official rules. These players may be new to club, or returning club level players. At this level, some skills that emerge are: setting, hitting, blocking, digging, serving, and rotation. These teams requires a tryout where player evaluations are performed by our experienced coaching staff to determine team selection and positions.
- Elite Teams (15s/16s/17s years old)
This team requires a tryout where player evaluations are performed by our experienced coaching staff to determine team selection and positions. Typically, these players are often have game experience in a school setting as starters at the Junior Varsity and Varsity level or similar club levels. These teams will be traveling to larger sanctioned tournaments (TBA).
Players on teams can play on the basis of age or grade level.
- 18 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2001 (or 12th grade for local events only)
- 17 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2002 (or 11th grade for local events only)
- 16 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2003 (or 10th grade for local events only)
- 15 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2004 (or 9th grade for local events only)
- 14 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2005 (or 8th grade for local events only)
- 13 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2006 (or 7th grade for local events only)
- 12 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2007 (or 6th grade for local events only)
- 11 and under – born on or after Sep 1, 2008 (or 5th grade for local events only)
How are team rosters determined?
Volleyball is a sport played with multiple players forming a team. A successful team must consist of several elements…players with comparable skills and a full roster of position players. Unfortunately, competitive teams cannot be formed based on player friendships.
What are position players?
Like many sports, the players on the floor all have a specific job. Unlike recreation sports, club volleyball, is a higher level of competition and clubs are expected to assemble the best unit of players available. Each roster must consist of a certain number of middle hitters, outside hitters, libero, setters, defensive players, etc. At the club level, most players are position players and they are proficient in their assigned position.
How many players are on a team?
Typically, the best number for a team is between 8 to 12 players. Less than that and you risk not having enough players in the event of an injury or match conflict. Any more and you have too many players standing around or sitting on the bench. Too many players will create stress on a coach with parents asking about playing time. Team morale usually suffers when you have too many players on the roster. This is also unfair to the extra players who could possibly be rostered on another team and see extended playing time.
How are returning players handled?
It is the policy of DIGS that every player apply. Tryouts are also needed each season. This is to prevent any claim of favoritism towards returning players and more importantly to assess the skill level of every player. Volleyball skills can improve or deteriorate during the time in-between club seasons. Additionally, many players may develop faster than others. For example, if two players (teammates) were comparable during the previous season’s tryouts, but are now playing at different levels, it may be necessary to evaluate what team will provide the best growth based upon the unique needs of the player. Because of this, when a team is selected, certain players may become the core of a team and the tryout procedure will be the tool to adding players of like ability to the missing positions of that team.
What is the practice commitment?
There are about 2 practices per week that each last 2 to 3 hours in duration, usually between 6-9 pm depending upon gym availability. Practices are usually held in the sports center or the lower gym at Legacy Christian Academy in Andover, MN.
How many teams will DIGS have for the 2019-2020 season?
We are opening six-eight teams for the upcoming season, based upon interest at the Legacy Christian Academy location. The final number of teams we open up will depend on the number of available qualified coaches, available facilities and number of players accepting positions on teams. It has always been our policy to offer as many opportunities as possible each season. We are limited to the previously mentioned elements.
What are the investment fees for club volleyball?
$25 Placement Tryout Fee if registered in advance. $35 fee at the door.
$50 Individual membership fee paid directly online to North Country Region.
This year, appropriate team jerseys and gear is included in the program cost.
An additional club store will be available for other player and fan gear.
Practices begin in early November
Fee due dates: November 1, $225; December 1, $225
Includes six playdates that are 2.5 hours long.
Fee due dates: November 11, $200 December 1, $200; January 1, $200; February 1, $200; March 1, $150
15s/16s/17s Elite Teams
Fee due dates: November 11, $250; December 1, $250; January 1, $250; February 1, $250; March 1, $150
Typically, younger teams will begin with practices in November, 1-2 times per week to help them learn new rotation, positions, game rules, and work on skills. The upper teams start that last week of November. Tournaments will begin in early January and go to end of March to early April depending on the team.
What do the fees cover?
Our club provides a high return on your financial investment. Fees include: rental spaces, coaching stipends, tournament registration, equipment, weight training, and a mental toughness curriculum. We want the tournaments we attend to provide great competition against similar skill level teams. For comparison, many Minnesota clubs charge between $1000 for beginners to $6,000 for high school teams that travel further for tournaments. We aim to make this club very affordable.
Are there any other costs?
Spandex shorts, court shoes, and knee pads are required. Other costs include gas/travel expenses and food on tournament days.
Are there scholarships available?
Last year we were able to offer some partial scholarships. We want everyone that is interested to participate. Don’t let money be the main reason you don’t tryout.
When are Club Fees and Program Fees due?
Club fees are broken into monthly installments. At the parent meeting, it is requested that parents provide posted dated checks for the program fee’s so we can have finances set for the season.
Can I still participate in other school activities? Go on vacation? Spring Break?
Yes. If you attend Legacy, you may participate in winter/spring sporting and drama activities. We are only able to practice at Legacy after other athletic activities are done for the day, or while teams are away. We try to schedule our tournaments and practices around the players school calendars, and try to find tournaments that work for our players who are involved. If players can communicate early what schedules conflicts exist, we have some flexibility in the practice and tournaments selected.
What are the tournaments like?
We participate in many local and regional tournaments within approximately a 40 minute drive of Andover, MN. Tournaments are usually held on Saturdays, although if space is an issue, you may play on a Sunday if needed. Time at tournaments varies, but on average players experience 3-5 matches of game-play, and 1-2 referring matches, and 1 match of sitting depending on how many teams are at a tournament. Every player has to go through online training for being a upper referee, score keeper, line judge, etc. to help learn the rules of competition.
What do I bring to a tournament?
Most players bring things to keep them comfortable…blanket, pillow, iPods, homework, cell phone, etc. You are going to be at a tournament for some time and you need to have some down time to rest. Parents should bring a comfortable chair, something to read, food/snacks for the players (so you do not have to run out looking for food) and a positive attitude for you daughter and her teammates.
Where are tournaments held?
We try to keep our tournaments locations within a 60 minute drive from Andover. Last year many tournaments were in Maple Grove with the furthest tournament in Monticello and Foley.
Register online by Saturday, November 9 to show your interest and hold a tryout position.
Coach and director Leah Rudzitis was named North Country Region Volleyball coach of the year for 2020!
“Leah has a genuine love for the kids she coaches and invests in them on and off the court. She teaches life skills and takes the time one-on-one with her players. She also takes time to get to know parents. She is dedicated to creating the best experience possible for her players and their families. She is very giving especially of her time. Players and parents confirm how they have changed not only as a volleyball player but also as a person under Leah’s encouragement and Biblical perspective. With confidence they have gained from playing for Leah, they realize they can be more than they ever thought possible. Leah also pours herself into her fellow coaches and invests in them and helps them grow.”
The Coaching Roster for DIGS:
|Leah Rudzitis is a teacher at Legacy Christian Academy in Andover with 30 years experience coaching JH/HS volleyball at St. Anthony, Moundsview, and Meadow Creek/Legacy. She assisted coaching five teams to the State Tournament (2000-2002,05,06) and worked on and off coaching JOs and camps for Legacy/Crossfire since 1989. Leah has a BA in Physical Education K-12 from Bethel University. After playing collegiate volleyball and basketball for Bethel University she was all conference for both teams and named to multiple all tournament teams. Leah was named Bethel’s top woman athlete in 1987. Leah is married to Rolly Rudzitis, the Band/Choir teacher at Legacy and mother of nine children. Loves: My Creator, hanging out with my family, gardening, helping kids reach their full potential in all areas of life.|
|Justina Gloventsky has been an avid volleyball player in high school and college, and served as an elite level team coach. She currently provides private lessons to students looking to acceleration their skills and performance on the volleyball court. Justina will be doing special skill coaching and practices.|
|Kurt Eskuchen has been active as a volleyball coach at St. Stephens and worked with DIGS for the last couple of seasons.|
|Mariah Twedt has a lot of volleyball experience and a degree from the University of Northwestern in Kinesiology and Health Science. She was captain of her high school volleyball team for 2 years.|
|Rolly Rudzitis is the varsity coach at Legacy Christian Academy in Andover and assists with some of the younger players.|
|Tim Cimbura has played volleyball since college at the University of Minnesota.|