The Maryland Volleyball Program (MVP) provides opportunities for BOYS to compete in USA Volleyball Junior Olympic competition at a local, regional, and national level. MVP was first established in 1986 and has competed in every JOV National Championship since 1987.
We are dedicated to providing quality training beyond what is available through the school systems, and competition at a local, regional, and national level. This competitive athletic experience can enhance social development, contribute to mental and physical health, and teach the values of teamwork, responsibility, self discipline, and self motivation.
It is our sincere desire to provide a solid foundation of fundamentals to enable participants to develop, not only as players, but also as persons. Given this base, we hope that these youths will continue playing well beyond their Junior Olympic years, for volleyball is truly a lifetime sport.
Junior Olympic Volleyball Background
Believe it or not, volleyball is a sport with an American origin. William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical director, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, created it in 1895 as a less strenuous alternative to basketball. It is interesting to note that basketball was also created about the same time in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. The disparity between the popularity of the two sports in this country is not reflected on a worldwide basis. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world.
The United States Volleyball Association was founded in 1928 and is the National Governing Body associated with the United States Olympic Committee for the sport. USA Volleyball (www.usavolleyball.org) has divided the Nation into over 40 Regions for organized competition during the year, which culminates in the U.S. Open Volleyball Championships for adults. Championships are conducted for the best teams in Men?s and Women?s divisions ranging from Open, AA, A, BB, and B. Competitions are also held for various age group divisions ranging from 30 and over to 75 and over. This Region is known as the Chesapeake Region (www.chrva.org) and encompasses Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Northern Virginia.
Competition is also provided under a Junior Olympic Volleyball (JOV) Program for high school age and younger participants ranging from 12 and under to 18 and under divisions. Under this program, USA Volleyball sponsors teams and individuals that participate in High Performance Camps, Youth National teams, Junior National teams, International Junior competitions and the JOV National Championships.
USA Volleyball also sponsors within each Region instructional camps and clinics for the development of club directors, coaches, players, and officials. Several USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program Level I and II courses have been held at the University of Maryland over the past number of years.
This is our thirtieth season where we plan to take multiple teams to the USA Volleyball's JOV National Championships. Since our first JOV Nationals in 1987 in Albuquerque, we have seen the event grow in the number of teams participating and in the level of play by the teams. The challenge for us has always been to develop teams that can compete at the local, regional, and JOV National level. It has also always been our goal to instill within the participants an appreciation and love for the sport. We firmly subscribe to the belief that volleyball is truly a lifetime sport that can be enjoyed well after the JOV age.
We have focused our program on junior boys because of the lack of opportunities currently available for boys. In contrast to girl's volleyball, the number of college scholarship opportunities are not only very limited, but the dollar amounts are significantly lower (NCAA only allows 4.5 full scholarships for men's teams as compared with 12 for women's teams. There are only about 60 varsity men's teams and only about 20 of those are Division I.). We will do our best to prepare our players and put them in the best environment to showcase their abilities to college recruits who will be present at various tournaments.
Please realize that because of the vast pool of boys to choose from and the limited number of scholarship opportunities, the Division I universities can be very selective. If the gender equity issue can be resolved without overwhelming the budgets of universities' athletic departments, we anticipate an exponential growth in men's varsity programs across the country. There are also opportunities at the Division II and III levels where there are some 60+ collegiate men's programs. The increasing number of high school boys currently playing as well as the thriving men's collegiate club volleyball program is driving this. This would certainly lead to more scholarship opportunities for boys in volleyball. And of course, we will provide assistance to program participants in continuing to play volleyball beyond their JOV years. Many opportunities exist to participate whether it's through outdoor events (grass or beach), Chinese 9-man, and adult USA Volleyball competition.
Learning the right way to play the game at an early age offers easier access to these avenues of competition. It is satisfying to see so many of the alumni from our program continuing to play at high levels.