Beach volleyball sure has changed. These days most of the events seem to be held on the same weekend as each other, forcing the players that want the money to play multiple events each weekend. Last weekend players were in Oshkosh, Wis., at the NVL, which was held in conjunction with the Waupaca Boatride, on Friday, and then left that night to play in the Cuervo tournament held in Chicago on Saturday. It’s even confusing to write. What happened to our sport?
I’ll tell you what happened to our sport; players that loved volleyball threw small tournaments for their friends that grew into large tournaments for everyone. The focus of these events is the players. The events aren’t usually televised, and make up the grassroots growing population of our sport. The sport is growing and alive and well, you just need to know where to look.
On another note, the Plastic Tour heads back to the West Coast in August for the fabled Seaside Oregon beach volleyball tournament. Over 100 nets stretch north and south from the famous Lewis and Clark turnaround in a never ending sea of courts that centers around a raucous old school center court ringed with beach chairs and a stage. There is a Portland side and a Seattle side, and they both rage. The end result of mixing this Pacific Northwest crowd is three days of friendly competition and partying from some top professional players and very talented locals, and about 1,000 amateur players battling it out for bragging rights. The real winners at Seaside are the players. Everyone seems to have a great time and to really enjoy this classic beach town. Don’t forget the Plastic twenty one-and-up party on Saturday night, sponsored by Plastic, Clatsop, and Elevation Group. It’s AAA partying at its best.
Our tour finishes out the month in Tahoe. A friend of mine and I started the King of the Mountain (a phrase legally held by my friend Leon fell, of Motherlode fame) over a campfire in the mountains years ago. The end of August means perfect weather in the Tahoe basin and there is never a shortage of players from California who are willing to make the trek. There are only four courts at Zephyr Cove, which is the hotbed of volleyball in the area. Zephyr is a campground resort on the lake with a great beach, bar, rooms, and some of the best looking and friendly people you will find at any beach, anywhere. Hope to see you there!
The Outside Edge is a monthly preview of the major outdoor volleyball events held in the U.S., written by Dave Kamena, president of Plastic Inc. Plastic is a volleyball performance apparel brand that sponsors and supports these and other sports and music events around the country. Questions, comments, or feedback can be sent to email@example.com. Also find them on Facebook and Twitter by searching plasticclothing.
Originally published in September/October 2012