MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — This weekend’s Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament is one of the sport’s great and fun events, and also a Who’s Who of American volleyball, from indoor national team players like TJ DeFalco, David Lee, Kim Hill, and Alisha Glass; to AVP/FIVB beach players Sean Rosenthal, Trevor Crabb, Geena Urango, and Sheila Shaw; legends like Tim Hovland, Mike Dodd, and Barbara Fontana; and Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton.
Saikley started what was then the Manhattan 6man tournament 57 years ago.
The women’s masters division completed play Friday, with playoffs for men’s and women’s open and men’s masters Saturday. Team Crafty Veterans took the championship, with Venice Bakery in second place. Seven Dwarfs and Drillers tied for third.
The event, part of the Manhattan Surf Festival, took a hit in recent years, after it grew beyond the city’s ability to control. So it was moved from Saturday-Sunday to Wednesday-Thursday, and last year went to Friday-Saturday.
This year there are 79 teams, up 10 from last year.
“The progression to get to Friday-Saturday took quite a few years, but this is our second year running Friday-Saturday,” said tournament director J.P. Saikley, Charlie’s son.
“Last year it ran really smoothly. The City Council, police and fire, and the lifeguards were happy with it. We know we have the event in an ideal place now, in Friday-Saturday.
“People would rather take off Friday, because before when it was Saturday-Sunday, they’re taking off Monday to recuperate anyway. Now it’s the best of both worlds, you get Friday off, and you don’t have to take off Monday. You can start your work week the right way.
“I’m never going to push for Saturday-Sunday again, because about four years ago, I started the juniors 6man tournament. We’ve grown that to 18-20 teams of juniors, in 15-18s, 14 and under, and 12 and under.
“They come out in costumes like the adults, and we have the same paid officials on Sunday. That’s our new tradition.
“We’re training our kids on how to play our 6man game. Although the kids play rally-scoring, they don’t play the old side-out scoring.”