The Dolphin Avenue volleyball tournament marked it’s 23rd year this Labor Day weekend with beautiful weather and 80 participants comprised of 20 teams of 4 players spread over 5 courts. The teams are drawn by entry level so people can make new friends. Though the event is open to the public Lani Beggs, the event coordinator, was kind enough to extend a personal invitation to my family that we were quick to accept.
Admittedly this was the first time I’ve even seen the event, and I’ve lived across the street for 11 years. My daughter and I walked down to watch the first matches at 9 am and were blown away by the turnout. There were more then a dozen EZ-ups spread around the perimeter of the main court shading families, player’s and ice chests.
According to Lani Beggs, the entry includes lunch and a tee shirt for the event. If you’d like to spectate, there is a catered lunch which includes water and soft drinks. Tee shirts and tank tops are also available for those looking to take home a memento. The tournament is funded entirely without sponsors and is hugely popular amongst locals, some of whom have been playing in the tournament since the beginning.
After dozens preliminary matches (of which each team is guaranteed 3), the final two teams are paired up on the main court to the cheers of over 100 friends and neighbors. The sand starts flying in the final match at around 3 pm and doesn’t stop for close to an hour. This years winning team members were Tom Payne, Suzanne Devries, Michael Talin & Paul Yost.
The event was a blast for my family to attend. In addition to being a fun community event, it literally creates new friendships and introduces neighbors to each other who may not have previously crossed paths. While Lani is likely already planning for the 2013 Dolphin Avenue Volleyball Tournament, I’m working on getting in better shape so I too can compete (and support) this great local event.