Ranking/Seeding 101

Understanding Ranking/Seeding 101

First, a seeding or ranking system is only as accurate as the athletes who enter the events consistently for the specific governing body who is accumulating the points. Currently the FIVB and AVP are considered to be the standards by which most adults in Open or Pro divisions trust to provide an accurate seed since those athletes are the elite and attract the best of the best. Once you get to the AA, A, B, etc., and junior levels, rankings/seeding begin to weaken as it relates to providing an accurate reading as to who should be seeded 1 through whatever rank. This is largely due to the inconsistency of athletes playing events throughout a state and the country. Many of these athletes have jobs/careers or in juniors cases play in other sports or have other activities that limit their ability to compete for maximum points. 
Examples: An AA athlete who plays consistently in Galveston may not be a AA level athlete in Dallas if the events aren't as competitive or have a high volume of teams. The same could certainly be said at the junior level or in a juniors case could simply be they play indoor volleyball at a high level and don't get to the sand for key point earning events till Summer. This is a general assumption not specific to Galveston or any area.


Most seeding systems have base points per division. 100, 1000, 10000, or whatever value a specific organization decides to set as the base points for 1st Place. Open divisons usually have higher point values than AA, 18U usually has higher point values than 16U, and so on. After that, usually a large deciding factor on how many points are earned by a team will be the number of teams entered in that division. Finally, there is a reducing % of the base points for 2nd Place, 3rd, 4th, etc. This final piece again is determined by a specific organization. Example: 2nd receives 90% of 1st Place points, 3rd receives 80% of 2nd Place points, and so on. Again, this varies organization to organization.

Seeding Events

Seeding usually is calculated by taking the top 4 or 5 events from the past 365 days or more. Again, each organizations seeding system can vary on this. You might take 1st Place in a lot of events with 5-8 teams, but that might not get you higher seeding points than the athlete who places 4th or 5th or even worse in an event with 30 teams despite the fact that you consistently beat that athlete who played in the events with 30 teams. It doesn't mean you don't play events with 5-8 teams, it simply means you should also look for those events with the higher number of teams as well if you want to attempt to increase your seeding points in that specific organizations seeding system.

Play For The Love of the Game

As an AA, A, BB, B athlete or Junior don't get too caught up in the seeding/ranking systems. Unless you are playing this game to make a living or win a gold medal in the Olympics, points/seeding will forever be a moving target. As as a junior, points do NOT get you recruited. Play for the love of the game, play in events for the competition, yet certainly identify events to play consistently to get points necessary for a decent seeding. At the end of the day in a tournament you have to beat everyone at some point to win.