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Have Questions About the Badger Region HP All-Star Program? We’ve Got You Covered

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

As you have probably seen in our newsletter, website and social media, the 2023 Badger Region High Performance All-Star program has announced the start date of its offerings for the season.

If you have been a keen follower of all things relating to this program, you may have noticed FOUR huge changes for the upcoming season

  1. The name of the program has changed. We are now Badger Region Region HP All-Stars (to better reflect the end-of-year tournament that we will attend called the USA All-Star Championships that takes place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the 2023 season)
  2. The boys age definitions have changed to reflect a change that happened across all international volleyball tournaments
  3. The naming convention for all teams has changed (no more Youth or Select names will be used in 2023)
  4. We have added a girls U13 (Future Select) team that will train and compete as part of the program, just like the older boys and girls age group.

It’s OK if you have questions. We’ve compiled as many FAQs as possible and have them answered for you below. We will also be hosting a Lunch & Learn session in February to talk everyone through the many new aspects of the program.


Have questions? Email Program Director Brian Sharkey at or call 414-313-9055.


Every two years, the age definitions for what athletes are eligible for are updated by the FIVB – the international governing body of the sport of volleyball. These age definitions govern High Performance All Star programs across all Regions and USA Volleyball because the culminating event that takes place in late July is in fact an international tournament and therefore makes the age definitions consistent throughout the world. Therefore, the Badger Region must abide by these age definitions, which don’t allow for age waivers. Every athlete in the Badger Region is eligible for our High Performance All Star program for at least four (or five) years – so make sure to take advantage of this time when it’s your turn.

What are this year’s Badger Region offerings?

  • Girls U17 — formerly International Youth (Born in 2006 and 2007)
  • Girls U15 — formerly National Select (Born in 2008, 2009)
  • Girls U13 — formerly Future Select (Born in 2010, 2011)
  • Boys U19 — formerly National Youth (Born in 2004 and 2005)
  • Boys U17 — formerly National Select (Born in 2006 and 2007)

*Note, these are not the same age definitions as used by USA Volleyball, as the All-Star program is an international program and must follow FIVB age regulations. * For males born in 2008, coaches will happily consider them for the U17 team.

Are there other divisions other than those listed above?

Yes, there are. However, due to numbers, space, costs and previous interest in other age levels, the Region elects to only enter teams in the divisions listed above.

Why are the age divisions set up like this?

The FIVB sets up the birth-year based age definitions. In the US, age definitions are set up mostly by “grade in school.” However, other countries do not have the same school systems as the US, thus making the birth-year based age definitions a more level playing field. In addition, (think Olympics) in many international competitions, a team (or athlete) must qualify for an international championship in the first year of the cycle and then compete for the title in the second year of the cycle. We do not have to qualify for the USA All-Star Championships, but the model is set up in the two-year cycles just like other international events.

If my son or daughter is no longer eligible for any of the Badger Region age divisions, what other options does he or she have?

Some of the highest-level athletes may receive invitation to the USA Volleyball National Team Development Program and participate in such events as NORCECA Championships, FIVB World Championships and other USAV-based programs. Since those programs are only for the most elite of athletes, we suggest looking into elite-level collegiate camps at schools around the country. Competing in beach and grass events will also make the athlete a much better, well-rounded player.


Regardless of which program you are eligible for, some sort of tryout is required (whether it be in-person or via a video submission). To register for tryouts, click here.

When are tryouts for the 2023 Badger Region HP All-Star program?

  • Girls U17 — formerly International Youth (Born in 2006 and 2007): March 10 (6-8:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center)
  • Girls U15 — formerly National Select (Born in 2008, 2009): March 17 (6-8:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center)
  • Girls U13 — formerly Future Select (Born in 2010, 2011): March 17 (6-8:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center)
  • Boys U19 — formerly National Youth (Born in 2004 and 2005): April 23 at the New Berlin SportsPlex
  • Boys U17 — formerly National Select (Born in 2006 and 2007): April 23 at the New Berlin SportsPlex

What are the costs to try out?

  • In-person tryouts cost $40
  • Video-only tryouts cost $30

If an athlete cannot attend his or her in-person tryout date, the video-only tryout is required. Videos are due one week before the athlete’s tryout date listed above. Registration for in-person tryout closes the Wednesday before the tryout date listed above.

What should the tryout video consist of?

Tryout videos should be no longer than 5 minutes consisting of edits from match film. Skills videos of athletes doing one skill for extended periods of time should be avoided. If you feel it is best to showcase specific skills (athlete setting, or attacking, or serving, or blocking), it is best to bunch those clips together. Questions about videos can be directed to A URL to the video is all that is needed. Do not attach or send the video as a whole.

How many athletes try out for HP, and how many athletes are brought to the next step?

  • Girls U17: 105 (32 total athletes accepted)
  • Girls U15: 120 (32 total athletes accepted)
  • Girls U13: Unknown (32 total athletes accepted to camp
  • Boys National Youth: 60 (24 total athletes accepted)
  • Boys National Select: 50 (24 total athletes accepted)

*Figures are an average of 2021 and 2019 registrations.

We have been told by many parents that even attending tryouts was valuable for their child to experience this type of high-intensity tryout and the competition it offers.


The Boys HP program utilizes the “downtime” in May and April to offer some training for its teams. Girls on the other hand wait until the conclusion of USAV and AAU National Championships to train and select its teams.


  • Boys will be brought to two different  one-day training sessions in May and June. Dates/locations have not been determined for this year. The cost for these two events is $175 total.
  • After the two training dates, 10 athletes from each age group (youth and select), plus alternates, will be selected to come to the overnight camp at a college or university in Wisconsin. Cost for the overnight camp is $275.


  • Girls will be brought to a three-day, two-night overnight night camp at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh July 9-11. Cost for this camp is $475 and includes lodging and meals.
  • After the camp, 10 athletes from each group, plus alternates, will train at the New Berlin SportsPlex on Sunday, July 17. There is no additional cost for this training date. The team departs for Fort Lauderdale, the next day.


Ten athletes from each age group will be selected to represent the Badger Region and the state of Wisconsin at the USA All-Star Championships taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 20-23.

What are the travel arrangements for the athletes who make the team?

Athletes and coaches will depart from Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport on Tuesday, July 18, and will return Monday, July 24. Parents are responsible for dropping off their kids at the time and location that will be specified by the Badger Region staff, and picking up their kids at the airport upon return of the inbound flight. Flight itineraries will be given ahead of time. Athletes will be transported to and from the airport/hotel/playing facility/meals in Tulsa throughout the week, organized by the Badger Region. Flights and hotel are chosen by Badger Region staff and HP All-Star coaches. Essentially, this trip will be handled like a college program, where the Badger Region staff and team coaches are responsible for the team for the duration of the event.

If an athlete makes the final roster that travels to Fort Lauderdale, what additional costs are there?

Final costs are still being worked on as hotel and flight arrangements are still pending. In the past, this cost has been between $600 and $700 per person. This cost includes plane flights, all ground transportation for the week, hotel (four to a room), a warmup shirt (to keep) as well program costs for jerseys, coaches, etc. The only other costs that athletes incur is the cost of food that they purchase at the grocery stores or at restaurants. Only a limited number of team meals are provided by the Badger Region.  .

What are the expectations of the travel team at the USA All-Star Championships?

The goal of the teams who compete at the international tournament is to medal in their respective divisions while also accomplishing the following throughout the process:

  • Expose athletes to high-level college (NCAA and NAIA) recruiters who attend the international tournament.
  • Offer a college-like sports experience where athletes learn what it is like to be treated like an elite-level athlete.
  • Be a part of independent travel experience led by highly certified Badger Region staff and HP Coaches
  • Gain exposure to elite level coaching provided by the Midwest’s highest-level club and college coaches.
  • Compete and train alongside other all-star caliber athletes from around the Badger Region.
  • Play against other all-star teams from around the country and the world

Do parents have to come to the tournament?

No. The Badger Region staff and its coaches serve as chaperones for the event. If the parents attend the All-Star Championships, they are allowed to take their son or daughter back home (or to another destination) at the conclusion of the tournament, after giving written permission. Parents are welcome to attend the event, but are asked to understand that the teams will be doing things as a group, so there are minimal, if any, chances to have “family time.” This experience differs greatly from a traditional club tournament where players go with their family when the team isn’t playing. During the All-Star Championship, it isn’t a vacation. It is expected that the team remains together, preparing for matches and taking care of themselves with sleep, hydration and food. There may be opportunities for parents to help coordinate team meals or a few events or outings, but that would be for the entire group at a time determined by the coaches.


The USA All-Star Championships serves as an opportunity for athletes to play under international rule sets, and allows referees training to become international officials the opportunity to officiate under such rules.

What are some of the key rule differences?

  1. The libero CANNOT serve. The libero is designated for the match
  2. Substitutions are limited (6 unlimited)
    3. Players not in the match must be in the warm-up box or seated on the bench.
  3. If the ball hits the ceiling it is out.
  4. Only the head coach can stand.
  5. We play best 3 out of 5 sets. Usually, two matches per day are played.
  6. There is a technical timeout when the first team reaches 13 if a timeout isn’t called prior to that. Teams must wait outside the court until they are brought back into the court by the R2.
  7. Simultaneous contact by two players counts as two hits.

How does this impact athletes like those in the Badger Region High Performance All-Star program?

Because we only travel 10 players, it is vital that some athletes be accomplished utility players. A middle who can hit on the right side. Outsides and right sides who can hit on both pins. Liberos who can be worked in as a back-up setter if needed. Outside hitters need to play all six rotations due to the lack of substitutions allowed in international events. All of these are considerations our coaches must look at when building their final rosters. Also, because of the program goals and the limited substitutions, there will not be equal playing time. Playing time will be earned by attitude, skill and what the coaches believe is best for the team at that moment. No parental feedback on playing time will be accepted.



The Badger Region requires potential coaching candidates for its High Performance All-Star program to apply through an application process before being selected to the HP staff. Many are collegiate coaches, while others are elite-level club coaches, and others have been successful high school coaches in years past. All have successfully passed a USA Volleyball background screen, have a minimum of IMPACT coaching certification and have SafeSport training.


  • Girls U17 International Youth Head Coach: Abbey Sutherland (UW-Green Bay)
  • Girls U17 International Youth Assistant Coach: Scott Spiess (Badger Region)
  • Girls U17 International Youth Assistant Coach: Amber Needham (UW-La Crosse)
  • Girls U15 National Select Head Coach: Jon Ellmann (UW-Oshkosh)
  • Girls U15 National Select Assistant Coach: Leigh Barea (UW-Parkside)
  • Girls U15 National Select Assistant Coach: Amy Angelos (Madtown Juniors)
  • Girls U13 Future Select Head Coach: Emily Riese (Fond du Lac Fusion/UW-Green Bay grad.)
  • Girls U13 Future Select Assistant Coach: Kayla Blaguski  (Fond du Lac Fusion/Troy University grad.)
  • Girls U13 Future Select Assistant Coach:  Maizie Wenger (Fond du Lac Fusion)
  • Girls Team Representative: Sara Voigt


  • U19 National Youth Head Coach: JW Kieckhefer (Carthage College
  • U19 National Youth Asst. Coach: Curtis Madson (Concordia University Wisconsin)
  • U19 National Youth Asst. Coach: BJ Bryant (St. Norbert College)
  • U17 National Select Head Coach: Shane Reid (MSOE)
  • U17 National Select Asst. Coach: Mike Endsley (Wisconsin Lutheran College/MVC)
  • U17 National Select Asst. Coach: Mike Stevens (Carthage College, Southport VBC)
  • Boys Team Representative: Brian Sharkey

How can other coaches get involved in the Badger Region’s HP program?

Coaches can contact Program Director Brian Sharkey ( Coaches are needed for all training sessions and camps. Others are also needed for being evaluators and facilitators at High Performance All-Star tryouts. All coaches are paid as independent contractors for their time and participation at High Performance All-Star events.


Badger Region had a great showing at the 2022 All-Star Championships in Tulsa, Okla:

  • Boys National Youth (Gold Medal)
  • Girls National Youth (Gold Medal)
  • Boys National Select (4th place)
  • Girls National Select (4th place)

Badger Region had a great showing at the 2021 All-Star Championships in Orlando, Fla:

  • Boys National Select (Bronze Medal)
  • Girls National Select (Bronze Medal)
  • Boys National Youth (Fifth Place)
  • Girls International Youth (Fifth Place)

Badger Region had a great showing at the 2019 High Performance Championships:

  • Boys National Select (Silver Medal)
  • Girls National Select (Bronze Medal)
  • Boys National Youth (Fourth Place)
  • Girls International Youth (Eighth Place)