Playing Rep Volleyball

Volleyball is an exciting and rewarding sport that allows players to combine physical, athletic, and mental prowess to develop their game at both a personal and team level. Durham Rebels has been home to many successful volleyball players who have achieved post-secondary success both on and off the court. If you’re considering rep (club) volleyball for your son/daughter, the information below may be helpful in helping you reach a decision and whether you decide if your child is ready for competitive volleyball or not, we hope they continue with this sport in some form as volleyball is truly is an activity almost everyone can enjoy into adulthood.

The entry level age division at Durham Rebels is 12U which is grade 6 and younger, with the oldest age division being 18U which is grade 12 and younger. This season, we plan to have teams in the following age groups provided we have sufficient interest and available coaches.

Girls Teams: 12U (2 teams), 13U, 14U (3 teams), 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U

Boys Teams: 15U

About Competitive Volleyball in Ontario

  • In Ontario, competitive volleyball (also called club or rep) is governed by the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA). For the 2018/2019 season, teams are permitted to start tryouts on September 20 as directed by the OVA. We post tryout information on our website in late August once coach availability and gym schedules are confirmed.
  • Game play is tournament-format only and consists of about one tournament per month unless a team plays up in an older age division as well as their own. There is no league play or loops in the Ontario Volleyball Association.
  • Teams are seeded (ranked) after each tournament with tournament locations being announced approximately one week prior to the tournament date based on a team’s ranking.Teams can expect to play anywhere in the province including Durham, Cobourg, Newmarket, Barrie, Halton, Ottawa, and elsewhere.
  • Most OVA tournaments are within a one to four-hour radius of Durham. The typical team attends 2 to 3 out of town tournaments in a season, but this cannot be predicted ahead of time. Younger teams usually have less travel.
  • The OVA master tournament schedule is posted prior to tryouts ensuring families know most of a team’s tournament schedule in advance. Locations are added at a later date. Tournaments are typically one full day on the weekend (with the exception of Provincials and Nationals). View our Event Calendar to see our season schedule
  • The season runs from October to May with no activity during Christmas or March breaks.
  • Our teams practise twice per week for two hours each time. Practice nights and times are constant throughout the season. On occasion, some teams add an extra practice prior to a tournament or to make up for a holiday cancellation.
  • We try to have our younger athletes (12U-14U) practise from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and our older athletes (15U-18U) from 8:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., however, this depends on available facilities.


Prior to tryouts, we hold warm-up clinics for athletes looking for some extra practice before tryouts and/or interested in learning a little bit more about our club and its coaches. These clinics take place in August and September. Once confirmed, clinic dates are posted on our clinic page.

Athletes are permitted to try out for multiple clubs in any area (there is no residency rule), however, once an athlete formally commits to a club he/she may no longer try out for other clubs. Athletes register online for tryouts. Upon arrival at the first tryout, players will be given a tryout t-shirt; a tryout number will be written on the leg(s) of each athlete. Some teams may record athlete statistics (height, reach, vertical jump, photo, etc). Players being offered a spot on a team will receive a written offer as well as a deadline to accept the offer. All offers must be written on, or accompanied by, the official OVA Offer Form. Clubs in Ontario must follow a Tryout Policy; information on this policy may be found on the OVA website.


Club fees for the 2018/19 season are as follows (based on team of 10-12 players):

12U: $1545  |  13U-17U: $1645   |  18U: $1695

Club fees include:

  • Tournament registration fees to the 4  OVA tournaments (five for our 18U team) and one Ontario Provincial Championship tournament (in own age group)
  • Travel expenses for coaches to the tournaments listed above
  • OVA and Volleyball Canada membership fees and insurance
  • Player clothing package
  • Team equipment (balls/net/first aid kit/ball cart and bag)
  • Gym permits for 2 practices per week
  • Year-end player banquet

Team fees are costs for additional tournaments/events not included in Club fees. Not all teams participate in additional tournaments or events so team fees may not be applicable. Team fees may include, but are not limited to:

  • Invitational tournaments
  • National Championships (locations vary based on age division)
  • Additional OVA tournaments (playing up)
  • Special events such as team building activities
  • Coach travel expenses for out of town tournaments not covered by Club fees

Many teams are successful in acquiring sponsorships or fundraising to cover all or part of their team fees. Team budgets are prepared based on the number of rostered players on a team and all families share equally in additional costs incurred by a team, regardless of a player’s availability to participate in a given tournament or event.

Playing Time

In OVA tournaments, teams participating in 12U through 15U follow a “Fair Play” rule which stipulates any player not starting the first set in a game, must start the second set and cannot be substituted unless the player becomes ill or injured. During the third set of play, coaches may play any player he/she chooses. In 12U and 13U game play, a Triple Ball format is used during OVA tournaments. Information on Triple Ball may be obtained from the OVA website. In 15U (and 16U Trillium Division), coaches follow the Fair Play rule in tournament pool play, then choose their line-ups freely once they enter cross-overs. From 16U through 18U, coaches may play whichever line-ups they choose.

Club volleyball is competitive volleyball and play time is often linked to a player’s ability, attitude, and coachability. Not all coaches place the same weight on each of these values. As players move into older age divisions, the level of competition becomes extremely high and some athletes may see more playing time than other athletes.


Our coaches are volunteers and give freely of their time. All coaches require criminal background checks and participation in the NCCP. When they are not in the gym with our athletes, many coaches are attending workshops and other mentoring sessions learning how to be even better coaches.

Parent Involvement

In order to keep team costs at a minimal and help the season run smoothly, all teams require team parents to volunteer with the team. Parents are needed as team managers/parent reps, bookkeepers, meal planners, travel planners, fundraising planners, photographers, videographers, public relations, game scorekeepers and line judges, banquet reps and more. If your family is committing to Club volleyball, please be prepared to assist with your child’s team. The commitment time is very minimal when all parents assist. Any team assigned tournament hosting duties by the OVA must fulfill those duties.

At least one parent must complete the Respect in Sport online parent program. This 60-minute learning resource is dedicated to the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination (BAHD). The cost of the certification is $12 and once complete, parents should print a copy of their certificate and give to the team’s parent rep.  For more information on RIS. Any athlete whose parent has not completed the online program by December 31, 2018 will NOT be permitted to compete in further OVA events until this requirement is met. RIS is a one-time certification and is not required annually.


Club volleyball is a great experience for players who not only get the opportunity to participate in a sport they love, but also develop lifelong friendships with like-minded teammates. Many older athletes will tell you that while their experience playing the game was amazing, the life skills they learned with respect to time management, leadership, commitment, and teamwork along with the bonds created with their teammates has been their greatest reward. Volleyball is one of the top growing sports in Canada affording many of our athletes the opportunity to pursue the sport in a post-secondary setting in both Canada and abroad.

If you have further questions about our club or competitive volleyball in Ontario, please contact us.