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FSJ is short for Fort Smith Juniors. FSJ Volleyball is dedicated to giving female athletes grades 4th through 12th from around the Fort Smith area the opportunity to learn, play, compete, and develop their skills at the game of volleyball.
In short FSJ gives female athletes from around the Fort Smith area the opportunity to develop their volleyball skills and improve as a player. Different players have different goals. Some players simply want to have fun, be a part of a team and learn more about the sport. Others may want to just keep playing after the school season is over or want to get better so they can challenge for a starting position on their school team the following year. For a few, it will be the experience gained and the exposure needed for a college scholarship opportunity. Regardless of their individual motivations, players benefit from 4 to 6 months of practice hours with highly motivated and qualified coaches, as well as gain invaluable game experience from tournaments. But above all else, FSJ players come away with life lessons, lifelong friends, and unforgettable memories.
Try outs are usually held in late October or early November and tournaments begin in early January. Regional and Regional Plus teams typically play until the end of March. National teams will play in tournaments through the end of April; however, if they qualify they will play in the Nationals tournament which takes place at the end of June.
This depends on the type of team the player is on. Regional teams typically stay within the AR/OK regions and may go to 3 or 4 tournaments that require a hotel stay. Tournament sites may include Fayetteville, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Conway, Hot Springs or Tulsa. National teams meanwhile are the most competitive and travel more than the other teams. Tournament sites include those for Regional and Regional Plus teams but will also include Dallas and Kansas City areas as well as other potential destinations that are agreed upon by the parents at the beginning of the season.
Players typically need to be 9 or 10 years of age before playing with FSJ. However if there are spots available girls may be able to participate at a younger age.
The player’s age group is based on how old a player will be the following July 1st. For example, if your daughter is currently 13 but she will turn 14 before July 1st, then she will play in the 14s age group.
When players tryout out for a travel team, the teams are divided up by age group. The teams are called by the typical age of that team. For instance, a 10s team consists of players that are or will be 10 by June 30th of the next year. Players on the 10s team for 2020-2021 should be 10 by June 30, 2021.
The first official tournament for each team will take place in January.
Playing time is up to the sole discretion of the individual team’s coach. The philosophy of FSJ is that parents pay for “practice time”, not playing time. We understand that there is a cost involved with dues and potentially with travel expenses, however the goal of each team is to compete and to win each match they play in. Coaches of “club” teams are encouraged to emphasize player development over a winning at all cost strategy and these coaches typically try to make accommodations for every player regardless of skill.
Parents are needed and required to make the Battle at the Fort a success. Roles include setting up the courts before the tournament and tearing them down after, providing food in the hospitality rooms for traveling coaches and officials, working the entrance or booths and helping with the clean up. Sign ups and schedules are set a few weeks prior to the event.
Parent volunteers are needed to help set up and break down the rented courts used for Battle at the Fort in the Fort Smith Convention Center. Battle at the Fort could not run as successfully as it does without the parent volunteers. To encourage participation, FSJ offers a buy out - a credit towards the player's fees in return for the parent helping set up and break down the courts used during the tournament. If the parent (or other adult on behalf of the parent) helps set up or break down the courts (but not both) they get half of the credit. They can also choose to not help , or opt out, and will receive no credit toward their fees.
All coaches, assistant coaches, and chaperones are required to take Safesport training every year. Players that will turn 18 before the end of August are also required to take the training.
If 18s players or any coaches do not take the Safesport training, they will not be allowed on the court.
Yes but they are optional and the money raised goes directly to offset players’ fees and tuition costs.
Fundraising can begin before tryouts are held. There are deadlines for returning fundraising items such as order forms and sponsor packages. Those deadlines will be listed on the calendar and on the fundraising page.
For questions regarding fundraising opportunities, please contact Edie Biggs at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Fundraising tab under the About Us/For Parents/Fundraising.
All coaches are required to be R1 certified (ref that stands on the stairs). To be R1 certified, they must also be R2, scorekeeper, and line judge certified. Some teams require their players to also be R1 certified. It's best to check with the coach to see what they require but is it always a good idea to be certified to help understand the game.
Most certifications are good for two years. Safesport training is required every year.