MOUNTAIN WEST VOLLEYBALL

CLUB HANDBOOK

2013 - 2014

GENERAL INFORMATION

MISSION STATEMENT

Through participation and commitment to our club volleyball program, the participants will be educated, trained, develop their ability, skills, and knowledge for the sport of volleyball, while learning life skills developed from team sports.

PRACTICE SITE

Mountain West teams practice in three general locations: at Spring Creek Middle School in Providence, UT, Cedar Ridge Middle School in Hyde Park, UT and Logan Rec Center in Logan, UT.

OWNERS

Denae Pruden is the owner and Director of Mountain West Volleyball Club.

TRYOUTS

Each year we evaluate a large number of athletes during tryouts. Some athletes have extensive playing experience while others do not. All athletes are evaluated for skill execution, as well as intrinsic traits. We base our selections for teams on what the athletes do during the tryout period PLUS what we perceive their potential as volleyball athletes to be. We select athletes based on the following criteria: coachability, position preference, work ethic, and basic skills of the sport. Each athlete in the club is evaluated every year. Each athlete must come to the tryouts ready to compete for a place on a team. (An athlete with a limiting or medical condition should talk to the Head Coach prior to the start of the tryout period). Players should never assume because they were on a team one year, they will automatically be on a team the following year. We select athletes for teams because they show the ability or potential, in our opinion, to help that particular team compete successfully.

CLUB TEAMS AND MULTI-SPORT ATHLETES

Mountain West athletes who play other sports during the club volleyball season must notify their coach in advance if they are going to miss a practice or tournament because of other sports conflicts. (Please refer to the Practice Rules.) If an athlete participates in another sport, we expect her to make club volleyball a priority when there is a conflict between the two sports. This means we expect the athlete to attend all club practices, unless there is a scheduled competition for the other sport at the same time as a club practice. If a game for the other sport conflicts with a club practice, the athlete will be excused from the volleyball practice, provided their coach is informed in advance. If a club volleyball competition conflicts with another sport competition, the coach and the athlete will decide, on a case-by-case basis, which event takes priority.

MOVEMENT BETWEEN TEAMS

Rarely we will move an athlete from one team to another. Movement is at the sole discretion of the club. We will not move an athlete from or to another team until we discuss the move with the parents.

MEMBERSHIP AND CLUB FEES POLICY

Mountain West base fees include 1) facilities fees 2) coaching fees 3) team equipment 4) tournament fees 5) administrative expenses. Each team’s base fee will differ depending on 1) amount of on-the-court practice time, 2) costs to staff and administer teams. Elite teams that qualify for national tournaments will have additional fees to be determined and assessed at the time of qualification. Parents will receive specific information on the plan at the initial Parent’s Meeting. We require all parents to attend this meeting and have all their questions answered.

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RULES AND REGULATIONS

GENERAL POLICY

  • While representing the Mountain West Volleyball Club, we expect all athletes to behave in a responsible manner. Determination of what a responsible manner is lies solely with the Club.
  • We require any athlete damaging equipment owned by the Mountain West Volleyball Club or any facility used by the Club during practices, tournaments or any other function, to reimburse the appropriate entity for the damages before continuing in the Club. In some circumstances, the athlete may be dismissed from the Club in addition to making restitution.
  • We will not allow any athlete to participate during the current season unless all fees from previous years are paid.
  • We may, at our discretion, deny an athlete whose account becomes delinquent during the current season the privilege of playing in a tournament or ask her to sit out at practice until the account is paid in full or arrangements for payment are made with the Director.
  • The party responsible for the athlete’s fees and expenses must pay the current season’s account in full before the athlete will be allowed to participate in the last scheduled tournament of this particular athlete’s club team.
  • All athletes must have her parent/guardian complete the online membership process prior to tryouts. This includes registering for AAU, registering for tryouts on our website at www.mtnwestvb.com, and paying the $13 tryout fee (or plan on bringing it to tryouts). The Junior Medical Release Form must be printed and brought to tryouts along with a small picture of the player.
  • All athletes selected for a team MUST: 1) have turned in a Signed Financial Agreement; 2) paid for full season or set up payment plan; 3) be completely registered with AAU before being allowed to practice.
  • Payment will either be made by check for the season in full, or paid through the Mountain West Website via Paypal.
  • When we have bad weather, all athletes should wait to be contacted by their coach to confirm if practice is cancelled. If there is no contact made, then practice will be held as scheduled.
  • Mtn. West has the philosophy that the amount of PLAYING TIME for all athletes is determined by the performance of the athlete, and IS LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF HER COACH. This includes playing time on travel tournaments. WE DO NOT GUARANTEE EQUAL PLAYING TIME. Each athlete will receive equal practice time. In the younger age divisions the coaches are encouraged to manage their team so that playing time is more equitable. We strive to be a competitive club, not a recreational organization. While the coaches are encouraged to be mindful of playing time, they are also expected to make coaching decisions that will help the team have the most success.
  • Practices are open to family interested in observing and we encourage you to come.
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PRACTICE RULES

  • We expect all athletes to attend every practice. Only an illness serious enough to keep the athlete home from school or a genuine family emergency is a legitimate excuse for missing practice. If an athlete misses an excessive number of practices, a meeting will be arranged with the athlete, her parent(s)/guardian, the coach, and the Director or the Head Coach to discuss consequences.
  • IF AN ATHLETE CANNOT BE AT PRACTICE, THE ATHLETE MUST CALL THE COACH. It is the athlete’s responsibility (not the parent’s) to reach the coach before the practice starts. Players who do not communicate with their coach about a missed practice, or who miss a practice for an unacceptable reason, will sit out at least the first match of the next competition event they attend. PLEASE NOTE: The athlete must contact the coach directly at his/ her home or work number or email address. Print this information on the front page of the handbook. It is included on a team list sent out at the beginning of December.
  • Injured or ill athletes who can attend school are expected to attend practice to support their team and be available to help where they can, even if they cannot physically participate in practice.
  • Scheduled practice time is start time. Please arrive early enough to be dressed and completely ready for practice by start time. This usually requires arriving no less than 10 minutes before start time.
  • If an athlete is late arriving for practice, she must change into her practice gear, report to her coach and explain why she is late. The coach, in his/ her sole discretion, will determine if any corrective action needs to be taken.
  • NO FOOD, NO DRINKS and NO CHEWING GUM ARE ALLOWED IN ANY PRACTICE OR TOURNAMENT FACILITY. The team may be penalized if parents or supporters disobey this rule.
  • Athletes are encouraged to bring water, in an unbreakable container, to practices and tournaments. Absolutely no glass containers are allowed in the gym.
  • Volleyball shoes are to be carried into the practice, and worn only for practice. This is to assure that the courts remain clean. It also helps the shoes to have better traction and retain that traction longer.
  • Horseplay or ball handling in the lobby and/or hallways of practice or competition areas is strictly prohibited.
  • Texting and making phone calls during volleyball practice or competition is strongly discouraged. Please limit calls and texts to true emergencies.
  • Mountain West supports consequences for missing practices, tournaments, etc. Our coaches try to be positive though we acknowledge that yelling or becoming angry sometimes can be a good coaching technique. Our coaches are taught to use these techniques sparingly and try to uplift their team and help them enjoy the season.
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TOURNAMENTS

  • All athletes are expected to attend every tournament. IF AN ATHLETE CANNOT BE AT A TOURNAMENT, SHE MUST INFORM THE COACH AS SOON AS SHE KNOWS SHE WILL BE ABSENT. (There is a listing of competition dates at imvolleyball.org) It is the athlete’s (not the parent’s) responsibility to make arrangements with the coach if she cannot attend a tournament. Failure to attend a tournament may be grounds for the Club to cancel an athlete’s membership.
  • All athletes are expected to be in the gym, READY TO WARM-UP, at the scheduled arrival time. This usually means the athlete needs to arrive at the site 40-60 minutes prior to the scheduled competition time.
  • NO FOOD, NO DRINKS (other than water), and NO CHEWING GUM IS ALLOWED IN ANY PRACTICE OR COMPETITION GYM AT ANY TIME. IVA rules allow a tournament director to penalize teams if parents and/or supporters ignore this rule. Please be aware that this rule is for parents and players.
  • Represent Mountain West Volleyball Club at the highest level possible. Your reputation is OUR reputation.
  • Proper demeanor is expected of all members of the Club (athletes, parents, and supporters) at all tournaments; this includes treating members of the officiating crew with respect.
  • Athletes will wear the specified uniform to all tournaments.
  • Uniforms must be clean, especially kneepads, socks and shoes.
  • Athletes are not to wear headbands, bandanas, jewelry, or glitter of any kind or other non-uniform items during practice or competition.
  • Athletes and/or parents are responsible for providing transportation for their athlete to and from the regional tournament sites.
  • Except for the starting times, most tournaments do not follow a set time schedule. Matches will begin 10 minutes after the end of the previous match. Because of this format, it is very difficult to determine exactly when a tournament will end. Expect to play all day.
  • Athletes must stay at the tournament site until excused by the coach. This includes DURING as well as at the conclusion of a tournament.

OFFICIATING

Officiating is the shared responsibility of the entire team. All Mountain West athletes are required to help equally with the line judging, score keeping, score flipping and officiating. Except in cases of true emergency, all athletes and their team that have an officiating assignment must stay at a tournament until the assignment is completed.

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GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Knowing when to communicate and how to communicate with your athlete’s coach is a concern for almost every parent at some time during the season. Most often the concern is how to inquire about issues surrounding playing time.

At Mountain West we encourage the athlete to talk to the coach when she has a problem about her playing time or if she is uncertain what the coach expects from her either in practice or in competition. The appropriate attitude is for the athlete to ask the coach what she needs to do to get more opportunities to play in matches. Parents can best help their athlete by helping her set some goals to achieve more opportunities to play.

When parents have a problem that is specific to their own athlete, we also encourage them first to talk to the coach. We instruct coaches they are not required to discuss “coaching decisions” which include, among other things, specific match decisions (who played when, who was subbed out and when, etc.) The amount of time any given athlete is on the court is the result of a complex determination, in that coach’s opinion, of the athlete’s ability, the athlete’s potential, the team’s needs at the moment, and the team’s needs in the future. The coach will not be required to defend his/ her thought process or conclusions in making these determinations, and we believe it is improper for a parent to request that of a coach.

In addition, we instruct coaches not to discuss any athlete other than the parent’s own, or the actions of any other coach. If you as a parent have legitimate concerns about a coach other than your athlete’s coach, or with an athlete other than your own, you need to address the Club Director. Please note again that coaching decisions are not, in our opinion, subject to discussion.

PROCEDURE STEPS

Specifically, if you as a parent, or your athlete as a member of a Mountain West Volleyball Club team, have concerns about Mountain West policies or actions, the procedures to follow are, in this order:

  • The athlete should talk to the coach about the matter. If the matter remains unresolved, or if the athlete has reasonable concern that talking to the coach will not resolve the matter, then
  • The parent should talk to the coach. Parents and/ or athletes are expected to call the coach on the phone to schedule a meeting. Meetings are to be at times and locations other than tournaments. If a parent approaches a coach during a tournament, we have instructed the coach to refuse to discuss any controversial matter, to refer the parent to the Director, and to walk away from the parent. This is known as the 24 hour cool off. The recommended time for a parent and/or athlete to talk to a coach about a problem is a previously arranged time either before or immediately after a scheduled practice. If the matter still remains unresolved, or if the parent has reasonable concern that talking to the coach will not resolve the matter, then
  • The parent should talk to the Director and request a meeting with the coach and Director. In certain situations, we may ask the athlete to attend the meeting also. Meetings should be previously arranged. Meetings will not be scheduled during or at a tournament site. The Head Coach and/ or the Director will not engage in discussions about coaching decisions.

OTHER GRIEVANCE POLICIES

  • Mountain West will not tolerate hostile, aggressive confrontations between a parent and any official, a parent and any coach, a parent and any athlete, or a parent and any other parent, regardless of whether the coach, athlete or other parent is a member of Mountain West or not. Violation of this policy may result in the athlete being dismissed from Mountain West.
  • It is inappropriate for an athlete or a parent to approach other Mountain West members to complain about a problem the athlete or parent is having with a Mountain West coach, about objections to coaching decisions, or about disagreement with an administrative decision.
    • *Asking uninvolved persons to take sides in an issue is unfair to those third parties and to the Club. Competitive team athletics, by its very nature, creates situations where everyone may not be happy all the time. For the psychological health of the athletes and the Club as a whole, grievances need to be handled between the parties involved and the decision-makers in the situation.
    • Any member who is approached and asked to listen to or express an opinion about matters between two other parties in the Club is strongly encouraged to refer the complaining party to take the matter up with either the coach in question and/ or the Club Director, and to refuse to listen further.
    • Any member who, as a third party, hears remarks or stories about Mountain West, its employees or its policies, that cause the member to be concerned is encouraged to call the Club Director immediately to determine the facts, or to alert the Club administration to a situation it may be unaware of.
      • It is detrimental to all persons involved to repeat complaints you hear (or overhear) to other uninvolved parties. By the time a story gets to the third or fourth party, it frequently bears little resemblance to the facts of the situation.
      • It is also detrimental to your athlete and disruptive to her team to complain about the coach, the coach’s style or Mountain West policies.
      • If you, as a parent, are unhappy or concerned about these matters, you should address the party in control. If the athlete is the unhappy person, she needs to address the appropriate party.

Repetitive complaining to the athlete(s) or other third parties that interferes with the Club’s efforts to pursue its stated mission and purpose may be cause, in the sole determination of the Club, to cancel an athlete’s membership in the Club.

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

Both federal law and Utah law prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Mountain West is fully committed to preventing sexual harassment in its program. We try to be sensitive to actions that may seem to create an environment that is discriminatory or harassing. Mountain West regards the safety of the young athletes entrusted to our care and instruction as our highest priority. We do not tolerate verbal or physical behavior that compromises that priority. We watch team activities and interactions closely to try to prevent miscommunications that cause discomfort for any of the athletes or parents.

REPORTING COMPLAINTS

If you see behavior by a Mountain West employee you believe appears to be inappropriate, or if you experience behavior from a coach or administrator that you believe to be inappropriate, report it immediately to the Club Director. All complaints will be investigated. Any employee found to be in violation of the sexual discrimination policy would be subject to discipline, which may include dismissal. There will be no retaliation against any complainant and/ or witness who participate in investigation of a sexual harassment charge.

MOUNTAIN WEST VOLLEYBALL CLUB IS COMMITTED TO:

RESPONDING TO ALL QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS RELATED TO ANY PART OF THE CLUB OPERATIONS. WE WILL DO OUR VERY BEST TO RESPOND IN A TIMELY FASHION. YOU WILL BE RESPECTFULLY HEARD. WE WILL WORK DILIGENTLY TO AFFORD EVERY ATHLETE IN OUR PROGRAM THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP HER ATHLETIC AND PERSONAL POTENTIAL TO THE FULLEST. WE WILL BE AS OPEN AND FORTHRIGHT AS POSSIBLE IN ALL OUR DEALINGS WITH MEMBERS.

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COACHING POLICY AND PROCEDURE

  • Our coaches have an obligation to be discreet and exemplary in their conduct at all times, on and off the court. Their conduct must bring credit and integrity to Mountain West Volleyball Club.
  • By agreeing to become a member of this coaching staff they have agreed to do their very best to live within the Club guidelines. The Club Director should not have to ask them to do that which they have already agreed to do.
  • All coaches have the responsibility for confronting and seeking out solutions to team related problems or issues.
  • When helping to choose teams for tryouts, coaches will not chose teams based on high school attended and, location of the athletes, or requests made by the players. Teams from the previous year are disbanded at the end of each season. The athletes will have an equal chance to play for any of the teams for Mountain West.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

The use of illegal drugs is forbidden. Evidence of drug use will result in immediate termination. It is a violation of USA Volleyball policies for a junior coach to consume alcohol while responsible for athletes.

PRACTICE

  • Teach the Pursuit Rule: Every ball is in play and must be pursued with full intent of making a play on the ball.
  • Please give a lot of quality feedback, especially at the younger levels!
  • Staff, managers, etc. are expected to be in the gym ready to go at 5 minutes prior to practice time with a complete practice plan.
  • Each coach and player is responsible for cleaning up her own messes (tape, cups, etc.) All equipment must be kept neatly arranged. Maintain a clean practice facility. Pay attention to details.
  • Make sure frequent water breaks have been scheduled into your practice plan. Plan a rate of approximately every 20 minutes. Hydration is critical to performance.
  • End practice on time and help with taking down the nets on your own court. Make sure to check for any loose balls around the gym.
  • Coaches must stay at the practice facility until every player from their own team is picked up by a parent.
  • Texting and making phone calls during volleyball practice or competition is strongly discouraged. Please limit calls and texts to true emergencies.

COMPETITION

  • Teach players on the bench that they must be ready to enter the match at any time. When seated, sweats must be off. You are responsible for your own readiness for competition.
  • Officials and coaches will be treated with respect and courtesy. Only the captain may talk to the officials. Do not allow questionable officiating to become a distraction.
  • Coaches are responsible for securing their own equipment.

TRAVEL TEAMS

TRAVEL CONSIDERATION

  • Make sure athletes have personal identification
  • Know where your athletes are at all times.
  • Enforce curfew at 11:00 pm and follow hotel rules.
  • Do not leave valuables in hotel rooms.
  • The coaching staff and club director will assign roommates prior to departure.
  • Athletes are to use carry-on luggage for uniforms and equipment. Do not lose sight of your equipment.
  • Dress Code: See athlete travel code.
  • Make sure any athlete who is assigned equipment to carry, is responsible for it until it is safely returned to a staff member.
  • Players must be together as a group.
  • Players will attend all meals and team activities unless excused by a staff member.

NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS/ NON –REGIONAL TOURNAMENTS

  • IF WE TRAVEL TO OUT-OF-REGION TOURNAMENTS TO COMPETE everything else is secondary. If a player plays for a Power team, they will be expected to play on the one Sunday of the travel tournament.
  • Keep your ID or passport in your possession at all times.
  • Travel dress code is in accordance with FAA safety recommendations.
    • Long pants/Skirt (Knee Length)/Dress
    • Blouse/Sweater/Nice Shirt (No Belly Shirts)
    • Low heeled shoes (nice casual)
    • OR AND ONLY IF COACH SAYS
    • Team Tee
    • Sweats
    • Tennis shoes
  • Athletes will be courteous to and respectfully obey all staff members. This includes all coaches, chaperones, trainers and/or other adults officially traveling with the team.
  • Athletes may not leave the hotel area at any time without permission from their coach or chaperone.
  • Athletes will not plan to meet with anyone they have met of the opposite sex. This includes inviting them to the hotel and meeting in the lobby.
  • Athletes must report any illness or injury to the coach and chaperone immediately.
  • Athletes must lodge with their team. Please do not ask to have your athlete stay in your hotel or room (See #1 above.)
  • Room phone numbers are to be given ONLY to family members and/or members of the travel party.
  • An athlete who damages any property at lodging or playing facility will be personally responsible for damages
  • .
  • An athlete found in possession of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs would be sent home immediately at the expense of the parent or guardian.

An athlete who disobeys any one of the travel rules may be sent home immediately at the expense of the parent or guardian. Violation of any travel rule also may result in the athlete being asked to leave the club, depending on the evaluation of the situation by the coach and the Director.

OTHER INFORMATION

GERNERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

Purpose for Inter-Regional/ Travel Tournaments:

  • Provide a higher competitive experience than competition within the local AAU league.
  • Gauge how teams compare to the rest of the country.
  • Provide athlete’s exposure to collegiate coaches.

Benefits of Inter-Region/ Travel Tournaments

  • Teach athletes time management skills.
  • Teach athletes to be productive team members while traveling in a competitive environment.
  • Teach athletes to handle the rigors of a competitive schedule. A must for the college athlete.
  • Developed friendships with athletes from different parts of the country.

TRAVEL POLICIES

  • Dues must be current before plane tickets will be ordered.
  • Deadline dates for airfares are negotiated directly with the airline and cannot be changed.
  • We will provide a notice of the deadline date as far in advance of a trip as we can. You must personally contact the Head Coach prior to the deadline if you plan to fly on your own ticket. Once the deadline has passed, it is assumed your athlete will be flying with the group and the Club will purchase a ticket, for which the athlete will be billed. Changes in tickets are the responsibility of the individual athlete.
  • If your child is flying on her own, please arrange for your child to arrive at the team’s destination prior to the team’s arrival and depart after the team does. You must get your athlete to the place the team is staying if she arrives after the team and get your athlete back to the airport if she is leaving before the team.
  • We recommend $25 per day for food and miscellaneous expenses.
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