Aron Blocher (Colorado Volleyball Connection) runs all of our adult programs.
We realize many players just aren't sure where you stand pertaining to your skill level when it comes to "ratings". Although the rating system is used sport wide, it can vary from organization to organization as well as State to State within the US, and even more outside the US. It can be difficult to sign up for leagues, tournaments, clinics etc. if you just aren't sure where you fit in, in respect to ratings, and can be especially daunting for new players. Therefore, this is our take on ratings, to help all of you to know where you fit in within our organization and all we have to offer. We, of course, are always available to help you beyond the information provided here if needed. As well, we now offer clinics and one-on-one or smaller class instruction for those of you looking to improve.
For our purposes, we will list the skills from lowest to highest and explain them individually. Some organizations may have more lower-level categories (for instance, "D" and "C") but we move directly from "REC" to "B" as we find this has worked best for our players over the years.
We often combine skill levels, for instance we run "BB/A" leagues wherein all players must be either "BB" or "A" players. These leagues aim to be a middle ground of the two skills mixed together and will have no "B" or "AA" players.
Before we begin, here is a run-down of the five basic skills we will be referring to:
Bump/Pass - This is the first contact of the ball where the object is to pass the ball to the Setter in a controlled manner.
Set - Setting the ball means to push the ball into an arc in the air near the net in a position where one of your attackers can spike/attack the ball into the opposing teams court in hopes of scoring. This is done either by bump-setting the ball or hand-setting the ball.
Spike/Attack - Attacking the ball is to hit the ball in a hard driving manner whenever possible, into the opposing teams' court in order to score. NOTE: You can never attack a serve.
Block - To block a ball is to jump up at the net with perfect timing to stop the ball as it is being attacked from the opposing team. A successful block will push the ball back into the opposing teams' space scoring a point for the blockers team. NOTE: You can never block a serve.
Serve- This is the action from the player in the server position that puts the ball into play. The ball must make it to the opposing teams' court without being touched by anyone on the servers team to be successful. It can touch the net in what's called a "Let serve" and still be successful unless you are playing in a league with a special rule where a "let serve" is not legal.
Here we go.....
"REC" - "REC" is also known as the "Beginner" league by many, however this isn't always the case. Yes, with us, if you are a beginner, this is where you want to start, because the "REC" league is relaxed and all beginners can come play without pressure, however you will also find players who have played for many years, and want to continue to play without pressure, having to perfect any skills and for that matter, without all the headache of knowing or playing by the rules.
In our "REC" volleyball leagues, you can expect to play a care-free game of volleyball, with basically no rules other than
those designed for safety and the uttermost basics such as serving foot-faults (your foot touching the line when serving), not being in the net or under the net during play and not intruding in the opposite teams playing space over the top of the net. This is truly a "just for fun and exercise" league, however, this is also a great place to work on your basic skills: Bump, Set, Spike, block and serve.
"B" - the "B" league is our "moderately competitive" league. In this league you will find both players that are in the early stages of learning/perfecting skills as well as a handful of more seasoned players who are confident in their skills but haven't yet moved up to "BB". To play in our "B" league, you should know how to complete the following with good success; serve the ball, bump/pass a ball, bump set or even hand set with some success, spike/attack a ball (although this does not mean you are a power hitter by any means), and block the ball (as it is attacked from the opposing team). A "B" player is still learning, and may not always execute these skills consistently but has a basic understanding of these skills and the rules of the game. They also should be learning that every player on the court has a specific role and that there is an expected sequence of players' roles during each play that ensures fluid teamwork and helps avoid injuries. For instance, the ball is first passed to the setter, then set by the setter or another player if the setter asks for "help", then attacked in an attempt to score.
"BB" - We often refer to our "BB" players as "Seasoned" players as they all know where to be on the court at all times and are confident in all five skills (bump/pass, set, spike/attack, block and serve). They may not be a power player but can hold their own in all positions and in executing all skills. In "BB" play, passing becomes a skill that morphs into "Digging" quickly. Because "BB" players are harder hitters, the receiving teams job is now harder and often times the defending team is forced to "Dig" the ball in a low to the ground pass, roll or "pancake" maneuver. When playing 6's, these players would have a basic understanding of running 6-2 and 5-1 plays. They will also have an understanding of the communication needed within the team and how to cover for each other.
"A" - An "A" player is basically a "BB" player with more perfection and power. These players have a very high success rate in their attempts and execute their skills with accuracy and more power.
"AA" - This is the last stop before becoming a "Pro" or "Open" player. "AA" players are superb athletes who execute their skills with the highest of power and efficiency.