I'll volunteer some advice and opinions, based on some limited experience, observations, and my own mistakes. I've seen coverage of court sports (including volleyball) by supposed professionals that is virtually unwatchable, and conversely, absolutely great looking footage from amateurs with no more equipment than a HD camcorder and tripod.
Teams sports can look magnificent in 1080P, even on Youtube (using full screen mode). The last thing I would compromise is the quality setting, and I think you'll agree after some experimentation. I've seen video that is nominally HD, but compression artifacts for the sake of file size economy can be very obvious and ugly. This is particularly true when capturing fast motion sporting events. Even if you're only burning a DVD-R for now, chances are the time will come in the not too distant future when you'll want to access the video in the highest possible file resolution. 8GB isn't enough space to capture much action at a tournament, so I'd bring along bigger cards and the requisite battery power.
Volleyball is actually a very simple sport to shoot, but most amateurs and, inexcusably, even small broadcast operations insist on complicating, and consequently mucking up, would should be very straightforward coverage. I've had much more experience with tennis than volleyball, but generally the same rules apply. At the risk of stating the obvious, I'll mention a few:
The best way to capture a sport with the net at mid-court (badminton, tennis, volleyball) is from behind either side of the court. That may sound, as my daughter might say..."yeah... duhhh", but there's no shortage of camcorder owners at matches shooting from the side, who then try to follow the flight of the ball. I defy any viewer to watch that for very long. Even the clueless cable TV channel at a volleyball tournament I attended did the same thing. (In fact, they planted their primary camera at the very the top of the bleachers, so potential viewers could watch ants run around the court). If you shoot from the behind the court, and carefully position the angle and zoom, you should be able to capture all the action, while being close enough to the players to give any HD viewer a sense of "being there". You can pretty much just fix the position of the tripod and zoom if you've set it up properly, and take a hands-off approach for a while. ( Don't try and shoot volleyball with a hand held cam. A tripod is a must, even a inexpensive, basic unit. Once set, use the zoom function sparingly, if at all).
I also have made the mistake of pausing the camera on and off between plays. The moment I played back the video, I regretted my in-the-camera editing. Jump cuts between plays not only disrupts the natural rhythm of the game (any game) but it's extremely disorienting for viewers. Even videographers that do everything else right can't seem to resist the impulse to edit out the strategic planning and set up between plays. Since the tension between plays is part of any team game, let viewers decide what they want to watch or scan past. At the very least use transitions (fades, sweeps, wipes, etc) to separate the plays.
If you're going to use a editing program, make sure it doesn't re-encode the video. For example, there's no point shooting HD video, and then editing with Windows Movie Maker.
In short, shoot at the highest resolution, and as a general rule, it's best your camcorder capture the action as passively and unobtrusively as possible. The old adage, "less is more" will yield the best results.
Edited by gary miller - 4/12/13 at 8:41pm