2009-08-21 / Sports

RB Volleyball Wraps Up Summer Season

Joe McGivney

Last Saturday the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League concluded the 2009 season with its annual gala Playoff Saturday at Riis Park. A high level of play made the eight division championships that much more rewarding to the teams that fought so hard for their victories. Congratulations to the Sugar Bowl, Flip Cup All Stars, Brooklyn Windows and Doors, the Bay House Babes, 3rd and Long NYC, Sets on the Beach, the Coral Reefers and the Atlantic Service Sand Storm.

A grateful nod must go to all of the sponsors of the record-breaking 60 teams, as well as the local sponsors who hosted the Wednesday night parties after the matches: Blackwater, Healy's, Irish Circle, Kerry Hills, Harbor Light, Connolly's, Summer Winds, Bayhouse, Bungalow Bar, The Wharf, The Sugar Bowl and BHYC. All provided a great atmosphere for players to unwind after a pressure-packed night of beach volleyball. Without their financial support the league might very well not exist. Spe-cial thanks must go to Commissioner Patty Moule and her hard-working committee members, as well as anyone who volunteered for jobs along the way. Your help, even with the small-est items, was much appreciated. Thanks to all of this year's referees, especially the rookies. The league is very happy to have you on board. And they really appreciate all of you who have constructively criticized the refs each week. Does it mean they will never make a mistake again? No. Does it mean you will agree with every call? No. Does it mean the league and they are continually striving to improve? You bet it does. And, a league spokesperson says, "Thanks for putting up with our e-mails; we try to keep them short, sweet and informa-tive so they don't take up too much of your time."

Some of their members cannot accept the fact that the season is over. That doesn't mean volleyball is done. Many groups from different teams are still playing on the weekends in pickup games throughout the Rockaways. These games are often followed by impromptu beach parties, enjoyed by all. It's amazing how much fun you can have when you remove the high pressure (and referees) of the RBVL. That's what it's all about. In addition, the weekly Monday night pickup games at Steve's 127 Street stadium will continue and expand to Wednes-day nights as well. We hope to see many of you on the beach at Beach 127 Street on Mondays or Wednesdays or both. Get their as close to 6:15 p.m. as you can because it is getting dark earlier and earlier.

In case you missed it, Cubby is crossing items off of his "bucket list" in record fashion. "Winning RBVL title" is gone and he is getting ready to cross off "Climbing Mt. Everest," "Roofing Rocky D. at the net" and "Having a frozen drink at Connolly's while wearing RBVL Championship sweatshirt." Earlier this summer he crossed off, "Going to work ever again, in this lifetime or the next." Tommy "Moose" Reilly of the Beach House says that the reports of his retirement from vol-leyball were exaggerated and prema-ture. In fact, he's back and he's better than ever. How's this for persever-ance? Two teams that finished in last place in 2007 made it all the way to the top in 2009 - the Coral Reefers (8 - 39) and Sugar Bowl (13 - 34) have come a long way, baby! Ocean Divi-sion ref par excellence, Coach, noted similarities between the Giants upset-ting the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl with most of the country watch-ing and the Sugar Bowl beating Freedhand's with most of the league watching.

Captain Chris Morris worriedly watched his Coral Reefers devour six feet of double-stuffed chicken cutlet hero and numerous pasta salads on Playoff Saturday. He wondered how they were going to be able to play ball after seeing them waddle onto the court. Shockingly, they somehow managed to stave off a food coma and completed a perfect 9-0 route to vic-tory against the Moon Division competition. Bravo! Captain Don Howard rated 2009 as Last Call's best ever with the team finishing in first place during the regular season. Unfortu-nately, this could not be converted into a final victory on Playoff Saturday de-spite a fully stocked, courtside luxury box. All team members played well throughout the season, giving their heart, soul and liver week in and week out. Last Call can make the claim as one of the most fun teams, who also seem to have a bit of a volleyball prob-lem. Remember next season will start with a weigh-in. Captain Rob Schmitt had the Social Yachties socializing af-ter round one of the playoffs, doing what they do best, capping a great year at keeping it social. Congratula-tions, Snotty Yachties, for making it to the finals. Unfortunately, it looks like the socializing has come to an end and the Yachties will not be able to make the Awards Dinner.

Ben and Jerry's has a graveyard list of flavors they no longer use and we have a graveyard list of bygone teams. Here are just a few of the classic squads: RAINTOWER, ABBRACCIAMENTO'S ON/OFF THE PIER, STORAGE PLACE, CLUB 101, SECRET SPOT SURF SHOP, RUGBY FISHHEADS, BEACH CLUB, HOLY CHILDREN, EXERCISE CLUB, BALLHOGS, HAPPY CAMPERS, PSYCHIC FRIENDS AND FORT WADE. Do you remember any of them? A list is being put together, by the league, of deceased/defunct teams/ sponsors of old. Send them your personal list of favorites.

As you know by now, the date has been set for the annual RBVL Awards Dinner and that date is Friday, Au-gust 28. This year the dinner will be at Jameson's on Beach 129 Steet from 7:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The cost is $40 per person in advance by 8/24 to Patty at 550 Beach 133 Street or $50 per person at the door. The price includes an open bar, bottled beer, buffet din-ner and music by DJ Bobby Joseph. Jameson's is a relatively small restau-rant and space is limited. First come, first served! If you want to make sure you are included, get your money to Patty ASAP. Dress casual and wear your best Hawaiian shirt; it should be a blast once again. Last year the fash-ion ranged from casual beach to ele-gant chic. Many outstanding Hawai-ian shirts showed up as well as some classy dresses and you can expect more of the same this year. Maybe some referees will be seen, for a change. They'll be the ones with the striped shirts and whistles.

Continue to check the website (wwwrbvl.com) for photos and stories in the upcoming weeks. If you have any pictures you'd like to have posted, send them to sica@rbvl.com. The league would be happy to add them to the website. You can expect that John's annual video and photo presen-tation at the dinner will be an Emmy winner once again. Awards will be given out to the eight division champs, and some surprise awards will almost certainly follow. Bring your dancing shoes or your "Cement Shoes," what-ever you need to kick up a storm. A highlight of the evening should be the final showdown between the Rock-away Breakers and the Bungalow Bar-anhas for the RBVL Dancing with the Stars championship.

The Awards Dinner is the last big RBVL event of 2009. Then comes Mardi Gras (Breezy Point), Thanksgiving, sleet, dinner at the in-laws' house, the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras (New Orleans), St. Patty's Day, Spring Training, Flag Day and, before you know it, RBVL opening day on June 2 and the 2010 playoffs on August 14. As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613- 0908. (Be sure to call between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Re-member, Patty has a life outside of VB, too.)

Or, just check the website at www rbvl.com. You'll find the an-swers to most of your questions there, not to mention pretty pictures and funny stories. See you on the beach (but not for league games), around the neighborhood and on the dance floor at Jameson's!

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