Since its inception in 1983, the Palmetto Region has emphasized the importance of middle and high school volleyball programs to the development of players and the creation of opportunities for participation in the sport. To that end, Palmetto Volleyball Association (PVA) has consistently maintained a club tryout time frame scheduled to occur after the South Carolina high school season, typically in late October or early November. As part of the effort to ensure a fair playing field and reduce the stress involved in the tryout process, the PVA had established a defined signing period for junior members to commit to clubs in late October/early November.
This season, due in part to tryout time frames changing in neighboring regions, a few clubs decided to conduct tryouts earlier than the traditional established tryout time period. While we had hoped to postpone any changes to our tryout policies until the 2022-23 season, because of these clubs’ decision to conduct early tryouts, the Palmetto Region was forced to re-evaluate its tryout policies. This revised tryout policy will supersede any previous policies, including the tryout waivers that were offered earlier.
After seeking input from club directors and other USA Volleyball (USAV) regions across the country and reflecting on the potential impact on players, player families, and clubs, and in an effort to keep pace with the realities of the current state of junior volleyball across the country, for the 2021-2022 season, the Palmetto Region Board is implementing a revised tryout policy that requires clubs to wait until the end of the Junior National Championships (as this is when annual indoor club commitments expire) before beginning the next season's tryout period. After that date, we continue to recommend that clubs conduct tryouts during the following time frames: October 23-31 for 14U and younger age groups and November 6-14 for 15U and older age groups. The region will continue to publish Palmetto Region/USAV signing dates of November 1 for 14U and younger age groups and November 15 for 15U and older age groups, which will be the dates that athletes can officially accept a club assignment in SportsEngine. This commitment will be the only officially recognized commitment by the Palmetto Region, and changes to an athlete's club in SportsEngine after these dates must abide by the player transfer policy.
The Palmetto Region Board of Directors takes seriously its role to protect the welfare of all its members. We feel that this revised policy to allow earlier tryouts is more aligned with the realities facing the current times. That is, clubs have the independence to operate within their own framework and time schedule, while still abiding by Region policies. We want to encourage all member clubs to continue to respect an individual’s high school athletic opportunities and commitments, to work cooperatively with neighboring clubs to ensure that all players have access to fair tryouts with as many clubs as desired, and to abide by the Region’s club commitment policies. Ensuring the health and welfare of our participants is an essential guiding tenet for this Board, and as such, we implore upon our member clubs to give strong consideration to the timing of their tryouts and other program activities and to the financial commitments and structure of payment plans. The BOD hopes that all club members, club directors, high school administrators and coaches, other volleyball organizations, officials, players, and player families will cooperate to provide the best and fairest opportunities for development as possible. The Palmetto Region will continue to support these efforts in the best interest of all involved.