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Men’s Volleyball Recruiting Guidelines: What Coaches Look for

One of the best ways to maximize effectiveness throughout the college recruiting process is to target the right colleges and division levels. Not only is this a huge time saver when it comes to communicating with college coaches, but it also helps athletes and families find the right college fit. But in order to do so, potential recruits need to be aware of academic and athletic standards so they know they can compete at that level. This is where recruiting guidelines come into play.

How good do you have to be to play college volleyball? The best way to get accurate, up-to-date recruiting guidelines is to get them directly from the source when contacting college coaches. Different coaches and programs have different standards, even if they’re in the same division level. Additionally, guidelines can and do change over time. In this section, we’ve included some key guidelines that potential recruits can reference to target the right level of competition, but it’s still important to get updated guidelines directly from college coaches.

Using the men’s volleyball recruiting guidelines

“What do college men’s volleyball coaches look for in recruits?” is a common question for us here at NCSA. It’s important to remember that there are currently 220 men’s college volleyball programs in the U.S. The athletic requirements to play on each team vary, sometimes even within the same division level. However, understanding the basic height requirements and skill level that programs are looking for can help athletes target the level of competition that’s best suited for them. In this section, we’ve outlined some guidelines to help men’s college volleyball players get an idea of what recruits look like.

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What volleyball stats do college coaches look at?

To get the most accurate answer, athletes should check in with college coaches individually to find out what their standards are for recruits. College coaches reference measurables for volleyball vertical jump, approach jump, block jump, attack jump, height and standing reach (position dependent) to make sure recruits have the baseline requirements for playing at that school. However, standards will change from school to school.

College coaches usually prioritize recruiting hitters and setters over libero/DS players. Coaches look for approach jump and block jump measurables first so they can gauge how a player plays above the net, with physicality (strength, quickness, etc.), and volleyball IQ (understanding the game and strategy) also considered.

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What is the average male volleyball player height?

Division 1; top Division 2

  • OH: 6’3”–6’6”
  • MH: 6’5”–7’0”
  • RS: 6’4”–6’8”
  • S: 6’1”–6’5”
  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’2”

Division 2; top Division 3

  • OH: 6’1”–6’5”
  • MH: 6’4”–6’8”
  • RS: 6’3”–6’6”
  • S: 6’0”–6’4”
  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’1”

Division 3; top NAIA

  • OH: 6’0”–6’4”
  • MH: 6’3”–6’6”
  • RS: 6’2”–6’5”
  • S: 6’0”–6’3”
  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’1”

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • OH: 6’0”–6’6”
  • MH: 6’3”–6’9”
  • RS: 6’2”–6’7”
  • S: 6’0”–6’5”
  • L/DS: 5’8”–6’3”

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What is a good volleyball approach jump?          

Division 1; top Division 2

  • OH: 11’0”+
  • MH: 11’6”+
  • RS: 11’2”+
  • S: 10’6”+
  • L/DS: 24”+ vertical jump

Division 2; top Division 3

  • OH: 10’9”+
  • MH: 11’2”+
  • RS: 11’0”+
  • S: 10’6”+
  • L/DS: 22”+ vertical jump 

Division 3; top NAIA

  • OH: 10’6”+
  • MH: 11’0”+
  • RS: 10’9”+
  • S: 10’4”+
  • L/DS: 21”+ vertical jump

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • OH: 10’6”+
  • MH: 11’0”+
  • RS: 10’9”+
  • S: 10’4”+
  • L/DS: 21”+ vertical jump

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Libero volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’2”
  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’1”
  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’1”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 5’8”–6’3”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

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Setter volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’1”–6’5”
  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter 

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’4”
  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’3”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’5”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1­–2 year varsity starter

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Outside hitter volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”
  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’1”–6’5”
  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’4”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’0”–6’6”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

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Middle blocker volleyball skills and recruiting guidelines

Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’5”–7’0”
  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’4”–6’8”
  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter 

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’9”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

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Division 1; top Division 2

  • Average height range: 6’4”–6’8”
  • Club experience: 3–5 years elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–4 year varsity starter 

Division 2; top Division 3

  • Average height range: 6’3”–6’6”
  • Club experience: 2–5 years national/elite club experience
  • High school experience: 2–3 year varsity starter

Division 3; top NAIA

  • Average height range: 6’2”–6’5”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

NAIA; junior college (CCCAA)

  • Average height range: 6’2”–6’7”
  • Club experience: 2–3 years national club experience
  • High school experience: 1–2 year varsity starter

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