devo's volleyball – Australian volleyball: news and views

Junior development: Canada & Brazil

Posted by devo on September 23, 2009

Junior development has always been an interesting discussion point here at devo’s. Correspondent Simon has sent in these two contributions.

When Volleyball Canada developed its new Long Term Athlete Development model, one of the priorities it wanted to address was the individual technical and tactical development of its young athletes. Too-early specialization was identified as one of the main shortcomings within the old development model and one way to counteract this problem was to disallow the use of the libero in the youngest age categories (14U, 15U, and just recently, 16U boys) … To complement this rule adjustment, Volleyball Canada … also decided to allow teams in the same age categories to use 12 substitutions, to provide coaches with more freedom in utilizing non-starters during competition. This also enables more athletes to “see the court”, as long as this rule is LIMITED to the in-and-out format. Read the full article: 12 sub rule Article JB June 08

Brazil RulesAnd this from Brazil: click to enlarge

14 Responses to “Junior development: Canada & Brazil”

  1. Murph said

    Another tick for the box that says “AJVC should have full net heights”.

    Seems that adjustments to the rules regarding subs and other bits and pieces are globally accepted, but net heights are full from the age of 16…How are we supposed to beat Brazil on a LOW net?!

  2. mrs devo said

    Let’s formalise the Brazillian setting rules too.

  3. Alexis said

    I don’t want to disappoint anyone by missing the opportunity to say that the 12 sub rule actually encourages specialisation. It enables players to get on the court (seriously though – coaches have the power to do this anyone but often choose not to), but it is not the only way to do this.

    • Simon said


      The tall kids are taken off in the back court the short kids are taken off in the front court and the players in general don’t like it.

      I hadn’t passed a ball in my life before my first National Team Camp. Guess that’s why I was the worst passer there if Alexis can remember 8 years ago :-)

  4. Chiefnic said

    At a Youth girls camp this week one of the athletes stated: I think it’s great we are training on the international height net it makes you jump and reach high when hitting and i find i’m hitting better because of it. We ask if we could take her to the AVF board.

    • Jase said

      We got the same comments from our Vic U/16 boys who trained exclusively on a full mens net til 3 trainings before the tournament. Sometimes people need to be challenged to learn what they are truelly capable of.

    • according to the chart, they only make boys play on full height net 1 year earlier than we do. so is it that much contention? i think U17 boys can definitely play on a higher net.

      Proof is in the pudding. Vic U16 boys won the nationals.

      I used to train an Brighton U16 boys team (who played on 2.35) by putting the net down to 2.24 when they were practicing service reception, and putting it up to 2.45 whenever we did spiking drills.

  5. Ok, some purist will surely shoot me down for this, but at really early age groups, like up to 13, they should just make both teams sub players on at the server’s position. everyone gets an equal go, no “advantage” given for breaking rotation rules.

    i remember one discussion on here earlier about substitution ruled, there was some suggestion (maybe from alexis) of having no subs but at the start of each set, coaches had to change the lineup so every player was used. that’s not such a bad idea either.

    I like the setting from 3 until kids are 14. Heathfield and Murph do a lot of setter in 2, which i prefer. even setting from 1 for kids when they hit 13 isn’t such a bad idea.

    • Murph said

      Heathfield and Murph might just be on to something!

      Don’t we use that rotation system already, Huy? I know we did when I was playing up until that age…Some of the ‘non-volleyball’ schools (for want of a better term) occasionally ask at junior league if they can just use the rotation system to allow equal court time. I’d be all for having rotational subs until they get to high school ish.

      • i think you guys are. i don’t mind it. I never learnt how to play that way. i was “home-schooled” in volleyball until i could play U17s in junior league and my first 6-a-side team played a 1-setter system. was a bad idea.

        i think “rotational subs” should be allowed in that new U15 jr league dividion, and maybe div 4. maybe even every division before div 1 (though i doubt many would take up the option!)

    • Steve said

      We had the rotate on to serve deal happening in my high school PE classes and I can also remember it being used when we played against some other high schools in year 7, presumably on agreement between the coaches. After that though we had guys making the Under 16 state team and were preparing for U17 state titles so positional training became the norm.

      I don’t think it would work at senior levels, even at lower grades, as teams would simply structure their line ups to ensure they had the right mix of players on the court at the right time. I.e. you wouldn’t have your three tallest players next to each other in the rotation and your three shortest next to each other, and teams would make sure they had at least one competent setter on the court at all times.

      It also doesn’t contribute to coach and referee development, which is probably equally as important in the lower grades as player development. I.e. most players playing low grade senior volleyball aren’t going to progress much further than another low grade due to high potential kids being fast tracked through to a better level of play (there are exceptions such as Devo’s Wonthaggi/Heidelberg Div.2 team from many years back that featured Dave Jones and Phill De Salvo amongst others). Coaches and referees first starting out though may be given one of these teams/divisions to cut their teeth on.

      12 sub still requires coaches to think through substitution patterns and I think it would be a shame for this skill development to be lost by taking substituion responsibilities away from coaches.

    • Steve said

      The setting from three doesn’t make much sense to me, but making everyone set does. If the idea is to train kids to do everything then setting from 3 means they are less likely to learn to set or hit quicks. Setting from 1 sounds good to me.

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