Howell, Michigan


Tryouts for Top Gun VBC SPRING teams will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 as follows:

13U/14U – 5:30 – 7:30pm

15U/16U/17U/18U – 7:30 – 9:30pm

Registration will open 1/2 hour prior to tryout start time.  Cost is $25.00.  Tryout form is available here:


Spring AAU Teams – What are they? 

Top Gun Spring teams are teams that will begin practicing in mid-March 2019  and finish the first weekend of June 2019.  Each team will compete in four (4) one-day tournaments within a 1 – 1 ½ hour drive from the Howell/Brighton area, PLUS the two-day State Tournament (MJVBA Championships) in the Grand Rapids area. A team will consist of no more than 10 athletes to maximize individual and team growth, practice repetitions and play time opportunities. The number of teams per age group will be determined by interest at tryouts, facility capacity and coaching availability. Emphasis is on individual development – both athletically and personally, offensive and defensive team systems and teamwork within a cooperative and competitive environment.

How are the teams selected?

With the exception of the 12U age division, all teams are created through the tryout process. No one can be placed on a team without proper evaluation. Athletes are placed based on the recommendation of their current coach, if playing in the winter or based on skill performance at tryout(s) as well as position desired. The top five athletes at any given tryout may all be middle blockers, but they will not all be placed on the same team.  Placement based on carpooling or friends will not be considered. Our goal is to find a team for every girl that wants to work hard, have fun, learn and improve their volleyball skills and knowledge. Due to many factors including numbers, coaches and/or facilities, however, we are not able to accommodate everyone.

When and where are tryouts?

Tryouts will be held Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the Howell Freshman Campus.  13U/14U will be held 5:30 – 7:30pm.  15U/16U/17U/18U will be held 7:30 – 9:30pm.  Registration will begin 1/2 hour prior to tryout time.

What age should my daughter tryout for?  Should I just use her age?

Current Age DOES NOT always coincide with USA age divisions.  The Top Gun Volleyball program and the AAU organization abide by the age definitions created by USA Volleyball.  The USA Volleyball Junior Player Age Definitions for the 2019 season are as follows:

18U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2000

17U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2001

16U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2002

15U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2003

14U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2004

13U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2005

12U – Athletes born on or after September 1, 2006*

*There will be no tryout required for 12U athletes in the Top Gun program, however registration is required and will open in late February 2018. Information is now available on the 12U Program page

Can my daughter tryout for an older age group or ‘play up’?

Any movement of an athlete into a different age group will be done solely at the discretion of the Top Gun VBC staff. Requests will not be considered. Because we gather athletes from many different areas and school districts into one team, we are able to create a challenging environment for each age level. Top Gun believes that most athletes gain the greatest growth and advantages participating with their natural age level. Please have your daughter tryout for the appropriate age level as listed in the age definitions above.

What if my daughter is young, but in a higher grade?

A very small number of athletes fall under the category of being in a higher grade academically, yet qualifying for a younger age group. For example, an athlete attends 9th grade, but falls within the 14U age group. In this situation, the athlete may choose which age group to tryout for. Using our above example, this athlete would be permitted to tryout for the 14U age group, 15U age group, or both. If an athlete in this category wishes to be considered for more than one age group, she must attend the tryout for each age group.  All other athletes must attend the appropriate tryout for their age under the USAV definitions.

When and where are the practices?

Spring AAU teams will practice twice a week in the evenings for two hours each. Specific practice times and locations have not been established yet. There will be no practice March 25 – 31, 2019 due to school vacation.  There will also be no practice on Monday, May 27, 2019. Practices will be held in the Howell and Brighton areas. A complete practice schedule will be provided at the time an invitation to join a team is extended.

When will the practices be held?

Specific practice schedules will not be determined until later. Practices could be held any night Monday through Friday in the evenings, but will be determined prior to invitations being sent for spring.

Does my daughter need to attend all practices?

A most resounding ‘YES’!  Attendance at all practices and tournaments is necessary and expected. In fairness to all involved, missing practices for any reason, including but not limited to illness, homework, family vacations or other sports/activities, WILL affect playtime opportunities. Please think carefully if your schedule allows for this type of necessary commitment and dedication. Volleyball is a team sport, with teammates needing to work together and learning from each other consistently and often.  Important material is covered during each and every practice and new information is added frequently. We do not recommend those with conflicting schedules play Top Gun because of this extremely important factor.  Dedication to your team and the practice/tournament schedule is expected if you are going to play!

What if my daughter plays another sport?

Top Gun believes that every athlete should have the opportunity to represent their school, and every effort is made to accommodate athletes wishing to participate in other activities for their school. As stated previously, however, volleyball is a team sport and attendance to practices is crucial. A case-by-case study of the situation is usually best to insure fairness to everyone involved. Extra curricular activities outside of school are not as easily accommodated. It is important for an athlete to be committed to her team and the practice/tournament schedule.  Missed practices will affect playtime.

When and where are the tournaments held?

Tournaments are generally located within a 1 – 1 ½ hour drive or less from the Howell/Brighton area and occur on Saturdays or Sundays. Tournaments are usually full day affairs, with arrival around 8:00am and finishing up sometimes as late as 6:00 or 7:00pm. Athletes are responsible for transportation to and from the tournament.  Each athlete will also be responsible for food during the tournament. Teams often work together to create a healthy potluck of food for each tournament coordinated through the help of a team parent.  Tentative tournament weekends include April 6/7 OR April 13/14, April 27/28, May 4/5, May 18/19 and June 1-2.

So my daughter will play every match?

There are 10 athletes on every team and only 6 can play at a time. Every effort will be made towards fair play time, especially during tournament pool play for athletes with consistent practice attendance and effort, however joining Top Gun is to sign up for the opportunity to learn, train and practice.  Equal playtime is not guaranteed. During the playoffs, coaches may choose to play their most competitive lineup.  Lack of attendance at practice (for any reason) poor attitude and/or effort could also negatively affect playtime.

What is the cost?

The cost for the Top Gun Spring season is $725.00 for new members. This covers facility rentals and custodial costs, practice and tournament instruction, administrative expenses, tournament entry fees, and necessary uniforms. For athletes that competed with Top Gun VBC during the Winter, the cost is $625.00. No additional uniforms or equipment will be issued to winter athletes.

Athletes will also be required to have a current AAU Membership at the additional cost of $14.00.

When is this payment due?

The first payment of a minimum of $400.00 for new athletes, is due by first team practice.  The balance will be due by April 30, 2019. If an alternate payment plan is necessary, please contact Jennifer for options.

Who will the coach be for this team?

Coaches are placed with teams after the tryout phase and before commitments are requested. You will be given information on the coach at the time an invitation is extended.  Top Gun Volleyball is a competitive endeavor and our coaches are competitive individuals and although we love to win Top Gun coaches are teachers first and we place a strong emphasis on TEACHING. Our focus is on growth and process above outcome.

Questions??  Contact Jen using the Contact Page or 517-548-0024.