Frequently Asked Questions

General

Is Madison Inferno a boys only volleyball club?


Yes. We are focusing on developing and growing boys volleyball in Wisconsin. There are many club options for girls, but in Dane County we are the only boys-only volleyball club. We offer a National schedule with vigorous training and coaching to develop outstanding volleyball players. One of the reasons we created Madison Inferno was to give boys that were serious about playing high quality volleyball and opportunity to do so within Dane County. All too often we heard from parents that if their son was good at volleyball he'd have to go to Milwaukee to get good coaching/competition. That is simply not true anymore. Madison Inferno is a excellent option for high quality volleyball for any athletes in an around the Dane County area.




Is Madison Inferno a Regional or National club?


Madison Inferno is a National club. We will compete in qualifying tournaments with the goal to attend the Boys Junior National Championship (BJNC). In 2022, that BJNC will be held in Las Vegas . At the 14U level only, some parents have indicated that the travel required for a National Club might be more than they can commit for their son at that age. We are open to options with the 14U team. We can be a regional club for that team and then during the season give the parents the option to add on the National Club experience. We would need a significant majority of the parents to agree to that option. We want to be flexible and give the families the best possible experience.




What is the difference between a Regional and National clubs?


Regional club teams tend to focus on local tournaments. They usually focus on tournaments within a few hours of their club location. They tend to attend fewer tournaments than National clubs teams. National club teams have the goal to complete in USA Volleyball's Boys Junior National Championship (BJNC). They tend to attend more several more tournaments than a Regional club. Many of the qualifying tournaments require significant travel. In addition, the Boys Junior National Championship is a natioanl tournament with teams competing from all over the country. In 2021, the 42nd annual BJNC is likely to have nearly 550 teams and 6,000 athletes competing in Kansas City. A total of 16 championships will be decided in age groups from 12-and-under to 18-and-under. National club teams tend to have more practices and more touranments than a Regional club teams. The commitment is more significant for National club teams. As such, the cost tends to be higher to account for the additional practices and tournaments.




How has the recent COVID pandemic impacted club volleyball?


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on club volleyball. The 2019-2020 club volleyball season was shut down in mid-March and never openned back up. The impact on COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 season is still an unknown. It's safe to assume that this upcoming club session will be very unique. Madison Inferno is looking at a lot of different options for the upcoming club season. We are very much commited to having strong, positive Club Volleyball experience for our athletes this season but what form that will take place will likely be impacted by gym availability (significantly restricted by COVID-19), tournament offerings and government public health regulations. We have secured 3 new gyms to help us navigate through all of this and be flexible. We ask that you be flexible with us as we work through the season. We ask that no player attend any practice, tournament or lesson if you are feeling under the weather, awaiting covid-19 test results, or have been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We want to make sure that the safety of our athletes and staff is our top priority. Thank you in advance for understanding!




Do you have any resources for new families coming into Club Volleyball?


Yes. The Badger Region put together a really nice Parent Guide to help you navigate the Club Volleyball world. It can be found here: http://badgervolleyball.org/playerparent-guide/




Do we have to have personal medical insurance to be part of this club?


Yes. You have to provide your own personal medical insurance for anyone participating in the club or for anyone coming to watch any part of the club's activities as a spectator. All club members must sign a release of liability waiver. It requires each athlete have their own personal medical insurance. The club does not provide any medical or any other insurance for the athletes.




What options do I have if I don't want to do all of the National travel?


We are a National club and we will travel to the BJNC. However, for those families that do not want all the travel, we offer Practice Player positions. Practice Players are excellent options for families that don't want all that travel (and associated expense) but they still want their son to get outstanding coaching and develop their skills. They attend all of the practices, open gyms and scrimmages like the rest of their teammates. Practice Players do not typically attend the tournaments. This accomodates families that are unable to do all of the travel but still have their son grow their skills. An additional benefit of this approach is there is a reduction in their Club Dues. If you want to learn more about what option would work best for your son and your family, ask a Coach or email us (info@InfernoVBC.com) for more information. We have received excellent feedback on our Practice Player program. We want to find ways to get your son more involved in the sport of volleyball.




Do I need to join USA Volleyball and/or Badger Region Volleyball as a member of this Club?


Yes. USA Volleyball (USAV) is the governing body that oversees all of the volleyball regions in the US, including the Badger Region. Each player must register with USAV and the Badger Region before becoming an Inferno Club member. On SportEngine you can purchase the required membership for the current year. This is required to participate in any club activity including, Tune-ups, Tryouts, Camps and Clinics.




I've heard that there are clubs in other cities outside of Dane County that I should consider. Are those clubs better than the ones in Dane County?


Absolutely not. In fact, one of the reasons we created Madison Inferno was to change that myth. Madison Inferno has the best coaching staff in the area and we all share the same mission. We have a proven track record of developing young athletes that will get recruited by some of the best colleges in the country. You don't need to leave Dane County to develop as a strong volleyball athlete. We also think there is a strong advantage to staying local with your club and not having to drive long hours in the winter on school nights to practice. We also understand that it's more than just competitive play that we can offer. One of the missons of Inferno is to create a strong passion for volleyball that kids can play the sport well into their adult lives. While there are many ways to fuel that passion, one good way is to play with your local school friends. The friendships and bonds you can make with your club athletes carries over into your school life as well. That is important. We know that all the boys in our club want to play for their High School teams. When you play with a local club, you can play with your High School teammates. You can develop a chemisty with the same boys you go to school with. We you travel out to cities outside of Dane County, you lose that important benefit. We really want boys that start in Middle School to play together as teammates all they way through their High School careers with Inferno. We feel we are best positioned to help all young athetes develop and reach their volleyball dreams!




Can my son play another sport and also participate in club volleyball?


Yes. We have a lot of multi-sport athletes in our club. We 100% support multi-sport athletes. We think that is very good and healthy for them to play different sports. It helps with injury prevention too. The coaches understand there will be some conflicts with multi-sport athletes and as long as they communicate well with their coach and schedule around conflicts it will not be a big deal. Coaches are used to this because we do have several multi-sport athletes in our club.

Club teams usually practice twice a week (once during the week and once on a Sunday) and play tournaments on some weekends. Week night practices typically start later in the evening (typically around 6pm) leaving time to attend after school activities/practices. We also usually take time off in April which compliments the high school spring sports season nicely.

There are usually about 8-10 tournaments spread out over December – June. They are known well in advance so you can absolutely plan around them. Your son will likely have to do some juggling with their schedule but with advance planning and good communication with their coach it usually is something that can be worked out.





Practice

Where do we practice?


We practice at several different gyms in the Madison area. Our goal is to primarily practice at Glacier Creek Middle School in Cross Plains. They have an excellent facility that supports multiple volleyball courts for practicing. However, with COVID-19, school facilties are shut down indefinately. As such, we are looking at other gyms in the Madison area and the surrounding communities that will host our club. For the 2020-2021 club season, we anticipate practicing at multiple different gyms. The goal will be regular, reliable practices and practice times but understand we'll need to be flexible given COVID-19 restrictions. We have contracts with 3 additional gyms that we will use: KEVA Sports (Middleton), Train Like an Olympian (Madison), Oakstone Rec (Cottage Grove). We expect to utilize all 3 additional gyms during the 2020-2021 club season.




What are the expectations for the players regarding setup and take down at each practice location?


We have the privilege of using practice courts at three different locations. It is not our right and therefore we must always leave the court in better condition than when we found it. The players have a major role in making sure that happens.

Our ability to use these practice facilties can be revoked at any time, so all players must be on their best behavior when traveling to and from all courts so as to not disturb other events or property.

Coaches or captains will designate players to set up the nets to the correct height and the ball with ball carts out, this is to be completed prior to the start of warm-ups.

After practice, balls are to be removed from the court and nets must be folded up, as well as the poles placed back against the wall or in the appropriate place.




What are the expectations for each player for practice?


All players are expected to arrive at practice at least 15 minutes early to provide for adequate time to have ALL equipment on and ready to start practice 5 minutes before practice starts.

The coaching staff will do their best to arrive at practice early; however, due to unexpected traffic problems that may arise, the captains are to start warm-ups exactly at the designated practice start time.

Players that arrive with less than 15 minutes prior to practice, must be fully dressed by the time the captains start warm-ups or will pay the penalty of disciplinary actions to be determined by the coaches.

All players should have proper equipment including shorts, knee pads (optional), court shoes and active ankle braces (if necessary). Also on certain circumstances, boys will be instructed by the coaches to bring running shoes, or extra apparel.




What should I do if I have to miss a practice?


Attendance at every practice is absolutely necessary. Pracitce is how you get better. If you are unable to make a practice, it is the player's responsibility to contact their coach at least 72 hours in advance and let them know they cannot attend. The coaches prepare practice plans and they need to know how many athletes will be at practice so they can devise their practice plans accordingly. This is why advanced notice for missing a practice is important. In the case of a same day illness, we understand if 72 hour notice cannot be given. We do understand that things come up, schedules are busy and athletes will miss some practices. We will work with you as best as we can with those excused absenses. Understand that practices are were athletes get better so playing time can be impacted for those individuals that miss significant practice time. Coming late or missing a practice (without communication) shows a lack of commitment and respect for your coach and your fellow teammates. Players who are inexcusably late for, or miss practice/meeting, will not be able to practice and will miss up to the first set of the next match. The coach will consider extenuating circumstances with their decision being final. The coaches will deal with additional tardiness as they see fit.





Tournaments

What time should the players arrive at a tournament?


Players are to arrive at least 45 minutes before game start time if the team starts competing. Any uniform problems should be dealt with prior to these 45 minutes. Make sure you always bring both sets of uniforms. Don't make assumptions on what uniforms will be worn that day. If the team refs (and therefore are not playing) the first match, players are to arrive at least 30 minutes before game start time. Players must have all equipment on, including appropriate shorts, 30 minutes prior to game start. Warm-ups will include dynamic stretching, pre-determined defense drills and pre-game hitting.




What should I do if I cannot attend a tournament/tournament day?


Let the coach know in writing at least 2 weeks in advance of the tournament. We plan to only travel with a maximum of 9 players to each tournament. If someone were to miss a day (or entire tournament), we could be at a significant disadvantage. The more advanced notice we can get, the better. Your absence could open an opportunity for a practice player attending the tournament. These things require a lot of logistics that need to be coordinated by several people so the more advanced notice we get the better.




What recommendations do you have for players the night before a tournament?


We strongly recommend each player gets a minimum of 8 hours sleep the night before a tournament. Good rest is essential for good performance. Regardless, each player should be in bed no later than 11 PM the night before a game.

This is a strong recommendation of the coaching staff and may be enforced by parents if they so choose; however, as young adults we expect you to make the right decisions for you and your teammates. Your performance impacts the entire team.




Is it OK for a parent to organize a team dinner the night before a tournament?


That's a great idea. We encourage parents to organize team meals before/after tournaments. This is a great way for the boys and families to develop positive relationships. This is also a great way to know the coaching staff better. Go for it!




Will there be a lot of overnight travel to tournaments?


This answer to this question will be different for the 2020-2021 club season than other, future club seasons. Because of COVID-19, we anticipate significantly less overnight travel to tournaments. It is our expectation that we will do less than normal overnight travel to tournaments. We will focus on scheduling more local, one-day tournaments that avoid the requirement of hotel stays. We will also look to host tournaments here locally in the Madison area. We want the players to get the benefit of several tournaments without a lot of the overnight, hotel travel. Based on feedback we've received from parents, we don't think there is a strong desire for hotel travel in this current COVID-19 environment. We want to respect that. The one exception to that for the 2020-2021 club season is the BJNC in Kansas City. We are a national club and have every intention of attending the BJNC in Kansas City this coming season. Those details will need to be worked out as we get closer to those tournament dates. But it is our goal to travel to Kansas City for the BJNC. For future club seasons that are not impacted by COVID-19, we expect a more traditional national club travel schedule for tournaments that inclde multiple trips to Chicago, St. Louis and potentially other overnight travels.





Club Expectations

What are the 10 expectations for parents at Madison Inferno VBC?


TEN EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTS OF ATHLETES:

  1. Make sure your child knows that win or lose, you love them, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them. This will allow them to do their best without a fear of failure. Be the person in their life they can look to for constant positive reinforcement.
  2. Show them you are pleased that they chose to play sports and accept all the challenges that come with trying to better themselves in practices and games. Let them know that you understand how hard it is to constantly put themselves on the line in front of peers and spectators.
  3. Be completely honest about your child's athletic ability, attitude, and sportsmanship. Remember that you don't know what happens in practice; you can't second-guess the coach's decisions, because you don't have all the information.
  4. Let your children live their own lives. Try not to relive your athletic life through your children. Don't pressure them to shine for your own ego. Remember that you made mistakes too.
  5. Provide direction on your son’s attitude, but don't provide coaching on skill. Leave that to the team coach. Refrain from the inclination to try to make your child just a little better by giving them tips on the way home from matches, or at dinner, or when they are trying to go to sleep.
  6. Don't compete with the coach or the referees. You each have different roles to fill; leave them theirs and work on your own. "It takes a village to raise a child." Be glad they have an excellent adult role model contributing to the upbringing of your child. But remember, they are human; they will make mistakes.
  7. Never compare the skill, athletic ability, or attitudes of your child with other members of the team, at least not within their hearing. A team needs all kinds of different athletes to fulfill essential roles. Celebrate your child's special attributes.
  8. Know your child's coach. Because of the special circumstances of a coach-player relationship, the coach has a tremendous potential to influence your child. Be aware of the coach's philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge.
  9. Remember that children tend to exaggerate both when praised and when criticized. Allow them time to cool off. Chances are, tomorrow they will have more appropriately evaluated a situation, while you may be just beginning to investigate. If the situation warrants following through, investigate quietly before overreacting.
  10. Make a point of understanding courage and the fact that it is relative. Some are afraid of a mouse but not of a bull. Everyone is frightened in certain circumstances. Explain that courage is not the absence of fear but a means of doing something in spite of fear or discomfort. Be proud that your child has chosen to participate rather than spectate, to risk stumbling and rise to try again. Be supportive and encouraging, congratulate them when they succeed on their own.




What are the 10 expectations for each athlete at Madison Inferno VBC?


  1. Players are to treat others with respect at all times - whether it is teammates, coaches, opponents, referees, fans, teachers, etc. Respect is required on and off the court. This also includes social media. Remember what you choose to post still represents our club. Any activity relating to or including hazing, bullying, or poor sportsmanship will result disciplinary action according to USA Volleyball Safe Sport.
  2. Players are to let the coaches do the coaching.
  3. Players are to be at practice ON TIME - dressed and ready to go at least 5 minutes before the start of practice.
  4. Players are to follow all rules as stated in USA Volleyball Safe Sport code of conduct. Consequences are pre-determined and we have no ability to interpret/modify any of these rules or disciplinary actions, nor will we.
  5. Players are expected to earn their success and not look for short cuts. As a team we will do the small things well and focus on the details of our fundamental skills.
  6. Players are responsible for any and all team issued equipment and apparel. Appropriate apparel should be worn to all games and matches (including shorts). At National tournaments the team will be required to be in matching Adidas apparel.
  7. Players should have focused attention and effort for the entire training session and must listen with positive intent to learn. When a coach is explaining a drill or discussing game strategy athletes are expected to be attentive and display this through their body language.
  8. Players should maintain strong, confident body language and control their emotions/reactions even when others do not.
  9. Players on suspension from their school will not be allowed to participate in practices or games. They are still required to attend practice and help out by shagging balls, etc. They will continue learning plays and offensive /defensive sets.
  10. Players will maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA and understand that participation in Madison Inferno VBC is a privilege and not a right. Players need to be students first and volleyball players second. If there are problems in school, we encourage the player and parents to contact the coaches immediately. Our coaching staff understands the importance of education and will do what we can to help.




What expectations should I have around team communication?


Communication is the key to our success. Misinformation can spread quickly and lead to misunderstandings between coaches and players, coaches and parents, or the program and the volleyball community. We must work hard to foster a positive environment where every player is encouraged and does not tear down their fellow teammates.

Each team will have a group message (GroupMe) set up to communicate practice times, changes, and upcoming events between players and coaches. Each player is expected to monitor GroupMe and is responsible for reading and responding to messages.

Coaches will send out emails informing parents about tournaments and other important information/changes. There will be a private Facebook page set up to help facilitiate parent communication. This will be in addition to the club social media accounts.

There will be an update section on our website for last minute information as well (ex: snow cancellations of practice).

Remember, it's better to overcommunicate than undercommunicate.

When in doubt, just talk face to face with the coach. The best form of communication is always face to face.





Concerns

What should the player do if they have a concern?


If a player has a concern of any kind, they should set up a time to talk to the head coach either before or after practice, NOT during.

Players are encouraged to ask for clarification if there is something they don’t understand. Athletes are expected to behave as young adults and should be able to confront and deal with problems as they arise. The first path for resolution should always be the player and coach talking it out.

If after the player and coach talk through an issue and it is not resolved, then the parent should schedule a time with the coach where the player, coach and parent can have a discussion and resolve the concern.




What should the parent do if they have a concern?


Our staff has an “open door” policy. We want to hear any concerns you might have. It's important to talk through them and get a resolution.

We are happy to talk with parents about volleyball or their child’s development (ex. camps, lessons, extra drills, etc.). We can be reached by phone, email and/or after games/practices as time permits.

We will NOT discuss playing time or personnel decisions made during games/tournaments. First hand communication is the most accurate, and questions that players have should come from the players directly, not through a parent. We will apply a 24 hour rule. If you want to discuss playing time or personnel decisions made during practice/games/tournaments, please reach out to the coach at least 24 hours after the practice/game/tournament.

If a parent has a concern about their player’s health or well-being, they are encouraged to call immediately so that we can work together to help their child.

If a parent wishes to file a complaint about the coach, they are to set up a time with the Club Directors. This meeting must be at a mutually agreeable time when the directors, coaches, parents, and player can meet as one group.