Is Club Volleyball Worth It or Overhyped Trend?

No matter how many times I answer the question, it never gets easier. It’s like talking about something useful and harmful at the same time.

I’ve had many people asking—is club volleyball worth it? But never have I ever been satisfied with my own answer.

On one hand, the endless fees, travel Costs, equipment – It’s a Financial Blackhole. On the other, your kid’s eyes burn with passion for this sport. You want to support their dreams, but the price tag stops you dead in your tracks.

is club volleyball worth it

I believe it’s impossible for anyone, even for the best coaches, to answer the question. You might get a vague reply, but it won’t be satisfying. So, how do you know if it’s worth the money or not?

Well, the only way to figure it out is by looking through the expenses and comparing it to how the club is helping your kids have the future they want in the sport. Come along, it’s a long read-up ahead.

Why Sign up for Club Volleyball at The First Place?

If it’s so costly, then why sign up for it at the beginning?

Well, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Anyone can play volleyball, but can everyone make it to the high school, college, or national teams?

Of course not; Only the best gets selected, and the rest are left behind.

Imagine an athlete playing for the college and club teams.

girl spiking volleyball at club training session, with coach observing

Obviously, his/her skills, expertise, and experience are going to be much better than those of someone who plays on the college team only.

There is no doubt that volleyball clubs are expensive but the coaching and training they provide are incomparable.

Thus, parents enrol their kids on volleyball clubs to help them advance in the game quickly despite the overwhelming cost.

Cost Breakdown

So, as I’ve been saying—club volleyball doesn’t come cheap. It’s actually the opposite. Unless you’re sure you want this for your little kiddo, then it’s best not to invest in it.

With that said, if you are adamant on enrolling your kid to the club, then it’s better to walk in there prepared.

Parent calculating club volleyball costs at kitchen table, with child in volleyball gear listening.

It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the expenses, so make sure you know how much you will have to invest approximately. So, how much does club volleyball cost? Let’s find out.

The Club Fees

Before you worry about hidden or small expenses like traveling, apparel, and tryout fees, you’ll need to think about the main cost— the charges to join the club. This will be the biggest among all the other costs.

Parent and child reviewing membership packages at a volleyball club registration desk.

So, the cost of joining a club differs from one club to another. It’s not all the same. Some are slightly affordable, whereas some are just wagyu beef expensive.

A volleyball club might offer several packages to their customers, and each deal might come with a different price tag. The practice hours, number of tournaments, and the extra facilities might differ from one deal to another.

  • The High-End or Elite Clubs

The elite clubs can get over the top expensive, but they will give you your money’s worth. Such entities come with a huge and dedicated facility. You will find the best coaches here from high schools and even colleges.

Elite clubs have multiple teams at three levels: local, regional, and national.

If you get selected even for the local team, it is still quite a commitment. You will be attending at least five to six tournaments. The matches will be held relatively closer to the club area. The traveling and other hidden costs won’t be as much as it will be if you play for the national or regional team.

Playing for the regional team will involve at least seven to eight tournaments in a season. You need to be more committed to the game in order to play for the team. You’ll receive almost the same level of coaching that you get from national team coaches.

Playing for the national team is like committing half or more of your life to the game. To get selected, you’ll need to get the best of the best. So, only paying a huge chunk of money won’t get you on the team.

These teams play around ten tournaments in a season and the games are held across the country. It will require a lot of flying and accommodation, so the costs pile up pretty quickly. Only being a member of the team will cost you around $4000 to $6000. So, imagine how much it will cost if you add the other fees.

  • The More Affordable Average Clubs

As you can guess, these clubs are more affordable than the elite ones, but don’t get the wrong idea here— it is still pretty expensive to get enrolled in one of them.

Most of the staff members of these clubs are high school coaches, so your kid is sure to learn a new trick or two. They also come with dedicated training facilities and multiple teams for young athletes to join. The tryouts can get pretty competitive and might have 100+ contenders.

Some of these clubs are pretty cut-throat and will only take the best players in their teams. However, there are many clubs that are much more liberal and inclusive. They have a hefty number of teams and will hire more coaches if necessary to give chances to players of varying skills.

As for the price— it can go up to $3500 if your kid gets selected for one of the top teams. They will be participating in seven to eight tournaments at least in a season. On the other hand, the low-tier teams cost around $1800 and will get the chance to participate in two to three tournaments.

  • Non-Profit Clubs

It’s hard to find non-profit volleyball clubs, but there are some available. These clubs are usually organized by coaches and parents who are unable to pay the huge club fees or are looking to create a volleyball platform for young athletes who can’t bear the club expenses.

These organizations yield almost no profit at all. They don’t have their own dedicated practice facilities; therefore, they operate in school gyms and community centers or rent privately owned gyms.

It’s a non-profit organization, so you can’t expect top-tier coaching, high-end accessories, or dedicated training facilities.

With that said, it’s not entirely free, and you might have to spend some cash. Usually, the cost to play in these clubs is around $600 to $1500. These payments are used for tournament fees, gear, and uniforms.

As these clubs are more affordable than the other ones, the competition or the tryouts tend to get very fierce— something to keep in mind.

Athletic Association Registration Fees

Whether you like it or not, you have to pay between $15 to $50 a year to register your kid to the athletic association of your region.

The payments usually need to be completed before or after the tryouts.

The athletic associations keep track of players and clubs throughout the seasons and ensure everything is within their rules.

Tryout Fees

You’ll need to pay for tryouts before joining a club. It is similar to application fees. You pay to get a chance to show your skills to the coaches of different clubs. The tryout fees are usually somewhere around $25 to $75. It’s best to try out for multiple clubs instead of one. You might not get selected by the volleyball club you prefer, so it’s better to have a backup plan.

Tournament Travel Expenses

Well, I can’t give you an approximate travel cost for tournaments. There are many factors to it. For instance, where the tournament is going to take place—is it within your area or somewhere far away from your home?

Family packing car with sports equipment and luggage for a distant volleyball tournament, emphasizing the complexity of travel and expenses.

Are you going to travel alone with your kid, or is your entire family going? What grade hotel are you choosing, and how long do you have to stay there?

Is the tournament going to last for one day or multiple? Then, there is food, other expenses, and much more. So, it’s almost impossible to give you a rough idea of the cost. The best I can do is suggest you consider all the expenses from the top. This way, you won’t get blindsided when you arrive there.

Tournament Entry Fees

The hits keep coming and coming. Even after spending so much, you need to pay for tournament entry fees. And, this is not the entry fee for your kid to participate in a tournament. It’s actually the opposite.

In order to watch the matches, everyone except for the players and coaches has to pay a fee of almost $8 a day. So, the more people you take from your family, the more you’ll have to pay.

You can give the entire tournament entry fee upfront, and doing that might give you a discount. It’s better than having to pay $8 a day.


Not all the tournaments are going to be held in the high school gym. Some tournaments will take place in other venues, and if that’s the case, then expect to pay $5 to $20 per vehicle for parking.

It might seem insignificant, but the cost might pile up, depending on the number of matches your kid is playing.

Other Costs

You might think the rain of expenses is over but it’s not. You still haven’t considered the hidden costs— the money you spend but don’t keep a tab of.

Let’s say you travel far for a tournament. Now, you might think about the plane fares and room charges. However, you also have to consider the food expenses. I’m not just talking about breakfast, lunch, and dinner here— I’m referring to the occasional snacks, coffee, and drinks as well.

Now, when you’re traveling to a place which you have never visited before, it is possible that you would want to go sightseeing solo or with your family. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to add a few hundred dollars to the overall cost.

Finally, THE Souvenirs!

I don’t know about you, but I always bring mementoes from the tournaments I play or visit. Even if it’s nothing major, I at least bring along a t-shirt. So, when you’re going to visit a tournament, you will be tempted to buy some souvenirs or at least your kids will find a way to sway you into getting some.

What Do You Plan on Achieving from Club Volleyball?

Before you invest, make sure you have your goals straight!

Family discussing club volleyball goals at home, with a notepad and volleyball on the dining table.

Club volleyball is a huge investment and commitment, especially the elite ones. Unless you set your sights high, it’s best to avoid clubs. So, the first thing you and, obviously, your young athlete need to decide is what you guys are looking to gain from club volleyball.

So here are the pros and cons of club volleyball and a few things you need to consider before investing in one.

Winning is More Important Than Playing

Are you looking to win, or are you looking to play? This is the first question you should answer yourself.

winning is more important than playing volleyball

Most kids learn about the game when they are eight to twelve years old. High chances are they learn about it in their schools. Once they become fond of the game, most parents look to provide more opportunities for their little one, hence volleyball clubs.

Now, these clubs can get pretty competitive. Your kid will need to attend the tryouts, and if he/she can prove themselves, only then will they be selected to join the club and secure a spot for themselves on a team.

As you can guess, no club or team wants to lose games. Therefore, when it’s time for tournaments or even friendly exhibition matches, these clubs will only put their best players on the court. So, there is a chance your young athlete might get benched for the sake of winning games.

Therefore, you and your kid must understand that winning is more important than playing. If they get heartbroken for being benched, then it’s wise to enroll them in volleyball centers that focus on allowing everyone to play the same amount.

Looking to Join the School Team?

You might not know this, but joining the high school team is quite a challenge. You need to be the best of the best to secure a spot.

More often than not, recreational volleyball doesn’t cut it. Your kid needs to be trained by proper coaches to get a shot at the school team. This is where the experience from volleyball clubs comes into play.

An athlete coached in an organization has a better chance of making the school team. However, being selected for the high school team is easier than securing a spot on the college team. So, if you’re not planning on putting him on the college team, you can look into other budget-friendly volleyball training centers.

You can also improve your kid’s chances of making the team by getting him a pair of the best volleyball shoes. You’ll see the difference when he/she puts them on.

Looking to Join the College Team?

Club volleyball is a must when an athlete is looking to join the college volleyball team. You need to be at the top to secure a place there. Only 1% of the athletes in high school get a spot in the NCAA. So, it’s almost impossible if you don’t receive the extra training.

If you think your athlete has what it takes to be in the top 1%, you should immediately enroll him/her in a proper volleyball club. Make sure to expose them to club volleyball when they are 13 or under.

Waiting a few more years will significantly decrease their chances of making the team. In any case, if the college team and NCAA are your goals, then there is almost no alternative to club volleyball.

However, you need to begin the sessions from an early age, or they won’t have the necessary experience or skills to make it to the top.

Also, getting volleyball shoes made for specific positions can improve the odds. Dedicated kicks are available for setters, hitters, and liberos.

Is Club Volleyball Really Worth the Money?

As I said repeatedly, it depends on a few conditions. Ask yourself these few questions:

  1. Is volleyball important to your kid?
  2. Is this the only sport he/she plays?
  3. Do they have the passion to continue playing volleyball professionally?
  4. Are they athletic and have a shot to stand out among other players?
  5. Do you have the financial stability to afford club volleyball?
  6. Is your kid ready to commit his time and energy to the game?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to answer the following: Is club volleyball worth it?

I’m not against club volleyball, but I’m for it, either. It is a pretty big investment and commitment. If you have doubts about it, then it’s best not to dive into it and regret it later. However, if you think your young athlete has what it takes to be a champion, then by all means—go for it.

ABOUT Harvey Meale

As a former international level volleyball player, I now spend my days working out and writing for Volleyball Vault. I look for ways to bring my wealth of experience and knowledge to create unique and insightful perspectives in my content.