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  • Aren’t we better if we go with a club that has three practices?
    Not necessarily. Further, check closely as many clubs use a ‘club training’ day on a Saturday or Sunday as the third practice. Also look closely as many clubs offer 1.5 hour practice slots. Three times 1.5 = 4.5 hours of practice a week. Not a whole lot different than 4 hours in two days except you have to travel more times there and back. Here you are likely to practice Mon through Thursday so when you get that occasional weekend off, you can rest and restore for practice next week and I promise, with this coaching staff you will get laser focused practice plans that could be far more productive!
  • Why are there so many clubs and where are they getting their coaches?
    Most clubs are started by coaches disgruntled with the club they came from. They will break away, start another club, and possibly take a team or two from their old club with them. The biggest challenge to new clubs is lack of experience, licensure which is offered to clubs willing to share their policy, procedure, coaches manual, players manuals, and financials with the OVR. Second biggest challenge is finding coaches. The area is so saturated with clubs in need of coaches we are seeing a whole lot of inexperience (coaching) leading teams in the OVR at every level. The growth is a good thing, but any coach or director with years of experience will tell you, they have ‘no idea’ what is to come when they have to be the leader for a team, teach, manage kids, parents, be communicative, represent the club well, and be organized. We grew slowly and were able to partner with some of the best coaches in the region. Our biggest pride is helping Buckeyefire Alum take their next step in volleyball as head or assistant coaches. They got a head start by playing for us and living the philosophy. Many of these kids are leading their own varsity programs as well. Take a close look at our ‘About Us’ page and you can’t help but be impressed with the experience and longevity of this staff. Truly my friends and family always!
  • Is there a club mandate for playing time?
    No. A club director will NEVER mandate a coach to play someone. That is earned by the player and judged by their coach. Our coaches fully realize though, they have an obligation to 9 other players to be as competitive as possible, especially in critical moments of a tournament. The line up issued by your coach is a direct belief that he/she can win with that line up in a fairly balanced approach to playing time. Again, we all must be supportive of the team and accepting of the role.
  • Why do you have so much staff for such a small club?
    Because you deserve as near an immediate response as possible. We are very good at delegating the logistical work required to have a successful season with two awesome and motivated (degreed) staff members (coordinators). It’s what gets us the best hotel many times, or gets us into the best tournaments. It also frees up the directors to communicate directly with you and keep you informed with constant information. One of the best things we are known for is our communication and response. Just ask around! Write us an email during the busy tryout season and I’ll bet you get a quick response directly from the top (‘The’ or ‘A’ director/owner)! Both of our coordinators are highly degreed and educated in sports related science and both have a passion specifically for volleyball. BTW both are amazing coaches as well! See our Meet Us tab for more information.
  • Do you write your teams and coach’s practice plans?
    No. We hire coaches capable of writing their own, tailored to their team, and the needs of their players. As you progress through the club it’s great to get different perspectives from different coaches. The only method Buckeyefire requires from their coaches is a positive yet disciplined approach that focuses on building a player’s confidence!
  • What is the difference between a tournament and a play ‘day’?
    Tournaments can consist of 1 to 3 days. Clubs tend to count the ‘days’ so it is clear to parents how much play they are getting. For instance, a club can promise 8 ‘tournaments’ but if they are all two day tournaments they are getting 16 days of tournament play which is substantial.
  • Do you accept multi-sport athletes in the club?
    Of course. We have a strong belief that these years will fly by for our players and they should absolutely do all they can while they can! It is very difficult for our Nuclear teams to work with multi-sport athletes because of the amount of tournaments they play, and the additional training. To be fair to the players making that commitment, we would need to openly and honestly access your schedule in advance to consider it. The key is for the athlete to make all they can and show their team the effort that takes. For instance, make that last 45 minutes of practice coming from another practice or game. Coaches will need to balance the amount of time missed with appropriate playing time but the player should know this is not a punishment. Instead it’s simply a trade off that allows them to contribute in two sports.
  • Where do you practice?
    We would argue we practice in some of the safest and best facilities in Northern Ohio. We have had a 20 year strong relationship with Nordonia Schools and practice/play in the High School, Middle School, Lee Eaton, and Northfield. Every gym is monitored 24/7 with cameras, including the parking lot. It’s well lit, easy to access and always staffed with a district custodian when in use. The equipment is not only safe, it’s up to date and ready to go at all times. We also host Open Gyms, tryouts, and practices at the new field house at CVCA. We also use the YMCA in Macedonia for our younger teams, where they have recently expanded to two full courts and installed a brand new gym floor making this another amazing facility!
  • Did you refund parents when Covid shut you down? Many clubs did not.
    When our club was shut down for COVID we refunded our families a substantial amount based on how many tournaments their team paid.
  • Isn’t the OVR/USAV the same as JVA and AAU? Why should we want to be in an OVR club?
    Buckeyefire Volleyball is a member of the OVR, JVA and AAU. We play in all organizations tournaments and enjoy them very much. The hosts are super, the tournaments are large and a ton of fun. Some are unbelievably competitive. These are the reasons we are members. JVA and AAU are national organizations much like USAV, however, they are NOT local governance. They do not regulate or protect you on the local basis. The Ohio Valley Region is the ‘local’ governing body for the USAV. They not only provide all the protections of the USAV, but also have developed fair competition on a local level and many more regulations that assure you the safest possible experiences. JVA/AAU will assure that coaches participating in their tournaments are certified and background checked, but have no local governance over their practices, facilities, etc. If you read the AAU guidelines, they specifically say that it is ’up to the host’ to assure the safety as they are responsible for staff and referees. Last is insurance. JVA/AAU are insured events. We’ve had to make use of these insurances and the procedure was fairly easy and it helped players a lot. Each of our facilities is listed and gives individual insurance certificates provided by the OVR/USAV. This means wherever we go, our kids are insured. Not only against injury, but much worse if something were to happen. As a club, we have the backing of the OLYMPIC COMMITTEE and their insurance to get a deserving family what they need. Let’s not forget that JVA/AAU host great tournaments open to all. You can be USAV and compete in all of them. They have no real ranking system that requires only teams that ‘qualify’ to play. If you are NOT USAV, you cannot participate in qualifiers, OVR events, the ranking system, bid in tournaments, regional championships, nor can you ever go to USAV Nationals! Make no mistake, membership is costly and for some following rules is frustrating.
  • Is Buckeyefire a ‘real’ business?
    Yes. We are incorporated in the State of Ohio as Three Amigo Sports, LLC dba Buckeyefire Volleyball. We are a for profit entity paying our fair taxes. We felt a subchapter C non-profit business would not be accurate for any club and chose not to go that route as a matter of integrity. If you’d like to know more about why we are ‘Three Amigos” please take a minute to read our history page.
  • How do your teams rank themselves in the club?
    We have three levels here. We simply do our best to challenge our kids at a level they should be frustrated at, but not at a level they shut down at because they aren’t ready. It is all about patient building of these teams, retaining a base of kids who truly want to be a part of building a team and less concerned about only themselves. We select players based on much more than raw talent and see potential in players who are shy of that top development stage. We are driven to take them there and take their team to heights they did not think they could achieve. Please read our levels section to understand how we divide our kids and why they are all important to us.
  • How do you handle a grade level player (older but playing at their grade level)?
    In USAV qualifying events all players must play at their age level and not their grade level. In the OVR and JVA events, it’s never an issue. Our Fire teams can access the schedule and opt to play in the ‘Select’ divisions instead of qualifying divisions so a grade level player can participate. All in all we’ve balanced this well for years and certainly do have some grade level players. It hasn’t been an issue providing we communicate well in advance of accepting a spot on the team.
  • What is the Athlete's Bill of Rights and do we have to read it?
    This document is a must read! We are obligated to distribute it as it tells you all that you are entitled to and assured that our OVR clubs are held accountable to offering and adhering to this document at all times. CLICK HERE to read the OVR Athlete's Bill of Rights.
  • Do clubs have to tell you what team you are on and who your coach is when we get a contract?
    No. Other than following the Ohio Valley Regions fair competition regulations and dates, the contract between your club and you stand completely on their own. The OVR does not regulate a club's limitations, conditions, or terms of the contract. At Buckeyefire we do our best to tell you both who your team and coach are. With the understanding that circumstances out of our control could make them subject to change.
  • What if my early offer is a ‘club offer’?
    This type of offer means you have all the things the club is looking for and we want you. You must attend tryouts and from there you can get put on any team, based on what each team is looking for. Bottom line, you are guaranteed a spot at Buckeyefire.
  • Have the tryout ‘offer and acceptance’ rules changed?
    Yes. No longer is there a difference between National offers and other offers. ALL LEVELS can accept a written offer anytime beginning July 7, 2023. Clubs CAN NOT require written acceptance until Wednesday July 19th, 2023 at 12pm (noon). These dates allow players time to attend other tryouts and not feel pressured to sign an offered contract before completing any desired tryout. At 12pm (noon) on July 19th, an offer can be pulled, and a new play can be offered the position. will have the same signing date.There is a link on our details page for you to read the policy. There is no longer a 3 day period for NATIONAL offers. Any club demanding an answer prior to the signing date is in violation of the Ohio Valley Region rules and regulations and should be reported. All players deserve the chance to try out in as many clubs as they desire during this 10 to 13 day period. We would consider any clubs threatening to revoke or change an offer extended to you a club with questionable integrity. You CAN wait to give your answer and get all your tryouts in!
  • Do your American Teams travel?
    Yes! Nuclear teams may travel a bit more but if you are on an American team here ages 15-18 it’s very likely you will find yourself in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, along with other venues such as KY and our Philadelphia. We do not discriminate and love to play. If you are on a younger team it’s very likely you’ll be in Pittsburgh and Columbus at the least!
  • Shouldn’t we always accept a National offer over an American offer?
    No! ANY TEAM in the OVR can enter any national tournament at any level. You can be regional and enter in OPEN at the MEQ, NEQ, and other qualifying events. The OVR created these levels to balance competition ‘within’ the region. This is a 100% regional thing that simply balances competition in Ohio. Our American teams go to all the qualifiers and large tournaments. They get the same exposure as most National level teams. Sit down and prioritize what’s important first. Your overall experience? How many reps will you get? A great coach with experience? The typical schedule and where you’ll play? How much travel? The club’s reputation and philosophy? Cost? We’d put all those things ahead of being called National or American.
  • Will some clubs hold tryouts in the fall and not have them in July?
    I would plan for most teams to be set in July with only makeup tryouts in the fall.
  • What happens if we accept a contract and then our daughter doesn’t make her school team, or decides she doesn't want to play next season?
    Bottom line is to understand the financial side of this rule change and what it means for the club's contracting process. I would expect higher down payments due soon after you accept. You should expect they will NOT be refundable. It’s always important to understand that you are accepting a ‘spot’ on the roster. Clubs have to secure that spot and hold to your commitment. When we tried out in the fall, players got their school experience. They knew if they made or did not make the school team. They had the option of continuing and trying out, or moving on from volleyball. This means the last contract language you should look for is the ‘school team clause’. I would expect most, if not all clubs will have a clause in their contracts that allows them to void the contract if the player does not make their school team.
  • If I’m offered for one team, can I be moved ‘up’?
    Answer is YES. When there is a Nuclear level team at your age group that coach gets his/her choice of all players for next season. This includes our own early offered players.
  • How big are your rosters?
    We do our best to keep rosters to 10 players.
  • How do we officially accept the offer?
    Well the first way is to simply say YES on the phone Next, we need an acceptance in writing so you can text the club or the coach saying you’ve accepted your 2024 offer to play for Buckeyefire. That makes it official. We will follow up either that evening (depending how late it is) or the next day with an email invitation and a link that will allow you to join your team in our management system. Following through with this is important because once you do, our system is automated to adding you to your team and showing you on the final roster for all to see.
  • Why are tryouts in July this season?
    By far the number one question. Our answer is, we don’t know! Buckeyefire sees July as the single resting point for players (and coaches) for the entire season. A time for vacations, not stress. Clubs may have made the case for early tryouts so they can better manage their club financially. Have more time and funds to pay for and book tournaments earlier. Order and receive uniforms prior to the first tournaments.
  • Should I tryout if I don’t get an early contract from you?
    Of course! Early contracts are our way to keep our commitment of building top teams with patience and care for the overall experience. To get an early offer the player and parent(s) first and foremost must meet our positive atmosphere philosophy. Next, they must have the attitude and talent deemed to change the team in a positive direction next season. In order to do that they should have a clear positional fit in the desired offensive and defensive scheme for next season. DON’T MISS TRYOUTS, early offer or not!
  • How will I know if I made a team after tryouts?
    Buckeyefire is one of the most transparent clubs in the OVR. We will begin populating our rosters on the tryout ‘results’ page days before the tryouts. We will also list all of our ‘offers’ and mark them ‘accepted’ after the tryout is over. The best place to keep up with this is on our website. The listings will include your first and last name, as well as your school and tryout number if you’ve been selected.
  • Do you promise what team or coach we would get if offered after tryouts?
    We do. We build team rosters and develop them around the coaches offensive and defensive scheme. Directors DO NOT pick the players, the coaches do. Directors facilitate the process and are there to resolve the occasional dispute when two coaches want the same player. We trust our coaches as the best in the area, and we do not pick kids to simply fill up teams. Once the roster is established for a coach, THAT COACH will dial your parents number if you are a younger player and may try the players number if they are an older player. Trust me, they are excited when they make this call. Why? THEY PICKED YOU! This is a great opportunity for you to ask the coach any questions you may have and you get a great chance to meet them personally before answering. This is perhaps the most exciting time in the process for coaches, and of course the most nervous time when they have to wait to hear you say YES!
  • Should we at least insist on playing on an ‘Elite’ team or #1 team?
    Sure consider it, but not until after you’ve created a list of priorities you want to get out of volleyball. Understand that there is no ELITE division or level in volleyball or the OVR. Here we typically have two teams at every age. You have to remember how many kids play volleyball in this region. Did you get substantially better? Were you challenged to become a better leader and pick your team up? Did you learn from your wins as well as your losses? Are you better prepared to play HS? Last, do you still love volleyball when the season is over?
  • Can you pay by credit card?
    Yes, our management system will take a credit card, debit card, or checking account ACH. The management system sets that price and it is substantial. We cannot change it, nor do we profit from it. We encourage that only those who need to use a credit card take that course of action. Instead, you are more than welcome to mail a check or you can Venmo us your payment. These are the most cost effective ways for you.
  • Do you have payment plans?
    When you register your acceptance you will be offered to pay in full, or to accept one of our payment plans that splits the fee into two or three payments. We DO NOT charge for a payment plan and if one of the plans offered is not enough help, all we ask is that you communicate with us. We will tailor a plan that works for you with the understanding that the plan we agree to is paid and paid on time. Nobody wants to suspend the play of a player over payment issues. We will work with you.
  • Are extra tournaments or post season tournaments covered in your fee?
    No. We do our best to provide more tournament play days than most other clubs in the area. We also make sure we offer some of those days as a traveling experience with overnight stay. If you are fortunate enough to play on a team that qualifies for either an unexpected play in a tournament or a postseason championship, we are happy to help plan it but all costs will be divided by the number of players on the team. The typical overnight tournament fee is around $1000, coaches rooms and expenses are about $400. On a team of 10 each family would be asked to pay $140 (example).
  • What is your refund policy?
    This is spelled out clearly in your set of waivers when you accept the offer. If you have accepted you have taken a spot away from another player, therefore you are ‘on the hook’ for the entire fee with very few conditions that would afford you any refunds. We are a very fair club though. When a player, at any point decides not to play or wants out, we are willing to refund that family based on finding a replacement player. If one is found, and they are willing to pay the entire fee (a lot depends on how late in the season it is), we will refund you your part. IF they pay a partial fee, we will refund you the difference between what they paid and the season fee.
  • How do we manage our account?
    You will have your own account where you can see your invoices, balances, etc. In that account you can add a spouse or other family members which will bring them into the loop when the club communicates things throughout the season. Much like other sites, you can manage the profiles, pictures, information, etc.
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