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USA Volleyball


SafeSport Information for Players

When you join your Regional Volleyball Association (RVA), you become a registrant of USA Volleyball (USAV), just like the players on the 2008 Beijing Games gold and silver medal winning USA Volleyball teams. Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Volleyball is the National Governing Body (NGB) of the sport, serving the lifetime sport of volleyball at all ages and levels, through its 40 RVAs and other affiliated members. For more information on joining your local RVA, click here to see a map of the 40 RVAs. Contact the RVA servicing your area through the website link.

Growing the Game Together – Player and Parent Edition – As our first “Holiday Gift” to USAV players and parents, this special FREE PDF download of the new book compilation featuring posts from the Grow the Game Together blog. This book is subtitled “Insights and Thoughts on the Science, Facts, and Principles of Sport and Volleyball,” and is available for download now!

Becoming a Collegiate Athlete

Check out the large amount of collegiate info found under the Resources section of our website, by clicking here. Links to all key answers to questions about eligibility, recruiting, or playing at the collegiate level are found there. Also under the Recruiting button found HERE

USA Volleyball Posters 

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You can find these posters and more here

NEW! A Kids Volleyball Coloring Book! (PDF Download 32 pages) - Give your child, youth teams or nieces and nephews a copy of this ALL volleyball characters coloring book. Black and white so you can bring it to life in colors. This new Version 4 contains sitting volleyball cartoons too! If you have a volleyball drawing or two that you have done and wish to donate to the next edition, email to

Serving Secrets for Players & Coaches (PDF Download 3 pages) A stand alone copy of the blog for 1.18.11, of the Top Ten Serving Secrets for players to train with and use in practice and matches. As serving at all ages and levels is most important, this handout gives dozens of great ideas for teaching this closed motor program, for 10 year olds and top level players.

Youth Volleyball Rules for 2-4 Player Teams (PDF Download 5 pages)

USA Volleyball has a full rule book annually updated - called Domestic Competition Regulations - which follow the rules of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). This set of rules is designed to simplify these regulations for youth play for 3-11 year old teams who should be playing less than the six person game.

Am I Too Short to Play Volleyball? (PDF Download 3 pages)

"It is not how tall you are, it is how GOOD you are." - Marv Dunphy, 1988 Olympic Gold Medal volleyball coach

Cloth/Balloon Volleyball (PDF Download 3 pages)

A pattern and instructions for creating a simple cloth covered, balloon volleyball for children.

Beach Volleyball Basics (PDF Download 6 pages)

With Beach Volleyball is a very popular and fast growing sport all over the world. At the same time it is asport recognized by major international sport associations such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Volleyball Federation. Beach Volleyball is a fun game that can help you accomplish your goals of becoming a world-class athlete. The doubles game can also be played on the grass, using the same portable net systems and rules.

You Will Be a Better Player If You Coach (PDF Download 2 pages)

The title of this article sums it up. How our USA coaches might better implement this fact is the focus of this article, for it can also make a huge impact on the development of talent in both the youth levels, and disabled programming of our nation.

What is There to Do in Volleyball After High School? (PDF Download 2 pages)

A very sad factoid crossed my desk recently from Athletic Business magazine. They cited a study stating that only five percent of high school varsity players still participate in their sport when they are 30 or more years old.

Play Better Indoors by Playing Outdoors (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

It is time to give the players a break from all of your coaching-while increasing the numbers of touches they get on the ball-by letting your summer program get all of your JOV athletes playing outdoors in two-, three- and four-person competitions. Let them play! Just have them fill out a tournament list while playing in the B or A divisions all summer long against adults. DO IT! Then send your best to Jr. Olympic Beach Volleyball Nationals.

What to do After an Ankle Sprain (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

Ankle sprains are the most common acute injury in sports. They are also the most common injury in volleyball. Although they can occur in a number of ways, in volleyball they are most often the result of landing on the outside part of the foot (inversion injury). This causes a sprain of the outside (lateral) ankle ligaments. Frequently, a player may jump at the net and land on an opponent's foot, causing his/her weight to roll over the outside part of his/her own foot. If this force overwhelms the ankle stabilizing muscles, the lateral ankle ligaments are stretched and injured.After an acute ankle sprain, immediate steps should be taken to control swelling and inflammation. These steps are most effective if begun within minutes of injury, and will allow for easier rehabilitation and earlier return to play. An easy way to remember these is to use the pneumonic RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, respectively.

Dear Stupid Player (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

Last night my phone rang, with a dear friend calling to say his daughter, a player training with our national team, had missed her flight and could I go get her. Team players that we are, we know the answer is of course yes, as my own kids now have a reason to get out of the pajamas and into the car for yet another adventure. When we picked her up, she was very apologetic and all...while we were simply happy to see her.

Then she said a phrase I hear far too often..."I am such an idiot." Followed by a call to her folks, wonderful people I have known for decades, to let them know she was with us, when she said, "I know you will hate me, but I forgot the telephone number."

Kessel's Volleyball Excuse List (PDF Download - 1 Page)

This list is intended to simplify the problem of selecting the proper alibi to suit the occasion. While some athletes are so bad that they need no excuse, most will at some time or another be in need of an explanation for why their spike at match point hit the back wall 42 bricks high.

Play One on One to be Great (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

The short version of this article is simple - have fun playing more one on one, and you will be better - because you learn most by contacting the ball over a net.

Please Use the Net (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

How can we get our coaches and players to change from the powerful tradition/habit of half-court-not-over-the-net training seen at all levels, to using the net all the time? Maybe if I just use that important word mom taught me, please, it will work? Coaches, please use the net. Please use it from start to finish in practice, as it is not there usually when they go home and practice with that one other volleyball loving friend. Please use it for warm up, passing drills, not just hitting drills.

Recipe for an Elite Player (PDF Download - 1 Page)

Remember that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. A great player is best cooked up with the following selections.

  • 1 large heart
  • 2 strong legs
  • 1 empowered brain
  • 2 soft and strong hands
  • 3 eyes
  • a touch of humor
  • a dash of compassion
  • a pound of "ganas"
  • a team benchful of support
  • a courtful of love of the game

Can You Do It (PDF Download - 1 Page)

This is a five-minute timed test to determine the general and specific knowledge of volleyball athletes, in particular their speed in decision making and their abilities to react to instruction within familiar performance requirements.

A Conditioning Program (PDF Download 2 Pages)

It is important for you to maintain a high level of fitness in order to compete at your physical capability. Being in shape, like getting proper nutrition is one of the fundamental skills that sport can help incorporate into your like now that should never stop.

Creating a Boys Volleyball Team at Your School (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

Learn some basic steps to bring boys volleyball to your school.

Cross-Training and Training Options in Volleyball (PDF Download - 5 Pages)

Most coaches are not aware of the many options to play the game of volleyball. This handout is intended to give you reference to options to the indoor 6 vs. 6 game, that you might have your players experience. New, fun and different...a break from what you do normally.

FUNdaMENTAL Volleyball (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

The fundamentals of volleyball provide you with a sound foundation from which to create the things that you need to become the best volleyball player you can be. In volleyball the true winners are those players who always put out their best effort, no matter how they feel or what the score turns out to be.

Volleyball Word Find (PDF Download - 1 Page)

Your favorite word find game with a twist...volleyball!

Volleyball Phobia (PDF Download - 1 Page)

We all have fears. Joe "the Truth" Harmon has done much research in this area.

Volleyball Food Challenge (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

With some players, every relationship between food and volleyball is very simple -- "I eat, therefore I am." Nonetheless, certain foods have direct correlation to the game, and I challenge you to not cheat (practice for the SAT/ACT tests here) and to see if you can figure out the food that goes with the definitions.

Kessel's Volleyball Lessons By Mail (PDF Download - 1 Page)

Please do not throw this letter away, as you have so many others before this. We have an offer
for you can't refuse - the chance to learn the sport born in America - volleyball. We know you
have seen power volleyball played and want to do it too.

Volleyball Trivia Questions (PDF Download - 7 Pages)

See how many trivia questions you can answer correctly on your favorite sport!

Training Tools for Jr. Olympic and Youth Volleyball (PDF Download - 11 Pages)

These are successful training items I have created and used in the last 35 years of coaching kids - all of which are inexpensive and thus can be done at any grassroots level. They can be used to increase the time on task/contacts per hour for class or team training, making stations or in other ways to get more than one ball in the air over your court at the same time.

Training Without a Net or Friends (PDF Download - 4 Pages)

Volleyball is a game to play with friends, same gender or coed - even reverse coed...It does not matter if those you train with are only 7 years old, or your grandmother, as long as they can provide you with the unique angles of the game, you'll be learning fine. The other essential key for learning the right habits for game play, is a net.

Thoughts on Defense in Volleyball (PDF Download - 1 Page)

"There are days when you can't get the ball to hit the floor, no ratter how hard you try," my volleyball coach once told me, "But there is no excuse for not playing good defense.'

I've known those days when every attack is a fight. Every idea manufactured. Days when invention and smoothness and originality disappear. When nothing is new or bright or wonderful. The air is the same. In those days I start to press and everything gets that much more difficult. The feel of offense is gone. And with it, the power, the ease, the brilliance that play brings.

Thoughts For Setters (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

These are basically the ideas on setting of one of the most knowledgeable volleyball personalities in the world, Doug Beal, coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Men's team. Since 1970, he has studied, played and taught setting on the international level as both a player and a coach.

Thoughts and Guidelines on Service (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

A great speaker tells a story about the time before he became a great speaker. He would feel nervous and unsure of himself before an audience of men of power and dignity. So he would overcome this by imagining them sitting before him dressed only in their underwear.

The Uniqueness of Volleyball (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

This article should be explained to (and understood by) all parents in your program, as volleyball is known as a sport that is not a "parent-pleaser."

The Most Important Skill in Volleyball (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

Many coaches spend a great deal of time focusing on the skills of serving, passing, setting, spiking blocking and digging. They add in a virtual verbal barrage of technique comments to each player, in practice and even in the middle of games.

The Game Teaches the Game (PDF Download - 4 Pages)

CLICK HERE for the Spanish version.

Often I open coaching courses, at any level, with the following "test" Fill in the blanks -- The game teaches ____ ________. I get all sorts of interesting answers like "good sportsmanship," and "team work" - but the "correct" answer I am seeking is in the title above..."the game."

The Ten New Commandments of Volleyball (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

As I watch new coaches begin by teaching the way they were taught, I wonder how to get these well intentioned humans to change to better ways. As most good coaches know that given a choice, they would chose the "a lot of a little" side, rather than "a little of a lot "- I offer to you the ten most important traditions and coaching methods I wish you would change to....

Training Tools for Jr. Olympic and Youth Volleyball (PDF Download - 11 Pages)

These are successful training items I have created and used in the last 35 years of coaching kids - all of which are inexpensive and thus can be done at any grassroots level. They can be used to increase the time on task/contacts per hour for class or team training, making stations or in other ways to get more than one ball in the air over your court at the same time.

Team Travel Ideas (PDF Download - 5 Pages)

Experienced parents, and coaches, know that travel by car is a necessary time eater of any sports program. Why not make it more fun, educational and team bonding, beyond just watching a DVD or listening to individual music players through their a kid long ago, and a parent/coach with nearly half a century in the car traveling these United States, here is my collection of best team travel car activities that do not involve watching a DVD or Gameboy player, and that can greatly help with team cohesion and meeting group needs.

Suggested Player Book Readings (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

USA Volleyball Skills Contest (PDF Download - 9 Pages)

In 1967, in response to the United States Olympic Committee's challenge to all sports
groups to expand and intensify their developmental efforts, USA Volleyball developed a
volleyball skills contest and implemented it on a regional basis. The YMCA of the USA updated
this skills contest with USAV staff help for use during their volleyball centennial celebrations. We
are now sharing it with all volleyball organizations to use as they wish.

To Win the Gold (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

This is something I wrote and sent to all my USA Olympic Team Hopefuls for Sydney back in 2000 when I was Team Leader for the Olympic Beach Teams. Most players in the pipeline wanting to reach this level would benefit from following this same information.

Splinter Siblings (PDF Download - 2 Pages)

Dear Coach,
I am becoming frustrated with my lack of court time during matches. My coach keeps telling me
that I am improving, but I keep having to get tweezers on to my splinters after each game. I
have thought about changing clubs but I would prefer to stay where I am, as I enjoy the
atmosphere in this club.

How Can I Spike Harder? (PDF Download - 3 Pages)

First off, you should understand that to hit the ball harder, you just need to swing your arm faster. Stop working so hard on hitting the ball harder and, instead, focus on swinging your arm faster. When players go for hitting harder, they tighten up the muscles in the shoulder girdle and cannot unleash as fast of an armswing as they might have. Swing fast, swing faster. The quandary is, when you first start to swing faster, or as fast as you can, you are not as accurate.

Match Quiz on Talent Development

You can take this “test” to see examples of late developing athletes! There is no set guidelines on how and when a person can become a great at the sport they love.