Ideas for Volleyball Player Awards

By Marilyn Lindblad

Volleyball player awards give players tangible evidence of their contribution to the team. With up to 15 players on a volleyball team, coaches can give every player some kind of an award. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Volleyball Statistics Rules suggest a number of categories for offensive and defensive play that are well suited for rewarding volleyball players. Judges should award performance honors to the best technical players and non-technical honors to players who contributed to the team in other ways.

Most Service Aces per Game

There are three offensive moves in volleyball: the serve, the assist and the attack. A service ace is a serve that the opponent cannot return. It's easy to calculate an award for the most service aces per game: Simply divide the total number of ace serves by the total number of games played.

Most Kills per Game

A shot over the net made in an attempt to prevent the opponent from returning it is known as an "attack." A successful attack is called a "kill." To calculate an award for the most kills per game, divide the total number of kills by the total number of games played.

Most Assists per Game

In an assist, a player sets the ball up so that another player on the same team can hit the ball over the net in an attempt to kill it. Calculate a volleyball player award for the most assists per game by dividing total assists by the total number of games the player played.

Best Hitting Percentage

The statistics that make up a volleyball player's hitting percentage are attempts, kills and errors. A player's attempt statistic is the sum of her kills plus her "errors" plus her "zero attacks." A zero attack is an attack that the opponent keeps in play. An attack error is one of nine offensive errors, such as hitting a ball that goes into the net or out of bounds. To calculate each player's hitting percentage, subtract total errors from total kills and divide that number by the total attempts.

Most Blocks per Game

A player is awarded a block whenever he blocks an opponent's attack so that the ball goes back over the net into the opponent's court and the player's team gets the point. A player is awarded a block assist when two or more players perform a block that leads directly to a point. Calculate a player's blocks per game by adding blocks and block attempts and dividing the total by total games played.

Most Valuable Player

The MVP award is a judges' choice award. A player who made the game point in an important game may be a better choice than a player with high technical statistics. The coach should be prepared to explain her selection when she awards this honor.

Most Inspirational Player

This award recognizes players who boost team morale and make the team want to do its best. The winner need not be a great volleyball player. Again, the coach should explain his choice when he awards the honor.

Most Improved Player

Statistics will show which player demonstrated the greatest improvement over the course of the season. If several players qualify for this award, judges should consider other factors such as sportsmanship and attitude in making their decision.

What to Give?

The team's budget for awards will dictate the kind of awards it can afford. Traditional volleyball trophies with a player figurine are available, as of February 2011, for under $10. Award certificates are a less-expensive alternative. Team staff can use a computerized award template to design and print their own awards. Awards should be signed by team leaders and framed. An inexpensive frame from the dollar store is fine, and a ribbon or seal is a nice touch if the team can afford them.

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