Learning proper techniques from the outset can be important for many disciplines, and volleyball certainly is no exception. United States Youth Volleyball League’s (USYVL) proven teaching methods help kids develop proper form in a fun, supportive environment. With Clinicians – our experts in volleyball instruction -- at each site overseeing the teaching curriculum, ensuring that our coaches are utilizing the most effective coaching methods, the kids are given a proven system for success. There is nothing more fun than watching the joy kids have while they learn, and improve upon, their volleyball skills. 


Many of the kids in USYVL go on to play volleyball in high school and college. More importantly, all players take with them the spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship, which has benefits well beyond the boundaries of the court.   


Find out more about programs in your area. If you do not have a USYVL program in your community, and would like to help start one, give the USYVL National Office a call at (888) 988-7985.  Click here to view the list of existing programs. Registration is open.



After receiving some tips from United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL) kids, professional beach volleyball player John Mayer has won the first AVP event of the year. Congratulations are due to John Mayer and Brad Keenan for taking home the top trophy at the 2014 AVP St. Petersburg Open in Florida this past weekend.  This marked the first AVP Tour win for Brad Keenan, and the second for John Mayer.  


In the story, there is an important message about persistence. John Mayer and Brad Keenan rebounded from a 21-15, 21-10 loss on the tournament's second day to make the final through the contender's bracket. On Sunday, they upset top-seeded and defending champions Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson 16-21, 21-19, 18-16. 


"We had a tough year last year," Mayer said. "We made one semifinal, and we didn't play great the whole year. This offseason, we were kind of having a tough go to start, and I was like, 'Should I still be out here? Is it time to move on?' … We (both) decided to just go for it for the next month or two.” 


The win comes just two weeks after Mayer appeared at a USYVL “Pro Day” event. There he was able to interact with USYVL players. It is believed that the tips and enthusiasm Mayer picked up from the USYVL kids– most notably being advised to always score more points than the other team - helped him achieve this win.   


In all sincerity, Mayer’s fortitude as an athlete drove him to this win. It was truly an honor to have Mayer appear at a USYVL site. He signed autographs, interacted with the kids, and undoubtedly picked up a few fans. With this recent win, he will be a greater inspirational example of how continuing to put forth the best possible effort can yield positive results.    


Again, congratulations to John Mayer and Brad Keenan!




From USYVL to NCAA; Katie Ristow’s Volleyball Journey Started Here!


It’s not often one recognizes one of their earliest youth sports coaches some fifteen years later. Katie Ristow, the Marketing & Events Manager for Pepperdine University, experienced déjà vu when she crossed paths with USYVL Co-Founder Randy Sapoznik at the recent Pepperdine-hosted USYVL Kids Night. Ristow, a former Miami area volleyball champion and record-setting Outside Hitter for Division II Franklin Pierce University, got her start playing volleyball with USYVL. USYVL Co-Founders Randy Sapoznik and Dale Hoffman were Ristow’s coaches throughout her first season with USYVL, and Sapoznik quickly remembered Ristow, whose mother’s presence and support of the program stood out.


At the urging of her mother, Ristow signed up to play volleyball at USYVL’s Ventura site when she was nine years of age. During her time with USYVL, Ristow not only built a strong foundation of the skills and fundamentals needed to excel at the sport, she also built many memories and a lasting love of the game.

“There are so many great memories from my time playing with USYVL. My first coach, Dale Hoffman, taught me the fundamental skills of volleyball,” Ristow recently said. “I loved that my teammates turned into friends that I was able to play with season after season with USYVL.”


Ristow, who initially turned to volleyball due to her advanced height at such a young age, recalls memories of the little extras offered by USYVL. “Being able to meet Dain Blanton after he won the gold medal during the Sydney Olympics was pretty cool!


 “I fell in love with volleyball after I attended my first college volleyball game at Pepperdine University during my first season with USYVL,” she stated. “I told my mom that night that I wanted to play volleyball in college and the rest is history!”


After Ristow completed her time with USYVL she went on to play in high school and club. When she was 16, her family moved to Miami, Florida, where she became a member of the Killian Sr. High School Varsity Volleyball team. Ristow excelled as the team’s starting Outside Hitter and was a part of a team that won the Greater Miami Athletic Conference in 2004. In 2005, Ristow and Killian Sr. High won the District and Regional Championships, going undefeated until the semi-finals of the Florida High School State Championships.


Ristow went on to start for four years as the Outside Hitter for Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, where she received her B.S. in Professional Sports Management and a minor in Marketing. While serving as a Graduate Assistant in the Marketing Department for Athletics at Florida International University (FIU), Ristow obtained a Master of Sports Management for Athletics. After a promotion to Assistant Marketing Director at FIU, Ristow moved back to Southern California and took on the Marketing & Events Management role for Pepperdine University.


USYVL Outdoor Court Set-up Directions


Site should provide ample space in which to set up the courts. Always remember that safety comes first!

Make sure the court area is free from debris or objects (sprinklers, utility boxes, rocks, metal objects, holes, mud, glass, sticks, bicycles, skateboards, dogs not on leash, backpacks, etc.)

Outside the court boundary make sure you have left a sufficiently unobstructed “play” zone. You should have a minimum of 20 feet between each sideline and end line when possible.

Lay out court lines on field by unwinding them off the court winder and placing them opened out on the ground in a rectangle approximately 30x60 for 11-12 and 13-15 age groups and 25x50 for 7-8 and 9-10 age groups.

For younger players, shorten the court lines by tying off the corners, measuring two feet in from corners by extending your right arm out sideways from the body while holding the corner in your right hand, sliding the lines through the fist of your left hand, holding your fist at shoulder level. Knot off lines at the fist and push attached spike firmly into the ground, pulling lines taut, having shortened the lines by approximately two feet – the distance between your extended hand and your shoulder. Repeat this at each corner. USYVL always recommends using the court winder and wrapping the boundaries one line at a time to avoid tangling and to make set up faster.


Red midline markers are found half way down on each side line. Note where they are located.


Next unroll the net, attached to the poles, with the bottom of the poles resting one foot outside the red midline markers on the two side court lines.

Take the guy lines and attach the clips to the eyebolts on the top of both poles, while holding the poles.

guy linesattachlines

Holding the poles upright, extend the guy lines out to a 45 degree angle in both directions and anchor guy lines approximately six feet apart, with steel stakes, inserting stake into knotted loop at end of guy line, wrapping line once around stake and inserting into ground at a 45 degree angle (head of stake away) from the pole. Wrap line around stake and then hammer stakes completely into the ground to avoid players or bystanders tripping or catching on protruding stakes. For proper stabilization and tension of net poles, the stakes MUST be inserted into ground at an angle AWAY from the net poles.

line6fttie stake



Lean poles towards the center of the court and pull down and away from the poles on the guy line tension handles. This creates the tension that keeps the net system in place.


The poles attached to the net should set evenly on the ground.

Adjust net height accordingly for each age group.

stake diagram

Your Clinician will specify the net height for each age group.




When Tom Hoff called and told me about Tim, there was no question as to what to do!

We put together a package of items that a 15 year old volleyball player should have.  A Park & Sun Spectrum net system, Molten volleyball, Asics backpack and a couple of other items.

There was a wonderful reception at the Anaheim White House, where Stephanie McCormick the CEO from the Orange County/Inland Empire Make-a-Wish Foundation explained that this was the largest gift granting that the Make a wish foundation has ever done.  Not only were they sending Tim and his family, but a large number of kids and their families from the US and around the world to the London Olympics. 

The send off included a number of former Olympians; Jamie Komer, the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist in Water Polo, Peter Vidmar, the 1984 Double Gold & Silver Medalist in Men’s Gymnastics, Pat McCormick, a 1952 & 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist.  To top it off, Reid Priddy and Clay Stanley who will be leading the Men’s National Team in  London.

The star of the day though, was Tim!  He is a very humble kid who has his sights on becoming a member of the USA Men’s National Volleyball Team.  After spending a couple hours with him I realized that he knows what is important and is willing to work hard to get there.  

We hope to see Tim at some of the USYVL sites upon his return to talk about his Olympic experience.


Randy Sapoznik              

Executive Director


Click here to see the NBC video

Click here to read the USA Volleyball story


On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, professional beach volleyball players Billy Allen, Andrew Fuller and Janelle Allen took a stroll to the Hermosa Beach USYVL site.


They took this opportunity to do some volleyball skill demonstrations for the kids, show them what playing volleyball at a higher level is like and topped it off with some cool prizes.


The players graciously stayed to watch the kids play their scheduled games and at the end signed autographs for each one!


Thank you to Billy, Andrew and Janelle for making it a very special day for the Hermosa Beach USYVL kids!


USYVL runs a volleyball clinic at the Sharefest Youth Development Academy!

The clinic took place Thursday, August 11 at California State University Dominguez Hills.  Over 200 middle school students had the opportunity to learn volleyball skills from some of the best volleyball players.

As a special treat, Dain Blanton, 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist of Men's Beach Volleyball, stopped by to talk to the kids, work with them in learning the sport and signed autographs!



USYVL Supports Pasadena Fire Dept. in 5K Walk to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness  


Tuesday, October 14, 2014—Pasadena Fire Department hosted a 5K run at the Rose Bowl in support of breast cancer research, with all funds raised to directly benefit The Huntington Hills Breast Center (Pasadena, CA). Locals of all ages joined forces and came together in waves of pink in support of the cause. USYVL supported the endeavor by setting up court for a game of volleyball, All Pro versus Pasadena Firefighters, with guest pro beach volleyball players Billy Allen, Trevor Crabb, and Avery Drost, along with players and the Head Coach from Pierce College. Guests and passersby also participated in the “Ace-A-Pro for Charity” challenge and a community volleyball game comprised of players of all backgrounds. 


The event began with Celebrity trainer Dion Jackson leading the crowd in an upbeat pre-run workout. Newscaster Lolita Lopes also joined USYVL and Pasadena Fire by walk the 5K and playing a community game against the beach pros, Marine Corps participants, and firefighters.



A successful summer camp season is in the books! Hundreds of players ages 7-15 participated in the 2015 USYVL volleyball camps this July and August.

Players had the opportunity to learn key volleyball skills and put their skills to the test with a mix of drills and games.

It was great to see the players, both new and experienced, improve and gain confidence over the 3 days. We hope they keep it up and keep playing volleyball!


A big thank you to the players, parents and camp coaches for making the 2015 summer camps such a positive experience!