Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Sky High Girls Volleyball – 2012/2013
Every year many people discover club volleyball for the first time and have many questions. While this will not answer all of them, we hope we can address many of the common questions asked each year.
Q. When did Sky High begin and how successful has the program been over the years?
Sky High began in 1989 (celebrating our 24th season this year) and we have become one of the largest and most successful programs over the years. Sky High has won eight National Championships over the last eight years. More than 97% of our JO players have received a scholarship to compete at the collegiate level over the past many years. Most college coaches will tell you Sky High is regarded as one of the most respected programs across the country for its excellence.
Q. Does my athlete have to attend all tryout dates?
Sky High would like the athletes to attend both tryouts as it is certainly to their advantage to be seen as much as possible during the evaluation process. If the athlete is still competing with their high school team they should register and attend the tryouts. The final selections are made during the FINAL tryout for each age group. If your team is still competing downstate in the IHSA (15-18’s only) event and you are unable to tryout, we will be sure to evaluate the athlete during a school match or private evaluation. If you have been selected to compete with Sky High you will be listed along with the others who were selected at the end of our final tryout. If you are still competing with your high school, it is very important for you to attend the tryouts however, you will not participate in any physical or skills testing. All junior high and grade school athletes may tryout at anytime regardless if they are still competing at their schools. If you are unable to attend a tryout please contact us.
Q. What is the difference between Junior Olympic and Regional Teams?
A. The Jr. Olympic teams compete in more competitive events and compete through mid to late June. (Early July if the team qualifies for US Jr. Nationals) Ninety to ninety-five percent of the JO events are in the Chicago area, however most JO teams will attend one or two events out of town depending on the age group. Regional teams compete in all single day events in the Chicago land area (no more than one hour away) and the season runs through mid to late April. At this time we offer Regional teams in Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates (Prairie Stone) and Vernon Hills only.
Q. Should my athlete tryout for Junior Olympic (JO) or Regional?
A. Athletes who wish to compete at a high level and aspire to compete in college should tryout at the JO level. If your athlete attempts to tryout for the JO level and the staff feels they are not ready for this level, we will automatically try them out for the Regional level.
Q. How do the coaches evaluate the athlete’s during the tryout?
A. Our staff is looking for ATHLETICISM, GOOD ATTITUDE and a strong WORK ETHIC with the younger age groups (14/13/12/11/10). Height and skill are certainly a plus but not required. Athletes in the older age groups (18/17/16/15) are being evaluated for their SKILL in addition to all of the above.
Q. How many athletes will the club select?
A. Sky High would love to take all the athletes but we are limited to space and a certain number of coaches. The number of teams per age group is based on the number of athletes attending the tryout and talent pool available. The JO teams (18/17/16/15) will have no more than TEN athletes per team. The JO 14/13’s, 12/11/10’s and all regional teams will have no more than ELEVEN players on a team.
Q. Do you guarantee all athletes to play?
A. There is never a guarantee. You are paying Sky High to train your athlete in practice and they should receive about the same amount of practice as the rest of the team. Your athlete’s court time during tournaments is typically determined by attitude, dependability, skill and work ethic. Players competing on a 10/11/12 or Regional team will play in a minimum of two sets (games) per tournament as long as there are no issues with the athlete. I.e. following our code of conduct, attending practices, etc.
Q. Where do you find the coaches at Sky High?
A. Sky High prides itself on having one of the best coaching staffs in the Midwest. Many of the coaches have been associated with Sky High for a minimum of five years. Some of the coaches have competed at the collegiate level and some have or are currently coaching at the collegiate or high school level. Sky High believes player’s benefit from the strengths of different coaches. While each coach is assigned a team, players may see other coaches during a practice or tournament to help out as needed or during our “position specific” or “high rep”training. All coaches are Impact certified by USA Volleyball and many are also ASEP (IHSA) and/or CAP (USA) certified.
Q. When will coaches for each team be announced?
Although we may have many of our coaches announced prior to the first tryout it is impossible to announce all coaches as we must see the first tryout to determine how many teams will be selected at each location. If the coaches for your age group are not announced by the first tryout they will certainly be announced no later than the final tryout.
Q. How often do teams practice?
A. All Regional and 12/11/10 teams practice twice per week. The 18/17/16/15/14 JO girl’s teams practice three times per week. The 13 JO teams practice twice per week however, they may practice a third time per week in December or leading up to a major event.
Q. Are the players evaluated during the season?
All head coaches are responsible to evaluate all of their respective players in writing once per year usually during the month of April. For the JO teams if your coach believes a second evaluation is necessary they will present the evaluation during the month of June.
Q. Where are the practices?
A. Sky High offers four locations for the girls. Teams are practicing at the Sky High Athletic Center in Crystal Lake, Lake Barrington Fieldhouse in Lake Barrington, Prairie Stone in Hoffman Estates and Adversity Center in Vernon Hills. There is a one time tryout fee ($40) regardless of the number of tryouts/locations you attend. If you do not register online ahead of time you will be charged $75.00 as a “walk in.” You may tryout for multiple locations if you are open to more than one practice location. Simply carry your online paid receipt and USA membership card with you to all tryouts and wear the same tryout t-shirt/number to all tryouts.
Q. How long is the season?
A. The 14/13JO and 12/11’s begin the week of November 12th. All other teams begin the week of November 26th. 10 & Under teams are done competing in late March or early April. All Regional teams are done competing in mid to late April. All Jr. Olympic and 12/11 teams will finish their season in early to late June. Note any teams qualifying for the US Junior Nationals (Dallas, TX.) will attend this event in late June/early July.
Q. How much travel is involved? (JO Teams only)
A. It depends on the division and age level. All Regional and 10 & under teams will never travel outside of the greater Chicago land area to compete. Most of the older Jr. Olympic teams (18/17/16/15) are out of town 2 – 3 times not including the US Junior Nationals (must pre qualify) or AAU Nationals in Orlando, FL. The reason for traveling is to compete against the BEST teams regionally/nationally and to expose the athletes to many college scouts. The 12’s may take one overnight trip during the year and if they qualify they will attend the US Junior Nationals. The 14/13JO teams will usually attend 1 - 2 overnight (Central Zone, Qualifier, etc.) out of town events. It has always been the philosophy of Sky High to enter the most competitive events available for all Jr. Olympic age groups to help take each team to the next level and give the older (15-18) athlete maximum exposure with the college scouts as most of our JO players receive a scholarship to compete at the collegiate level.
Q. Do any teams compete or practice over Spring Break/Easter (March 23 – March 31)?
A. We will be sending JO teams to the following qualifiers some of which fall on Spring Break and Easter weekend. St. Louis (12/13/14’s and 15 American), March 15 – 17. Indianapolis (15Open/National and all 16/17/18’s), March 22-24. Kansas City (16/17’s), April 13-15 (Sat-Mon). Kansas City (14/15’s), April 19-21. Minneapolis (13/14/15’s), April 19-21. Minneapolis (16/17/18’s), April 26-28. This year no teams will be competing on Easter Sunday.
Q. What if my athlete plays multiple sports?
Sky High will not turn away a good athlete if they play another sport. We simply ask you give your coach the practice and competition schedules. If there is a conflict they are excused. We do ask to see some effort on the athlete’s part to attend a portion of the practice and/or tournament assuming there is no major overlap. Please note Sky High does not allow a player at the 15/16/17/18 JO level to compete as a SETTER on any of these teams if they play a SPRING sport.
Q. What do the fees (Dues) include?
A. The fees cover much of the fixed costs of playing. Court rental, coaches, equipment, most tournament fees, recruiting liaison (college bound athletes), administrative costs and other costs associated to run a club. Also included are the plyometric, strength, speed and conditioning workouts (13-18 JO only). There are additional fees for uniforms and travel costs (JO and possibly 12 teams only). These costs vary depending on how much your respective team travels. Sky High works very hard to keep these costs to a minimum in an effort to make the sport available to as many athletes as possible. Sky High is one of the least expensive “competitive” programs available across the country.
Q. When are the fees due?
All 15-18 JO teams pay in FOUR monthly installments. All other teams pay in three monthly installments. Sky High will ask you to pay a $200.00 deposit (check or money order only) when you check-in at the final tryout. After we announce our final selections you will pickup your deposit prior to departing the tryout if you are not selected or simply choose not to play. Your deposit becomes non refundable if your athlete is selected and you leave your deposit with us. This is due to the fact we are “cutting” other players on your daughters behalf and this will secure her position with Sky High.
If your athlete is selected we will also ask the athlete to order and pay for their required uniform items. This will allow the club to order uniforms and have them delivered in time prior to our first event. Other than your deposit you will be able to pay by cash, check, money order or credit card (Mastercard, Visa or Discover only).
Q. How much will uniforms cost?
A. Your uniform costs are always the greatest during your first year with Sky High as we typically recycle uniforms from year to year. Only if the manufacturer phases something out do we replace the item the following year with something new. This year we have signed on with MIZUNO as our official outfitter. The estimated costs for all new Regional and 12U players is $185.00. The estimated costs for all new 13 – 18 JO teams is $315.00.
Q. How will I know if my athlete was selected to compete with Sky High?
A. After each “final” tryout Sky High will post the numbers of each athlete who have been selected to train and compete with the program. Following the final tryout, a short meeting will be conducted with all athletes including their parents.
Q. Are any fundraisers required?
A. No mandatory fundraisers are required however, Sky High does offer many optional team and individual fundraisers to help give families an opportunity to defray some of their costs. Many of these fundraisers will be presented during tryouts and/or at our parent meetings in November. In addition to these fundraisers many families seek out sponsorships from many of our retailers and companies in the community.
Q. What is involved in the general parent meeting on Sunday, November 11, (Crystal Lake) and Wednesday, November 14 (Vernon Hills)?
A. The paperwork you receive at the final tryout will need to be reviewed and completed with the required information. You will need to turn in the completed paperwork at this meeting along with your first dues installment less the deposit paid at the final tryout. You will also have the ability to order any additional accessory items found on the uniform order sheet at this time. Sky High will discuss in detail the expectations, financial commitment, practice and tournament schedules. This is a very important meeting.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us during the week at
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