The Midnight Sun Volleyball program has been in existence for over 28 years and was created for and still is a program whose primary goal is to improve middle and high school volleyball. This is a private organization that is not recreational volleyball. We teach advanced skills at all levels and prepare players for middle, high school, and collegiate volleyball.
This program has produced NCAA Division I, II, III All-Americans as well as NCAA Champions. However, we are most proud of how the program has helped high school volleyball continue to leap forward in level of play. Our coaching staff has over 65 years of high school and college coaching experience and many of our former players, who were successful collegiate players, have returned to be a part of our coaching cadre.
Participation in the club is through a try-out basis and our age groups are 12/13, 13/14, 16 and under and 18 and under. Try-outs for the 16’s and 18’s (high school age players) is usually the middle of November, with the younger age groups the first part of December. We use AT&T Sports Pavilion for tournaments & practices and Hanshew Middle school for practice. Practices are twice a week starting at 4:30 or 5 with the late practices starting at 7:00 and could be any weekday or Saturday. Each age division will have one large tourney a month starting in January and the program ends with a tourney the first week of April. We do not practice over Christmas or Spring Break. With sister clubs, we have helped create, in the valley, Eagle River and the peninsula, our tourneys are large.
The cost for our 4 and 1/2 month program is $725. This can be paid in 1-2 or 4 payments if needs be as we offer different payment schedules and we do accept Visa and MasterCard. We do not provide scholarships or grants. The cost covers administration, equipment, uniforms, in state tournies, insurance, national affiliation with USA Volleyball and our coaching staff. We field about 25 teams and do not have more than 10 players per team to help with instruction and playing time.
We have hard and fast rules for practice attendance and players may be excused from practice for family emergencies, church related functions, school academic functions, school sports and family vacations. We do not excuse for social functions and we give each player 2 unexcused absences to use. If a player goes beyond 2, they are automatically dropped from the program and parents must pay the entire sum of the contract. We use a parent financial agreement which is signed at the beginning of the season. We encourage kids to play other sports but take a good look at their schedule to make sure they can fit this in before signing a contract. We do not use a parent board and no parent coaches. All of our coaches are experienced players as well as current and former college, high school and middle school coaches. We encourage parents to come to tourneys and cheer in a positive manner for their daughter; otherwise parents are not in our leadership or coaching process. Our systems of play are advanced as well as the skill we teach at each level which is why we demand that the kids are there for practices.
Once we set the times and days of the week for practices, we do not change them unless we have a crisis with gym time which is very rare. We select a large number of players from the try-outs (we do have to cut a lot of kids) and then draft them into even teams into the divisions of play which are Varsity Gold (4 teams), Varsity Silver (4 teams), JV (4 or 6 teams) – all of which are high school kids. 14’s for 8th and 9th grade, 13/14 for a combination of 7th and less experienced 8th graders and 12/13’s which is for less experienced 7th and 6th graders. We practice up to the start of Christmas break, resume practices at the end of the break and go strong up to Spring Break and then finish up the first week in April.
Try-outs are through age groupings to keep the numbers of kids manageable and then we place the kids into the division that you see above based on skill level. Once we select kids from the first try-outs, then they come back to a series of secondary evaluations so we can see players by position before we place them within specific divisions and draft them onto teams.
Each June we take teams to Volleyball Festival to compete with national and international teams over a week long period. We take a limited amount of teams in all age divisions and selection is on a tryout basis that begins in January. Cost is in addition to the Midnight Sun dues.