Men’s volleyball is a fast-growing sport—in 2019, there were 66,908 high school volleyball players. However, only 4.6 percent of those athletes play on a college volleyball team and just 0.6 percent will earn a Division 1 roster spot. Athletes and families who are looking to get recruited and compete in college need to understand that there are a lot of recruits vying for roster spots. In order to get recruiting exposure and compete at the next level, recruits will need to effectively navigate the volleyball recruiting process.
Though the college recruiting process is time-consuming and oftentimes confusing, recruits and families shouldn’t be intimidated by it. NCSA offers in-depth information on the men’s volleyball recruiting process provided by the former collegiate volleyball players and coaches that work here. We help families determine how to target the right division levels, create a recruiting video that will stand out and successfully navigate the NCAA volleyball recruiting calendar. This detailed information will help your family ace the volleyball recruiting process and boost your chances of competing at the college level.
Below, we have outlined the major sections of our volleyball recruiting guide for easy reference. We’ve included expert insider tips to give families a competitive edge and help recruits find the college volleyball program that is the best athletic and academic fit for them. Read our overview of college volleyball.
Two of the most common recruiting questions are: “When can a college coach contact a student-athlete?” and “When can a student-athlete contact a coach?” The NCAA regulates the way coaches can recruit athletes and under what conditions recruiting may be conducted so there is no improper communication.
At the Division 1 and Division 2 levels, most communication is permissible starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year in high school. This differs from the Division 3 and NAIA levels, where college coaches do not have limits on electronic communications or phone calls. Reference this section to learn about the latest college volleyball recruiting rules, see important dates on the recruiting calendar and make the most of the men’s volleyball recruiting process.
What key measurables are coaches looking for in their volleyball players? How do recruits stack up to college players? How does the position they play impact recruiting and their chance of receiving a scholarship? Potential recruits can use this information to fine-tune their list of target schools and better determine which program and what division level is a good match for them, while improving their chances of earning a scholarship. In this section, we’ve compiled positional guidelines to help athletes determine at what division level they are best qualified to play.
Athletic scholarships are available for collegiate men’s volleyball players at the NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 and NAIA levels. However, the number of athletic scholarships varies by division level, and coaches can choose to give out partial or full-ride scholarships. In this section, we explain more about scholarship opportunities, how they are divided up and how NCAA Division 3 athletes can find scholarship dollars.
College volleyball coaches are looking for recruits with club experience, a stellar highlight video, good measurables and strong academics. However, even if athletes have these, there’s no guarantee that a college coach is going to find them. Student-athletes must reach out to coaches themselves and find answers to various recruiting questions. How does a student-athlete go about identifying schools they would consider attending? How long should a skills video be? What is the best type of event for student-athletes to showcase their skills in front of coaches they want to impress? In this section, we go over how to find the right schools, contact men’s volleyball coaches, develop relationships with programs that would be a good fit and much more.
A volleyball recruiting video is meant to show off an athlete’s best plays and to help college coaches quickly and easily evaluate an athlete’s volleyball skillset. Volleyball recruiting videos should only be three to five minutes in length because college coaches do not have a lot of time and need to quickly determine if they will contact the recruit or move on to the next athlete. According to NCSA data, college coaches watch a recruiting video for about 25 seconds before they determine if they are interested in an athlete or not.
Creating a volleyball recruiting video is both an art and a science. It needs to be based on the athlete’s position and strengths and highlight certain skills for that position. Families and club and high school coaches need to figure out how to assemble those skills in the footage and what games the volleyball recruit should showcase, but there are standard best practices to follow. Read on to learn how to capture good footage and use it to create a recruiting video that will stand out to college coaches.
Volleyball recruits should attend major club tournaments, if they want to get recruited by volleyball coaches. That’s because college coaches know that when they attend these events, there will be hundreds of elite volleyball recruits to evaluate, all in one place. But families are also presented with different camp and tournament options, which leaves them wondering what the best platform is to demonstrate their talents and skills. Families also wonder how much they should spend on camps and tournaments. This section breaks down the differences between volleyball events to help families make an informed (and economical) decision to give their student-athlete the best opportunity to get evaluated by a college coach.
There are 220 college men’s volleyball teams spanning five different division levels: NCAA Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3, NAIA and junior college. But how do student-athletes determine which one is best for them? A common mistake student-athletes make is focusing solely on their sport and not considering the social, financial and academic aspects when applying to colleges. It is important to consider the big picture and student-athletes need to think about whether they would be happy at a particular school if they could not play volleyball there. In this section, we present a list of all colleges with volleyball programs.
There are some volleyball recruiting websites, besides NCSA, that can help answer volleyball recruiting questions. The Junior Volleyball Association (JVA) is a leader in the club volleyball world, hosting and sanctioning tournaments and helping clubs and players with resources. Similarly, USA Volleyball can help with volleyball recruiting, thanks to its club connections and information about camps and tournaments.
The College Volleyball Coach offers valuable information about the volleyball recruiting process. It is written by Matt Sonnichsen, who is the Director of Volleyball at NCSA, a two-time NCAA champion and has more than 15 years of experience coaching NCAA Division 1 volleyball teams. Informed Athlete is also a useful resource that helps simplify and explain general NCAA compliance questions. It is written by Rick Allen, who served as the director of compliance for two major D1 schools and has more than 25 years of experience as an NCAA rules expert.
Additionally, athletes and families who are interested in men’s volleyball rankings can check out various AVCA polls to see where college teams stand. For rankings that take into consideration financial and academic fit, check out NCSA Power Rankings of the best men’s volleyball colleges.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.