Playing Rep Volleyball

Download a copy:  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 age groups listed below. Provided there is sufficient interest and coaches, we will have up to 3 teams in some divisions.

Girls Teams:
12U (born 2008 or younger)
13U (born 2007)
14U (born 2006)
15U (born 2005)
16U (born 2004)
17U (born 2003)
18U (born 2002)

Boys Teams:
14U (born 2006 or younger)
16U (born 2004 or 2005)

Competitive Volleyball in Ontario

  • In Ontario, competitive volleyball (also called club or rep) is governed by the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA). For the 2019/2020 season, teams are permitted to start tryouts on September 13 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 2 weeks 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 (coming soon) to see our season schedule
  • The season runs from October to May with no activity during Christmas or March breaks.

Practice Schedules

  • 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.
  • 15U-18U teams have strength and conditioning sessions with a certified CAN-FIT pro trainer one evening per week (at the beginning or end of their on-court practice)
  • 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. 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 accepts an offer, he/she may no longer attend tryouts for other clubs/teams. Athletes must 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). Photos are kept in a secure folder with the club (not on cell phones) and we will delete photos of players who do not sign with our club for the current season.

Players being offered a spot on a team will receive a written offer as well as a deadline (36 hours as per OVA rules) to accept the offer. All offers must be written on, or accompanied by, the official OVA Offer Form. OVA Clubs in Ontario MUST follow this Tryout Policy; information on this policy may be found on the OVA website.


Fees for the 2019/2020 season:

12U Girls: $1445
13U & 14U Girls: $1545
15U Girls: $1625
16U & 17U Girls: $1700
18U Girls: $1765

14U & 16U Boys: $1570

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
  • Strength and conditioning program for athletes in 15U division and older
  • Player clothing package
  • Team equipment (balls/net/first aid kit/ball cart and bag)
  • Gym permits for 2 practices per week
  • Post-secondary recruitment seminar for 15U – 18U teams/parents and access to professional recruitment services
  • Weekly strength and conditioning training for 15U – 18U teams lead by certified CAN-FIT-PRO Personal Trainer Specialist along mental training and nutritional sessions
  • 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 feesTeam 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 & Expectations

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 (payable by the parent) and once complete, parents should print a copy of their certificate and enter their certificate number in their Team Snap account.  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.