2011-05-20 / Sports

Beach Volleyball League Opening Day Nears

By Joe McGivney

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League is just a few days away from kicking off its 2011 season at Riis Park on May 25 and the excitement is building.

The Cubby Hole got a spring cleaning and the 70 volleyball nets had their cobwebs dusted off in anticipation of the festive opening day activities.

As was announced last season, the league is now officially capped because of the enormous task of running this large mass of humanity out to the courts every week. If you are not on a team and you are looking to play, you should make a friend, date a current player or maybe even think about marrying into the league. Older players might want to include a clause in their will about passing down their place in the league to their descendants.

Last year, several teams from the waiting list were admitted to the league but this year none made it in. The league is still striving to make things run smoothly with the new, very large population of players. All the new players assured RBVL President Patty Moule that they would do whatever it took to help the season run smoothly. They all volunteered in advance to help in any way that was needed on and off the beach. And it worked in 2010.

That same spirit will be needed in 2011 from everyone as well. Your league has become the place to be during the summer in Rockaway. Remember that has happened primarily because of great camaraderie and sportsmanship more than great bumps, sets and spikes, although they are nice, too.

The 2011 season will feature nine different divisions with varying levels of skill. Will this be the year that the Federation, Casino Auto Towing, the Mighty Boosh, Connolly’s, the Beach House, Kerry Hills Pub, It’s All Good Tees, the Odd Couples, Robin Shapiro Realty Island, Last Call, Beach Orphans and the Rockaway Breakers win the coveted champion’s sweatshirt?

Each season, some teams move up, some teams move down and many teams stay in the same spots. Our goal is to have as many close games and division races as possible. No one likes losing 3-21 or winning 21-2 (well maybe one or two people like this) but everyone likes playing five tight games each Wednesday. The new 2011 divisional set-ups are listed here in The Wave. Start planning your line-ups and strategies.

The RBVL would like to use their first “time out” of the season. Please take a moment to read this important letter from our neighbor and friend, Jimmy Mullen: “Thank you for helping me by selling these ‘Wounded Warriors to Disney’ raffle tickets. The goal of this raffle is to raise funds to provide Disney vacations for wounded soldiers and their families. Often, these soldiers are away from their families for long periods of time and many return home with lifealtering injuries. Providing a family vacation is our way of saying thank you for their service and sacrifice.”

Mullen added, “We also wish to acknowledge the families these soldiers leave behind when they go off to war. Their spouses and children have sacrificed valuable time that cannot be replaced. Their sacrifice often goes unnoticed. Last year, our raffle raised enough to send 11 families to Disney. It was an amazing accomplishment and could not have happened without the generosity of people who donated their timeshare. Since 2006, we have sent 24 families on these trips.

“The trip to Disney was like a springboard for my family to re-connect, catch-up on time lost and plan for our new future,” one soldier remarked as he expressed how valuable the trip was to his family.

Mullen also said, “I am hoping that you will be able to help me sell tickets this year by reaching out to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, Facebook ‘friends’ and organizations that I wouldn’t be able to reach. I hope to expand our network to get more people involved in this effort. The winner will be picked July 10, 2011 at Rockaway’s Wounded Warrior Weekend festivities by one of our participating soldiers.

“Please do not hesitate to contact me either by e-mail or cell phone jimmy speedbump@aol.com or 718-938-1665. Sold tickets and donations can be dropped off at the Graybeards office: 129-04 Newport Avenue or my home: 316 Beach 145 Street. Both have mail slots in door. Thank you very much for helping out. This has been a very worthwhile and rewarding experience that is greatly appreciated by our soldiers.”

Wednesday, May 25 will be our first night of volleyball at the beach. It will be a practice night for all and uniforms and schedules will be given out at that time. Hopefully the weather will cooperate as it did last year. Wednesday, June 1 will be opening day and play will continue every Wednesday until August 13. On that Saturday, the league championships will be played – keep your schedules clear.

Every year it’s a blast!

Prospective new referees are always welcome and can contact the league officers via the website. You do not need to be a certified ref to work in the RBVL. In fact, many refs have been quite successful with a strong playing background (college and high school) and limited referee experience. Remember, the RBVL is now on Facebook but unfortunately we don’t twitter. It will only be a short few weeks before opening day arrives and there is still much to be done beforehand. If you have any questions please call Patty Moule on her cell phone, 917-613-0908. Call between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. See you on the beach on May 25!

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