About Club 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 athletes who have achieved post-secondary and professional success both on and off the court.

Making the decision to commit to a rep sport is an important one for families and we hope the information below will assist you in understanding what it means to be a member of our Club.

Visit our Rep Teams section to learn more about each team.

Divisions in Ontario Volleyball (2023/24)

In 2021, the Ontario Volleyball Association restructured its playing divisions by eliminating 11U-14U divisions and replacing them with 4v4, 6v6 and TLS. Information on these divisions can be found below. Coaches of teams in the EC division will select what format of volleyball (or combination) their team will play.


Teams playing in the Early Contact division will play either 4 vs 4 or 6 vs 6 Rallyball (formerly called Triple Ball) or a combination of both. Athletes of varying ages may be involved in one tournament.

formerly 11U – 13U


Teams playing in the Traditional Limited Specialized division will play regular volleyball but players are not allowed to specialize (setter, outside hitter, middle blocker) and must rotate through all positions.

formerly 14U


Teams playing in the Traditional division will play regular volleyball. Athletes begin to specialize with the Libero position being introduced in 16U.

15U – 18U

What is involved in playing Club Volleyball?

Please review the Frequently Asking Questions below.

For the 2023/24 season, our practices will officially begin the first Monday in October 2022 and continue through the end of April. Teams that have a full complement of athletes (re-signed and summer signings) may start their training before October while teams taking part in Nationals or a U.S. tournament may continue their season until the end of May; athletes must be prepared to commit to the full season. There are usually no practices or competitions over the Christmas break but some coaches may schedule travel tournaments (i.e. Montreal Classic first weekend in January) during this period.

Athletes playing in 15G competitions are advised of the mandatory Bugarski Cup competition on March 9, 2024 that falls at the beginning of March break and must accordingly. Some of our senior teams travel to the U.S. (ie. Washington, Chicago, Columbus) over the Family Day weekend to take part in President’s Day tournaments while many of our teams travel to Pittsburgh in May to take part in the East Coast Championship.

The terms ‘Club, ‘Rep’, ‘Competitive’, or ‘Travel” are interchangeable and while certain sports use the other terms, the sport of volleyball has moved towards the term “Club Team” to describe their competitive teams.

  • 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, that athlete may no longer attend tryouts or ID clinics with other clubs.
  • All athletes must register online before attending tryouts.
  • In addition to registering with our Club for tryouts, athletes must register through the Ontario Volleyball Association’s Member Registration System (MRS) as a tryout athlete (open Sept. 1).
  • Tryouts fees apply and will be announced with the tryout schedule.
  • Some teams may record athlete statistics (height, reach, vertical jump, etc) at tryouts and take an athlete’s headshot to help coaches accurately identify athletes when making their decisions.
  • Players being offered a spot on a team will receive a written offer as well as a deadline (24 to 72 hours) to accept their offer.
  • The Ontario Volleyball Association stipulates when offers can be made for specific age groups (a specific date, usually mid to late September)
  • Offers must be on an Ontario Volleyball Association offer form.
  • Clubs in Ontario must follow a Tryout policy, information on this policy may be found on the OVA website.


Most Rebels teams practise a minimum of two evenings per week. Junior teams typically practise from 6-8 p.m., while senior teams practise from 8-10 p.m. Our youngest teams (grade 5) may have 90-minute practices due shorter to attention spans. High-performance teams may choose to have a third practice each week but this will be at the discretion of the head coach and communicated to families in advance.

Senior girls teams (15U and older) also take part in our Athlete Wellness Program. This includes a mandatory weekly strength and conditioning and a monthly in-class session that includes topics such as nutrition and mental preparedness. Depending on gym availability, these sessions may take place on a separate day/evening or before/after the one of the team’s court practices. The Athlete Wellness Program is not an optional addition and athletes must be prepared to take part in all AWP sessions.

Junior Girls teams (12U-14U) will enjoy the Introduction to Strength & Conditioning program with ETS. This is a monthly program that occurs one Friday evening per month and teaches athletes about body mechanics and the importance of preparing for sport through proper conditioning.

At the time of publishing, our teams will be practising at various schools within the DDSB & DCDSB (Oshawa and Whitby), the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Canada Christian College on Water Street in south Whitby, Garnier Secondary School in north Whitby, and Pickering Christian School in north Ajax. Other facilities may be added as school permits become available.

During COVID-19 restrictions, practice times, duration, and locations may be altered to accommodate limited capacities and venues.

  • 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.
  • Tier 1 teams are expected to compete in two age divisions (their designated age division plus the division above) and take part in the National Championships or a comparable year-end travel tournament.
  • Teams are seeded (ranked) after each tournament with tournament locations being announced approximately two weeks prior to the tournament date.
  • There is no league play or loops in the Ontario Volleyball Association.
  • 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 over the summer enabling families to know most of a team’s tournament schedule in advance.
  • Tournaments are typically one full day on the weekend with the exception of Provincials and Nationals which take place over 3 days and include a mid-week commitment. Senior teams may also participate in Grand Prix tournaments which are 2 day tournaments.

While we encourage athletes to play multiple sports, our club teams tend to be quite competitive and we generally ask our athletes to be fully committed to their team from October 1 – April 30 (or May 31 for teams travelling to Nationals or US tournaments). It is an expectation that athletes attend all practices, strength & conditioning sessions, and team events and use time management skills to balance academics with playing a competitive sport. The progress of a team can be hindered by athletes who fail to attend practices on a regular basis.

Athletes playing another rep sport must discuss their commitment with the head coach prior to accepting their Rebels offer.

In OVA tournaments, teams participating in 11U through 14U 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 11U-13U game play, a Rally Ball (formerly called Triple Ball) format is used during OVA tournaments. Information on Rally Ball may be obtained from the OVA website.

In the 15U division and 16U trillium division, coaches follow the Fair Play rule in 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.

If an athlete has not been in regular attendance at practices, a coach reserves the right to scratch that athlete from the tournament/game roster until his/her attendance improves and the coach believes it is safe and fair to have that athlete take part in competitions. 

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 will see more playing time than other athletes.

Athletes on female teams 15U and older are required to take part in the Athlete Wellness Program. This program combines weekly strength and conditioning with monthly in-class sessions that discuss topics such as nutrition, controlling the controllables, mental preparedness, accepting feedback, and more. When an athlete is committing to a team, they must ensure they are available and prepared to attend the AWP with their team. The AWP is included in the athlete’s club fees and part of their training program. Teams train at Elite Training Systems in south Whitby while monthly in-class sessions take place in a classroom in north Whitby.

Our 12U-14U teams will take part in monthly Introduction to Strength & Conditioning sessions. These sessions are designed to introduce young athletes to the importance of preparing their body for sport to help reduce injury and perform at higher levels. These sessions will be run by ETS at its south Whitby location.

Many of our teams will compete in at least 1 U.S. tournament; these athletes (and their accompanying parent) will require a valid passport if their team will be travelling to the U.S.

Like any sport or activity, athletes need an engaged and supportive parent who is able to commit to providing their young athlete with rides to and from team events.

In order to keep team costs at a minimum 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 and travel planners, fundraising planners, photographers/videographers, social media managers, 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 is compensated for their duties and must fulfill this obligation.

When teams go to tournaments, athletes are not permitted to leave the venue during the tournament day. As part of their team bonding experience and for convenience, teams set up lunch buffets (when permitted) and parents contribute items to the buffet on a rotating basis. All parents are expected to participate in and contribute to, the team buffet. Athletes with food allergies must ensure the team is made aware of this concern while those with food aversions will find the variety of items can accommodate any picky eater.

At least one parent must complete the Respect in Sport online parent program on behalf of their child athlete. 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 enter the certificate number in their OVA member profile.  Any athlete whose parent has not completed the online program by the OVA deadline 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. Learn more about RIS.

Club fees will be made available at tryouts.

All athletes are charged Club Fees by the Club. Teams that take part in extra competitions (invitationals, extra OVA tournaments, National Championships, US tournaments, etc. ) will also have Team Fees. The budget for team fees will be presented as early in the season as possible. Review the section below to see what’s included in each.

Club Fees are the fees for your team’s regular season. These are collected by the Club in three instalments. At this time, the OVA has not provided us with its tournament registration fees, nor have we heard from school boards about permits for the upcoming season. Parents will be presented with the Base Fee outline with their offer.

Athlete travel and accommodation for out-of-town tournaments are the responsibility of the parent.

Club Fees include:

11U – 14U Girls (under review for 2023/24)

• 6 regular season tournaments (OVA and or invitationals, depending on age group)
• 1 Ontario Provincial Championship event
• Coach travel and accommodations (max. 2 rooms / 2 vehicles per team) to the tournaments included above
• OVA and Volleyball Canada membership fees
• Insurance
• Introduction to Strength & Conditioning with ETS (approx. 1 session per month)
• Team equipment (balls, net, first aid kit, ball cart, and ball bag)
• Purchase and ongoing maintenance of club equipment
• Team and individual digital photo by professional photographer
• Gym permits for 2 practices per week
• Year-end banquet

Additional Cost: It is not a new uniform year so athletes who do not have a uniform kit will be required to purchase a uniform kit (approx. cost $350-400).

15U – 18U Girls (under review for 2023/24)

• 6 regular season OVA tournaments for 15U-17U / 5 regular season OVA tournaments plus 1 local invitational for 18U (own division)
• 1 Ontario Provincial Championship event
• Coach travel and accommodations (max. 2 rooms / 2 vehicles per team) to the tournaments listed above
• OVA and Volleyball Canada membership fees
• Insurance
• Team equipment (balls, net, first aid kit, ball cart, and ball bag)
• Purchase and ongoing maintenance of club equipment
• Team and individual digital photo by professional photographer
• Gym permits for 2 practices per week
• Mandatory Athlete Wellness Program (weekly strength and conditioning training accompanied by monthly in class sessions focusing on nutrition, mental preparedness, and confidence)
• Year-end banquet

Additional Cost: It is not a new uniform year so athletes who do not have a uniform kit will be required to purchase a uniform kit (approx. cost $350-400).

Team fees are costs for additional tournaments/events not included in base fees. Not all teams participate in additional tournaments or events so team fees may not be applicable. Coaches will advise parents of the additional tournaments as early as possible, but information for invitational tournaments is generally not available until November. Team fees are collected by the team’s banker and may include:

  • Uniform (returning athletes whose uniform is not in good repair, or have outgrown their uniform, may purchase individual pieces); new athletes will purchase full uniform kit
  • 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 invitationals and tournaments outside of own age group

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.

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.

Some teams acquire these extra funds through sponsorship, fundraising, or parent contributions with the latter being more difficult for some families. Fundraising should be a group decision but parents must be mindful that not all families have the same financial ability to pay for additional costs, therefore, assisting with fundraising or sponsorship activities ensures each family can get the financial support they need during the season.

All athletes will receive an athlete clothing kit. During games, all athletes must have their game jersey(s), navy blue shorts or fitness tights (athlete’s choice of cut/style), and navy blue or white crew socks. Please note, for the 2023/24 season the OVA requires all athletes to have the same coloured shorts/fitness tights; style of bottom is a personal choice as long as they are navy blue.

During practices, athletes must wear either a Durham Rebels, Ontario Volleyball, or Volleyball Canada t-shirt.

Optional branded items such as backpacks, hats, volleyballs, shorts, socks and other fanwear items will be available to order online directly from our clothing supplier for a short time after our registration. Athletes may wish to visit our official clothing supplier, Canuck Stuff Sports, in-person to purchase unbranded items such as socks, shorts, court shoes, and other volleyball-related items. Identify yourself as a Durham Rebels member to receive a Club discount.

Learning to be a good citizen is critical to the growth and development of young athletes. Our Rebels for a Cause initiative encourages teams to take on at least one community service project during the season. We encourage projects that have athletes personally engaged in helping their community, and not parents simply giving money to a loal charity (though we don’t discourage that either). By engaging in community service, young athletes experience and joy and value that one person or group can bring to the lives of others. Some of our past community service projects include:

  • Volunteering at a local wildlife sanctuary
  • Christmas cards for isolated seniors
  • Community clean-up day
  • Challenger Baseball “big buddies”
  • Toy drive for low-income youth
  • Friendly visitors in Long Term Care homes
  • BMO Walk So Kids Can Talk (in support of Kids Help Phone)