McLean Youth Volleyball MYV provides house, select and travel volleyball programs for Elementary School, Middle School, and High School athletes in the greater McLean Virginia VA area including Great Falls, Falls Church, Arlington, Vienna, Fairfax, Reston

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MYA Volleyball Coaching Guide

Welcome to MYA Volleyball and THANK YOU for your participation!!  Coaches are a major factor in creating the opportunity for all interested participants to play on a volleyball team. Next to parents, coaches have the biggest impact on youth athletes.

This page includes all the information that coaches need to know and act on during an MYA Volleyball season.

1.0 CALENDAR & LINKS

1.1 Coaching Calendar (Spring 2023) and Quick Internal Links

Jan 1 - Feb 27

Spring Registration Window

Feb 18

Coach Kickoff Information Emailed

Feb 20 - Mar 2

RosterBuddy Coaches Portal Open

Feb 27 - Mar 2

MS Select Round 1 Tryouts

Mar 1

HS Travel Tryout - NOT IN 2023

Mar 3

Practice Schedule Published

Mar 6, 9

MS Select Round 2 Callback and Draft

Mar 7, 10

HS Select Tryout and Draft

Mar 9

New Coaches Zoom Meeting at 7:00pm

Mar 13

Team Rosters and Schedules Published

Mar 13 - 18

Clinics for Players and Coaches

Mar 13 - 17

First Select and Travel Practices

Mar 16 - 20

Team Equipment and Shirt Pickup

Mar 20 - 24

First House Practices

Mar 25

MS Select and HS Select Pre-Season Match

Apr 15

First Regular Season Matches

May 22 - Jun 2

All-Stars Identification

Jun 3

Final Regular Season Match

Jun 10

League Playoffs and Season Close

Jun 11 - 15

All-Star Team Events

 

1.2 Quick External Links

  • Key Emails
    • for the MYA Volleyball Administrators
    • for Chuck Pruitt, Director
    • for Dan Simmon, Referee Coordinator

 

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2.0 COACHING PREREQUISITES

2.1 Registration

To register as a volunteer coach, visit registration and scroll down to the appropriate registration form:

  • Adult Coaches - 18 years old and above
  • High School Student Coaches - Grades 9 to 12
  • Middle School Student Coaches - Grades 6 to 8 (club players only)

Coaches must register for each season.  The registration information is used to communicate preferences and populate appropriate distribution lists. For adults, it also supports the criminal background check required by Fairfax County and MYA.

Below are historical registration numbers of MYA Volleyball coaches

 

Spring - Girls Season

Fall - Boys Season

Year

Adults

Students

Total

Adults

Students

Total

2022

81

96

177

10

6

16

2021

86

49

135

19

5

24

2019

89

85

174

16

3

19

2018

94

84

178

13

3

16

2017

88

65

153

19

8

29

 

2.2 Volunteer Building Director Certification

All MYA Volleyball Coaches MUST become a Volunteer Building Director (VBD) before the first team practice.  A certified VBD is required by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) for MYA to use FCPS facilities.  If an NCS inspector finds that we are using gyms without a certified VBD present, we could lose our gym access privileges.

Luckily, the VBD certification process is a quick 15-minutes.  Here are the steps:

  • Start on the Fairfax County Volunteer Building Direct website
  • Click on the Facilities Application Request System link and log in with your email
  • Navigate to the “Director Profile” tab
  • Review the short video
  • Apply for the certification by taking the 12-question certification test.
    • NOTE: There is no penalty in failing the test (80% to pass), just retake the test as often as needed.  Many coaches simply fill out the test while watching the video ūüėä
  • Forward the certification confirmation email to

EXCEPTION: The VBD certification is good for 2 years.  Only retake if needed.  If you took it with another sport, send that certification confirmation email to .

Here are answers to questions usually asked after taking the VBD certification training:

  • Yes, NCS inspectors ("Blue Shirts") do visit gyms while teams are there
  • Yes, you can use your smart phone to display your VBD certification
  • Yes, you can use your smart phone to display MYA Volleyball’s gym permit -- it's stored here: (TBD)
  • No, you don’t need to submit any forms – MYA Volleyball will take care of them if needed

2.3 Concussion Awareness

MYA Volleyball would strongly encourage all coaches to take the awareness training on concussions, an ever-present issue with youth sports including volleyball.  Please review the excellent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/coach.html.

Recently, the CDC has added a registration requirement to access the training and may even prompt some for a credit card.  All the key is available on the following CDC HEADS UP Concussion Awareness page.

2.4 COVID-19 Awareness

COVID-19 Protocols and mask wearing are no longer required for youth sports organizations.  However, given the nature of this highly infectious virus, is likely that one or more members of the team will become sick during the season.

Guidance for MYA Volleyball coaches is as follows:

2.5 Your Coaching Responsibilities Awareness

Here are some quick bullet points on coaching responsibilities from the Introduction to Volleyball Coaching training deck.

  • Promote a positive coaching environment and team spirit

  • Communicate with parents, players and fellow coaches
  • Create and execute practice plans
  • Teach skills and gameplay
  • Instruct during practices and games
  • Setup and takedown nets
  • Follow league rules and directives
  • Defer to referees in matches
  • Encourage and inspire

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3.0 TEAM LOGISTICS

3.1 Forming Coaching Teams

Throughout the registration period, league officials identify how many teams are needed to support all the players registered for the program. From there, coaching teams are identified and assigned to the appropriate league. The formation of coaching teams follows a few basic rules:

  • Adult coaches are always assigned to their child(ren)'s team
  • Student coaches are assigned to teams based on their preferences and where their skills can be best utilized
  • Head Coaches and Co-Coaches can influence their coaching partners and practice days/times
  • Head Coaches and Co-Coaching teams are officially assigned leagues and teams around when registration closes (late Feb)
  • Unassigned Assistant coaches receive their team assignments after rosters and scheduled are posted (Mar 13)

Coaches are encouraged to identify coaching partners and/or the need for additional coaching help.  This includes Head Coaches identifying Assistant Coaches and Co-Coaching teams forming with 2 or more friends (there was once a team with 6 co-coaches). With 9 to 12 players per team, the target is for each coaching team is to have at least 2 official coaches.  Unassigned adults Assistant Coaches are placed on the same team as their child.  Unassigned student Assistant Coaches are placed on teams to fill coaching gaps.

A central Master Google Doc is used by league officials to track coach registrations and formalize coaching teams. This document is shared with all coaches in late February to confirm coaching teams and request preferred practice timeslots (see next section).  Once team rosters are posted to mid-March, the MYA Volleyball website becomes the official record of coaching teams.

Note that website character limits do not permit more than 2 co-coaches listed in a team's name. By default, a co-coaching team is given the name of the first 2 registered coaches.

3.2 Allocating Practice Timeslots to Coaching Teams

Here are the steps followed during the spring to assign practice timeslots to coaching teams during the spring season:

  1. Mid-Feb - MYA Volleyball received its spring gym allocation from Fairfax County
  2. Feb 18 - Coach Kickoff Information email sent
  3. Feb 20-Mar 2 - New RosterBuddy Coaches Interface opens for coaches to update availability and special requests
  4. Feb 27 - Player registration closes
  5. March 3 - Draft practice schedule is sent to all coaching teams
  6. March 6 - Deadline for coaches to request practice timeslot changes
  7. March 6 - 12: AGCs set House and Select team rosters
  8. March 13 (no later than): AGCs email parents, players and coaches with team rosters and schedules

3.3 Review the Draft Practice Schedule

Once the practice schedule is drafted (March 4), it is made available to all coaches for review.  At that point, Head Coaches and Co-Coaching teams can request a switch to any unused timeslot.

The practice schedule is considered final on March 6 so AGCs can begin forming team rosters that week.  House parents and players will learn about the practice schedule when House team rosters are posted March 13.

3.3 Your Team Roster

Once team rosters are posted, your AGC sends out individual team emails welcoming players and parents to the spring season.  The emails include information about coaches and practice times.  You can review this information on the website using the following steps:

  • Go to the MYA Volleyball website
  • Click on “Teams”
  • Find your team
  • Click on “Roster”

3.3.1 Roster Changes

There are always a handful of players who have new schedule conflicts after rosters are posted. AGCs manage all roster changes.  If one happens, your league's AGC will notify both the old coaches and new coaches accordingly.

The vast majority of roster changes happen during the first week rosters are published. When in doubt, always consider the roster on the MYA Volleyball website as the most current.

3.4 Your Team Schedule

After the AGC welcome letter, your practice and match schedule is also available for review on the website:

  • Go to the MYA Volleyball website
  • Click on “Teams”
  • Find your team
  • Click on “Schedule”

For a broader week-by-week view of the schedule across the entire program, visit the Master Schedule. For information about the playoff schedule, visit the Playoffs section below.

3.4.1 Rescheduling Practices

During the season, some of your practices will need to be rescheduled when the school blocks the gym due to special events such as shows, celebrations, etc. The schools have priority use of the their gyms and MYA Volleyball must adjust plans accordingly.  The MYA Volleyball Admins (mcleanvb@gmail.com) manage practice schedule changes.  During the first few weeks of the season, they'll work with coaches to reschedule practices impacted by known gyms blocks. When possible, they'll reschedule the practice on the same day at a different gym.  However, if open same-day timeslots are not available, the practice may need to be rescheduled to another day.

Although most gym blocks are known weeks ahead of time, it is not uncommon for schools to place a new block on the gym unexpectedly, sometimes on the same day of your practice.  In such situations, the Admins attempt to contact coaches ASAP to discuss options and finalize a course of action.  However, if they cannot get a hold of you in sufficient time, especially with a same day gym block, they may have to make a command decision to reschedule the practice and notify your entire team directly.

3.4.2 Missing Your Team Practice or Match

Life happens.  During the long season, some coaches will miss a practice or match.  For example, some of the student coaches who are club volleyball players will likely miss one or two Saturday matches due to volleyball tournaments.  There are also proms, college visits, beach weeks and vacations.  Each team should have 2 or more coaches to cover such situations, but if none of the coaches (or a parent or a friend) can support a practice or match, please contact your AGC as soon as possible. In the past, the league has located a substitute coach to cover.

Please NEVER CANCEL a practice or match without first talking with league officials.

 

3.5 Communicating with Your Team

3.5.1 Your Welcome Email

As soon as team rosters are posted, send your own welcome email to your team.  The recommendation is to cover the following topics:

  • Introduce yourself and your coaching team
  • Talk about your background, experience and coaching approach/philosophy
  • Confirm practice times and location
  • Build up excitement about the season
  • Introduce the idea of a Commitment Pledge (see below)
  • Provide your contact information

To help, here’s a link to a sample welcome email you can use as a template.

3.5.2 Communications Options

To communicate with your team, you have 3 options:

  1. Email through the MYA Volleyball website - see Steps to Email Your Team to send to registered parents/guardians linked to your players
  2. Email through your own email client (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) - see Steps to Email Your Team to download email addresses
  3. Message through a social media app - all participants must agree to the approach

3.5.3 Website Emails

Although it has a slightly clunky interface, the MYA Volleyball website has the advantage of the most current roster members and their email preferences.

Here's how to login to the website to access your team:

  • ADULT & RETURNING COACHES: For your log in, use the same email ID and password you used to register yourself. Your team is linked to your MYA user account.
    • ‚ÄčNOTE: On occasion, a coach has multiple MYA user accounts and the website logic doesn't know who is the official coach and blocks sending team emails.  The fix is simple: Contact the MYA Volleyball Admin at and they will merge together your separate user accounts
  • NEW HS STUDENT COACHES: For your log in, use the same email ID and password you used to register yourself. Your team is linked to your MYA user account.
    • NOTE: There is a known problem if your MYA user account is under your parent's email addresses. Because the same parent also has a separate MYA user account with the same email address, the website doesn't know who is the coach and blocks sending team emails. The fix is simple: Contact the MYA Volleyball Admin at to have your personal email associated with your MYA user account. You can then reset the account password and begin emailing your team.

3.5.4 On-Going Team Communications

Throughout the season, coaches are encouraged to communicate with members of their team about upcoming practices and matches, and anything else of note.  Some coaches are known to recruit an Assistant Coach or a Team Parent to coordinate communications.

3.6 The Commitment Pledge

Over the last few years, coaches have encountered a higher than expected number of players absent without warning from team practices and matches.  Conversely, some coaches  have missed practices and matches without fully notifying players/parents.  This has resulted in unnecessary confusion, low team moral and match forfeits.

3.6.1 What is a Commitment Pledge

The Commitment Pledge is a written agreement between coaches, players and parents (if appropriate) that sets key expectations for the season.  At minimum, the Pledge includes the following two items:

  1. A commitment to attend all scheduled practices and matches, with known exceptions communicated up front
  2. A communications protocol when a practice or match must be missed unexpectedly

For ES and MS leagues, the parents and coaches are the main parties agreeing to the Pledge.  Starting in HS, the student should provide the written commitment with coaches.

Email is the default mechanism to communicate between coaches and players/parents, but the agreement may include other communications vehicles such as text messages and social media tools.  The website also has a way to confirm attendance to upcoming team events, but this has been inconsistently used at best.

3.6.2 Commitment Pledge Wording

Below is possible language for the Commitment Pledge:

TBD

3.7 Your Team Equipment and Shirts

3.7.1 Your Equipment

Each coaching team is issued the following equipment.  See below for pickup and exchange processes.

  • 12 Volleyballs
    • Red/White Tachikara VolleyLite balls for 4th, 5th and 6th Grade House Leagues
    • Green/Grey/White Tachikara SV5W balls for 7th, 8th, 9th-12th Grade House Leagues
    • Blue/Grey/White Molten Super Touch NCAA IV58L-N balls for MS Select, HS Select and HS Travel
    • Red/Green/White Molten Flistatec V5M5000 balls for MS and HS Boys
  • 1 Tachikara BBB Ball Bag - Holds 12-14 balls
  • 1 Red Ball Cart - To hold balls during your practices and match warmup
  • 1 Team Ball (see below) - available multiple colors and styles available
  • Shirts for each player and coach on the team roster (see below)

3.7.2 Your Team Ball

The Team Ball (aka "Ball of the Week") is not intended for use during practices and matches.  Its purpose is to help motivate and inspire your players.  It's a proven way to build team cohesion and recognize individual accomplishments, big and small.

Here's the recommended approach to take full advantage of your Team Ball:

  • Give it to a different girl after each of your team practices.  Some coaches also give it after each match.
  • Recognize spirit, leadership, commitment, improvement, skills or even the best joke
  • Ask the player to decorate a panel with colored sharpies and bring it back to the next practice/match
  • At end of year, give it to a clear team MVP or keep it as a team souvenir

3.7.2 Equipment Distribution

During the spring, plan to pickup team equipment and shirts directly from the historic Pimmit Hills Barn where MYA Volleyball and most other MYA sports store equipment. The barn is located at 1845 Cherri Drive which is off Magarity Rd in Falls Church.

For the Spring 2023 season, a coach or delegate from each team should pickup the equipment plus team shirts at the barn during one of the following windows:

  • Thursday, March 16 @6pm to 8pm
  • Saturday, March 18 @10am to 2pm
  • Monday, March 20 @6pm to 8pm

Attendees at the barn will check you in, distribute your volleyball equipment and team shirts, record inventory tag numbers, and address any questions.

3.7.3 Losing Balls

Plan to bring your bag of balls and cart to all practices and matches.  Don't worry if balls from another team in your league get mixed up with yours.

It's highly likely that you'll have fewer than 12 balls at points during the season.  Before you leave a gym, count your balls and check in various nooks and crannies for any that are missing -- under bleachers and inside open garbage cans are common hiding places.

If you loose a ball in the rafters or fall below 10 balls, contact the MYA Volleyball Admin at

3.7.4 Shirt Replacements

Every season, there are always a few ill-fitting and mis-ordered shirts.  To address this, MYA Volleyball purchases a large number of extra and makes them available to parents/players/coaches for 24x7 self-service pickup.  If you have a parent/player who needs a different shirt, message them to visit the following exchange location at their convenience:

  • TBD

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4.0 MANAGING PRACTICES AND MATCHES

4.1 Learning About Volleyball Coaching

Before your first practice in March, MYA Volleyball runs hands-on coaching clinics.  Attendance is REQUIRED FOR ALL NEW COACHES and can serve as a refresher for returning coaches.

  • Coaching Youth Volleyball (instructor: Chuck Pruitt)
    • ‚ÄčDate/Time TBD
  • Advanced Volleyball Coaching (instructor: TBD)
    • ‚ÄčDate/Time TBD

The clinic schedule will be communicated to coaches in late February. There are no attendee limits, so just show up.  All the sessions are a mixture of lecture and hands-on demonstrations, so be prepared to participate.

4.2 Your Gym Nets

4.2.1 Net Setup

For those unfamiliar with setting up the volleyball nets at your practice gym, here are some quick videos with setup and take-down instructions.

4.2.2 Net Take-Down

Coaches must be very careful about returning nets to the proper location. Over the years, we've received too many complaints from frustrated PE teachers with some threatening to block MYA Volleyball's use of the school gym. With this in mind, here are some iron clad expectations of all coaches:

  • NEVER LEAVE UP A NET without a clear handoff to the next team. Unfortunately, unexpected cancellations of the second practice of the evening have left some nets up all night until discovered the next morning by very unhappy PE teacher.
  • KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO STORE THE NETS in the gym you use. If new to the gym, talk with the coach of the earlier practice to learn where the nets are stored
  • SECURE EQUIPMENT SAFELY with (a) poles standing up in the pole racks, (b) nets folded up in pads, and (c) pads placed standing up near the poles
  • NEVER BLOCK ACCESS TO THE STORAGE ROOM.  If equipment is stored correctly, PE teachers should have no problems accessing other PE equipment in the storage room

4.3 Your Team Practices

4.3.1 Practice Plans

Here’s a link to sample practice plans for you to consider.

For your first practice of the season, the following plan is recommended:

  • Conduct team introductions – maybe play a name game to break the ice
  • Introduce the Team Ball / Ball-of-the-Week
  • Start the process of choosing a team nickname (tigers, diggers, volley-girls, etc.)
  • Talk about the importance of high-5’ing and supportive cheering
  • Practice serving
  • Practice passing and setting
  • Practice receiving serves
  • Practice serving – yes, do it often

With subsequent practices, have 1 or 2 key themes and focus areas -- anything more can be overwhelming. 

4.3.2 Teaching Skills

For teaching volleyball skills, there's an excellent YouTube series from Olympian Sarah Pavan.  It has some of the best explanations of how to teach volleyball skills to beginners. 

There some other good coaching resources on the Coaching Documents page.

If you need coaching assistant during a practice -- say, teaching under/over-hand serving or controlled 3-touch volleyball -- the league can arrange for a “guest coach” (usually Chuck) to stop by for 20-30 minutes.  If interested, send a note to

4.3.3 Team Spirit

Here are some ways to keep team spirit high which improves team cohesion and overall players satisfaction

  • Create a positive coaching environment
  • Utilize a fun/memorable team nickname
  • Create one or more team cheers to rally the team during practice and matches
  • Utilize HIGH-5’s after good or near-good plays
  • Encourage multi-touch volleyball to win the end-of-season Froyo Challenge

4.4 Your League Matches

4.4.1 Match Preparation

  • Review the Special Rules for your league
  • For House, spend time during your practices highlighting the special service rules and extra point rules
  • Practice substitutions: Continuous substitution for House and positional substitution for MSS, HSS & HST
  • Simulate games including serving and serve receive – for House, practice the “W” serve receive formation

4.4.2 Match Logistics

Here are some basic logistics of how matches are sequenced:

  • Bring your practice balls and cart.  It’s okay to mix balls with other teams -- just try to leave with as many balls as you arrived with.
  • Matches start and end on time
  • Starting in Spring 2023, referees utilize countdown timers attached to the scoreboard to track available time for warmups and match play
  • Show deference to referees and their decisions.  It’s all part of that good sportsmanship model we’re promoting.

Here is the sequencing of each match:

  • As soon as the previous match ends, both teams walk on the court and immediately begin warmups
  • The referees set the countdown timer to 10 minutes and begin the countdown
  • During the 10 minute warmup period:
    • Both teams warm-up at the same time and never sit waiting for the other team to complete their warmups
    • Warmup your team with partner passing (“pepper”) and/or team drills
    • Both teams utilize the late 2 minutes of the warmup period to practice services
  • ‚ÄčDuring the warmup period, referees call a captains meeting and flip a coin to determine which team serves first
    • The coin-flip winner has the choice of serving first or taking a specific side to receive serve
    • Recommend cycling around your captains -- some coaches have latest receiver of the Team Ball serve as the captain for the next match
  • After warmup times expires, referees instruct both teams to line up on the court to start play
    • Recommend holding a quick team huddle and cheer before sending your starters to the court
  • 60-minute matches target playing all 3 games (not best 2 of 3) and 90-minute matches target all 5 games (not best 3 of 5)
  •  
    • All games are played to 21 points (win by 2)
    • If the final game is not completed when the countdown clock expires, the team with the most points is the game winner -- win by 2 points is not required
    • If the final game is tied when time expires, the winner of the next point is the game winner
  • There are 2-minute breaks between games
  • Teams switch sides after each game. An extra coin-flip for the last game is not required
  • Each team is permitted two (2) 30-second timeouts per game
  • After the last game of the match completes, both teams line up to shake hands under the net and walk off the court afterwards so the next match can begin

4.4.3 Minimum Players and Match Forfeits

  • Teams normally play with 6 players on the court. A minimum of 5 players are required to start a set. If a 6th player arrives, that player may enter the current game immediately. When playing with 5 players, the team does not lose the serve when the 6th player “hole” goes to serve. The next player in the rotation simply serves.
  • If a team has less than 5 players on the court after the warmup period, the first game is declared a forfeit and recorded as 21-0 for the opponent.  If a team cannot place 5 players on the court 10 minutes later, the entire match is declared a forfeit with each game recorded as 21-0 for the opponent.
  • In a forfeit situation, the two teams are encouraged to split up available players and use the remaining match time to play for fun. The referees are available to officiate.

4.5 Positive Coaching

Coaches are expected to create a positive coaching environment that provides a learning and safe environment. Below are 10 positive coaching tips:

  • Applaud effort and attitude more than performance.
  • Look for positives, and make a big deal out of them.
  • Stay calm when my kids make mistakes, helping them learn from their mistakes.
  • Have reasonable and realistic expectations.
  • Treat players with respect, avoiding put-downs, sarcasm, and ridicule.
  • Remind players not to get down on themselves.
  • Remember not to take myself too seriously during the game.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, with lots of laughter and a sense of humor.
  • Emphasize teamwork, and help my kids think "we" instead of "me."
  • Be a role model of good sportsmanship

4.6 Team Spirit

Part of building a positive coaching environment is to develop Team Spirit to energize and unify your team.  Here are some proven techniques:

  • HIGH-FIVES - Utilize High-5’s after good or near-good plays. They can be done by those on the court after each play. This is considered the #1 way to build  unity, persevere through adversity, and bring smiles to everyone's faces.
  • TEAM NICKNAME - By the second practice, have the girls select a team nickname (“Tigers”, “Green Machine”, “Thundering Purple Butterflies”, etc.) that can be used for cheers at matches
  • TEAM CHEER - Create fun team cheers and use them during practices and matches. Some teams even create little dance routines as part of their cheer
  • TEAM BALL - Recognize accomplishments big and small by awarding the Team Ball (aka Ball-of-the-Week) to different players each week
  • FROYO CHALLENGE - Encourage multi-touch volleyball by playing up the end-of-season Froyo Challenge

4.6.1 Team Cheer and Celebration Guidelines

Although it is intended to energize and unify, team cheering and celebrations can be controversial. Due to the nature of the sport, one team only wins a point when the other team makes a mistake. So celebrations after earning a point can be mis-interpreted as disrespectful to the other team or the individual that made the mistake.

To help, below are the acceptable and unacceptable types of team cheers and celebrations all MYA Volleyball coaches are expected to follow:

Acceptable (and encouraged)

  • High-fiving within the team after winning a point or for any good or almost-good plays - this truly works to build team cohesion and bring smiles to everyone’s faces
  • Jumping and raising voices within the team after winning a point
  • Doing a movement routine/dance within the team after winning a point
  • Saying “Ahhh, ACE!” within the team after winning a service point
  • Shouting encouragement to teammates

Unacceptable

  • Directing any verbal abuse or physical gestures across the net to the opponent
  • Intentionally making noises or other distractions while an opponent is serving – the common cutesy is to have silence after the referee whistles for a serve

4.7 Sportsmanship

In addition to the MYA Code of Conduct signed by all participants during registration, below are a few key areas where MYA Volleyball coaches are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship:

  • Learn and follow the rules
  • Treat all participants with respect
  • Defer to the referees
  • Play all of your players equally (House)

4.7.1 Interaction with Referees and Opponents

Unfortunately, there have been incidents over the years, especially during playoffs, that warrant the following statements:

  • No coaches, players or spectators should confront referees or express disagreement with their calls.  As a coach, you are welcome to calmly ask the referee questions, but nothing more.  They are HS students doing their best based on what they know and see.  You may see something different from your angle, but it’s their job to make the final call.  Arguing with referees over a handful of points during a match rarely changes outcomes, but it always makes a lasting impression on our children.  We’re better than that.
  • No coaches, players or spectators should confront members of the other team.  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.
  • There are consequences of bad behavior: Anyone physically or verbally confronting referees or the opposing team, no matter what the reason, will be asked to leave the gym and not return. Such individuals and their families may be kicked out of MYA Volleyball and banned from participating in the future.

Please help enforce good sportsmanship and civil behavior with your players and parents.

 

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5.0 END OF SEASON

5.1 Froyo Challenge

To celebrate how all players have improved their volleyball skills this season, MYA Volleyball runs the popular "Froyo Challenge" on the last day of the regular season.

What is the Froyo Challenge?  It’s pretty simple.  In each House and Select league, the team that records the most multi-touches following the rules outlined below wins a gift certificate for FROZEN YOGURT or related frozen treats.

Gift certificates will be given to the top four teams in each league:

  • 1stPlace - $100 gift certificate
  • 2ndPlace - $90 gift certificate
  • 3rd Place - $80 gift certificate
  • 4rd Place - $75 gift certificate (not Select)

This should be a great incentive for teams to work on their three touches during practices and at matches.  In past seasons, the teams that won the challenge were not always the same teams that had the best end-of-season records.

Here’s how the Froyo Challenge will be measured in each league:

  • 4th and 5th Grade House Leagues: Teams earn “Froyo Points” with a combination of 2 or 3 consecutive touches on one side that goes over the net and leads to an immediate win where the opponent does not legally return the ball over the net into play.  A two-touch combination earns a team 2 Froyo Points and a three-touch combination earns 3 Froyo Points.
  • 6th Grade House League:  One Froyo Point is earned with each extra point scored by the team following the 3-touch extra point rule for ES matches: "At the discretion of the referee, an extra point is awarded to a team that executes a multi-touch combination that leads to an immediate win where the opponent does not legally return the ball over the net into play.  For 6th Grade House, any three legal touches earns the extra point. The opportunity to earn an extra point on a multi-touch combination is nullified if the opposing team legally returns the ball over the net and into play.”
  • 7th and 8th Grade House Leagues One Froyo Point is earned with each extra point scored by the team following the 3-touch extra point rule for MS matches: "At the discretion of the referee, an extra point is awarded to a team that executes a three-touch combination that leads to an immediate win where the opponent does not legally return the ball over the net into play. For the 7th and 8th Grade House leagues, three-touches earns the extra point.  However, the third touch must involve an arm swing above the shoulder and can be executed by a front-row or back-row player.  Rolls and tips/dinks are counted as hits, while forearm passes/bumps and two arm hand sets are not.  The opportunity to earn an extra point on a multi-touch combination is nullified if the opposing team legally returns the ball over the net and into play.”
  • MS Select, HS Select and 9th-12th Grade House Leagues:  Teams earn Froyo Points for by recording "Spike Kills".  So, what's a Spike Kill?  For the purpose of the Froyo Challenge, a spike (also called a "hit" or "attack") must involve an arm swing above the shoulder and can be executed by a front-row or back-row player.  Rolls and dinks are counted as spikes, while forearm passes ("bumps") and two arm hand sets are not.  The spike can happen on the second or third touch on the side.  A Spike Kill is when the opponent fails to control the ball after the spike and cannot legally return it into play.  Note that the Spike Kill only counts if the opposing team cannot control the ball – if they dig the spike and have a controlled 2nd and/or 3rd touch but fail to play the ball back over the net legally; it does not count as a Spike Kill.

Referees record Froyo Points throughout the match on poster boards setup in each gym.  Coaches may assist in identifying Froyo Points, but referees have the final say in what is officially recorded.

Winners of the Froyo Challenge are announced shortly after the last regular season match.  The gift cards are distributed to head coaches of the winning teams on or before playoffs.

5.2 Your All-Stars

At the end of each Spring Season, MYA Volleyball forms All-Star teams in each House and Select league.  Nomination to an All-Star team is a nice honor for youth players acknowledging their skills, athleticism and overall contribution to their team during the season. Visit the All-Stars page for details on the days and times of all-star events.

  • At least 2 All-Star teams are formed for each House & Select League
  • Coaches nominate players based on their contribution to the team
  • OK if nominees are related to coaches
  • All-Star matches held after playoffs (June 6 – 9)
  • Games are for fun
  • Includes a Senior Night to thank departing 12th graders

5.3 Playoffs

At the end of the season, playoffs are run in each House and Select league to determine season champions.  Below are some of the key logistics:

5.3.1 Playoff Format

Each league has a separate playoff.  To equalize the playing field, leagues with 8 or more teams are be divided into two separate playoff backets -- Gold and Silver.  The Silver bracket includes the bottom 4 teams based on end-of-season standings.  The Gold Bracket includes the top 4 to 8 teams based on end-of-season standings. Large trophies are awarded to the top 3 teams in Gold and smaller ones to the top 2 teams in Silver.

Each bracket follows a “win or go home” single elimination format with teams winning a best 2 of 3 match to advance (NOT 3 of 5 for Select).  When the playoff bracket is down to 4 teams in the semi-finals, the semi-final winners advance to the championship match while the losing teams remain to play against each other to determine third place.

As with the regular season, all playoff games are to 21 points, win-by-2 points.  This includes the third set if the teams are tied after 2 sets.

Coaches and players should plan to be available from the beginning of their first scheduled playoff match until finals which is a window of 2 to 4 hours depending on the bracket.  However, teams that do not advance may only be in the gym for an hour.  Matches will start on-time, so plan to be in the gym 15-20 minutes early.

5.3.2 Playoff Seeding

Playoff seedings are determined by end of season standings with the following tie-breaker criteria:

  1. Percent of matches won
  2. Percent of games won
  3. Head-to-head winner
  4. Coin flip

5.3.3 Service Line

During playoffs, NO ONE is permitted start a serve from in front of the league’s service line including underpowered and inaccurate servers.

Service line by league:

  • 4th Grade League: 10 feet in from the court endline marked by orange cones
  • 5th & 6th Grade Leagues: 5 feet in from the court endline marked by orange cones
  • All Other Leagues: the court endline

All players must start their serve from behind the service line.  House players, including HS House, can take one step in front of the line during the service motion, but no more.  As always, referees will enforce foot faults in the MS Select and HS Select leagues.

5.3.4 Playoff Etiquette

Refer to the Sportsmanship section above, especially in regard to following the rules, respecting others, and deferring to referees

5.3.5 Equal Playing Time during Playoffs

House teams must follow the CONTINUOUS SUBSTITUTION RULE during playoffs to ensure equal playing timeThis means you cannot intentionally starting the same top servers each new game!

As you can imaging, we’ve seen some interesting violations of the rule over the years during playoffs including the following:

  • Starting the best servers each game anyway
  • Asking weaker players to sit out playoff games
  • Rotating out weaker players but not stronger players

Without our referees tracking line-ups, it’s hard for them to spot substitution violations.  However, it’s usually the opposing team and parents that spot it leading to elevated tensions and calls for blood.  So please honor the rule and MYA Volleyball’s overall commitment to equal playing time and fair play, and defuse possible tensions.

However, there is one common practice that we'd like to share that does not technically violate the rule and has been used to gain an advantage during playoffs. The Continuous Substitution Rule has the following clause: “… If the coach elects to change the line-up for the next game, the first 3 servers cannot be any of the first three servers from the previous game...”  It was intended to give coaches the flexibility to change the line-up if something isn’t working out while safe guarding from the strongest servers starting each new game at the expense of weaker servers.

During playoffs, that clause can tip the balance of a decisive third game, which is basically a sprint to 15 points. The advantage is gained by returning to the first game line-up which is usually front-loaded with the best servers starting first.

So that no one team has the advantage during playoffs, we’re going to encourage both teams to use the practice.  If the match requires a decisive third game, both teams are encouraged to return to their first game line-up including the original first 3 servers (…as long as they aren’t any of the first 3 servers from a second game lineup change).

Although encouraging this practice does not ensure equal playing time of weaker servers during the third game, it should nullify one team from having an advantage and ensure some parity.

5.4 Returning Your Equipment

Before leaving the gym after playoffs (or after the all-star match), locate your AGC or the lead referee in the gym to CHECK-IN your equipment.

  • On the equipment check-in sheet, record your ball bag and cart tag numbers
    • No worries if you don’t have all 12 balls – some are always lost each season.
  • Leave the equipment in the gym

If you have any extra team shirts, include them with your equipment dropoff.  Extra shirts are always needed the next season.

5.5 Team Closeout Recommendations

After your team’s playoff run ends, gather your team outside the gym to close out the season:

  • Recognize the contribution of players and volunteers – Categories could include "most improved", "most committed," "loudest cheers", "funniest", etc.  Try to include everyone. Some teams give out paper plates with the recognition and colored drawings.
  • Sign player uniforms (optional) - Bring colored Sharpies and have the girls sign each other’s uniforms. This is always popular.
  • Take out the team for a celebration - If you haven't already done so, consider a team celebration of frozen yogurt, smoothies, Slurpee’s, etc. It’s a good opportunity to use your Froyo Challenge gift card.

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