Circle City Volleyball Club was originated by Tom Pingel in 1984. In its first season, Circle City Volleyball fielded 35 athletes on 3 teams (one 18 & under, two 16 & under) and 3 coaches. In the years since, Circle City has grown from a tiny club into a nationally recognized program, offering teams in age groups 10 & under through 18. Circle City Volleyball Club has become one of the largest clubs to attempt to meet the needs of the various levels of volleyball athletes, fielding 24 teams and 250 athletes in 2017. While most clubs are geared either for elite athletes, or for less skilled players, our graduates have played in the US Olympic Festival and have represented USA on the Youth National Team. Many have played on top-ranked college teams. Many have also been All-State or All-American in High School. On the other hand, many of our players enrolled are just trying to make their school’s team. Our training group allows players of all skill levels to learn, improve, and progress at a pace they can achieve. We have 7 courts under one roof that are used for volleyball.
Circle City Volleyball Club is one of a very small number of clubs that promotes all of the goals set forth by USA Volleyball. USA Volleyball is the governing body for competitive volleyball in the United States. In 1981, it made a commitment to provide opportunities for young players to play outside of their school programs and in 1991 created a Division of the USAV exclusively devoted to Youth & Junior Olympic Volleyball development. The USAV states that junior volleyball programs represented... "the future of volleyball in the US." [Its junior program] was created to serve as a major building block for scholastic, collegiate, recreational and club play throughout the country.
Junior volleyball programs have exploded all across the country. The first AAU National tournament was held over 30 years ago, and only 20 teams made the trip. Last season, there were more than 100,000 registered junior players in the United States.
Why this incredible growth? There are many factors, but the overall growth of women’s sports programs is important. As women’s collegiate programs have prospered, the level of play has increased greatly. The average level of ability of junior players has increased as well. So successful are junior program athletes that most NCAA Division I coaches recruit exclusively from the junior program ranks. The reason for this is simple. Coaches can see many solid prospects in a single day at a junior tournament, while it is difficult to see more than one prospect a day during the high school season. This becomes even more true with the NCAA rules governing the number of times a collegiate coach can contact or observe in person a given player.
Is junior volleyball only for the college bound athlete? Certainly not! Our program begins in the first grade. Who can say whether these kids are even headed for college at all, let alone to play volleyball? For most of our members, junior volleyball is simply another challenging experience which should lead to a lot more fun on the court as playing skills increase. Playing for college teams is far from the minds of most our players. Traditionally, nearly half of our program has been comprised of players in the 16 & under age division (freshmen and sophomores). In most cases, these players have recently been exposed to high school programs and a higher level of competition than they have previously experienced. Many new applicants are freshmen team or junior varsity players who are trying to move up a level for next season. We have a training program designed to help them do just that. We can help, but much of an individual’s advancement and improvement is still up to that individual. Athletic talent, size, speed and good work habits are all necessary for top success as an elite player. Players who lack in any of those qualities have to make up for the deficiency in one area by working harder to improve another. If you’ve got a sincere desire to improve, then you will do well in a junior volleyball program.
So what about scholarships? Well, they do exist, and many of our players go on to play in college; most of these receive partial or full scholarships. About 98% of our graduating seniors become college athletes. Let’s put that in true perspective, though. Many more players are involved in Circle City Volleyball Club as underclassmen than as seniors. By the time the senior season is reached, players usually know whether they have the ability and the desire to compete at the college level.
In conclusion, club volleyball is a great place to meet friends, sweat a lot, get lost trying to find gyms, and feel good about yourself. If you want to experience that, join us for the upcoming season!