Rockaway Beach Volleyball League Starts 2011 Campaign
The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League kicked off the 2011 season Wednesday night at Riis Park with its annual practice night. All 70 teams were invited and about 40 took part. The weather made for one of the most perfect practice nights in history.
More than one player expressed shock that professionals miss much playing time with sore hips and oblique’s while 50 percent of the RBVL suffers from many maladies and show up every week ready for action. Apparently many pro athletes couldn’t make the grade in Rockaway. Rusty noted that Jose Reyes speaks very little English but he brings up his sore oblique every week. The 2011 season will feature some new team names and several new sponsors.
Welcome to all and to any new players as well. The RBVL is happy to have you onboard. We’ll see you at Riis Park every Wednesday until Saturday,August 13 with the league championships. The first night back on the beach ran smoothly with the help of many players, young and old, who pitched in wherever it was needed. That’s the kind of cooperation that makes the league great. Thank you for getting off on the right foot and keep up the good work. We need that assistance weekly. As veterans know, the court layouts change often because of the endangered birds. Come early each Wednesdays and check the information board to find out where you are playing.
And bring your GPS system; you’ll need it. What didn’t go as smoothly was the bumping, setting and spiking! It gets harder and harder each year. However, the carrying looked to be in mid-season form. Cubby is working on re-gaining the title of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from that weird dude on TV. Remember, he spikes the ball underhand and his bird bath attracts piping plovers. And he doesn’t always drink beer but —- sorry, he always does drink beer. Stay thirsty, my friends.
The Rockaway Breakers played a friendly practice match but nothing was friendly about this one. Both teams despised each other. Why? It was a split squad game amongst teammates. How these guys get through a season in one piece is a miracle. But they sure can dance! The Bogatelle Vino Team (formerly “the Stanii” for one week) want to thank our new sponsor and hope to see Chad & Co. on the beach this summer. The Bogatelles had a great time playing with old friends and family, which is what the RBVL Family is all about! Keep an eye on TBG, The Big Guy and his protégé, TLG, The Little Guy.
After the matches, players headed to returning sponsor, Rogers Pub on Beach 116 Street for a night of celebration to begin the 2011 volleyball season. Old friendships were renewed and new ones sprouted up amidst the good cheer and good food. The league welcomed Rich Rogers as a sponsor and he is happy to be on board. And he’s even happier with his team’s name, Rogers Irish Setters. It’s always good to add another gentleman to the “Friends of RBVL” list. Next week, our annual top home cooker, Carmel, will put out a spread at the Kerry Hills Pub. We may have to have the two of them “throw down” at the end of the year for the cooking title. The first-night party can often be a little quiet but this one was terrific and well attended. Our sponsors are very generous and they don’t ask much of us in return. Stopping by for free food and a drink or two doesn’t seem like much to ask.
All of the new teams from 2010 said they’d do anything to get in the league and they can start by supporting our sponsors every week. Then you’ll realize it’s as important to brush up on singing, dancing and partying skills as well as bumping, setting and spiking. Some of the new refs were shown the ropes by Joe, including where to buy yellow and red cards. They also attended a seminar to review rules and regulations and expectations for the upcoming matches. They even got to do some “student teaching” by working some of the practice games.
Everyone was reminded again of three rules that will be enforced this year at every level of play without exception: 1. ALL net violations must be called – no exceptions; 2. NO underhand lift or reverse underhand throws are allowed. The only exception is on a hard-driven ball, like the ones the TV pros hit; 3. NO reaching over the net to interfere with a ball unless your opponent is directing the ball to your side of the court. For those players who think that this results in too many whistles and say, “We just want to play,” get used to it.
Most of you have offered your assistance many times over the years and now we really need it. We have many new refs, some of whom are learning on the job. They all are trying their best to call the games fairly. Believe me, they do not have an ax to grind with any of our teams and we need you to treat them with respect (There has been occasional slippage in this department the last two seasons.). Please send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Thursdays with a quick summary of the previous night’s ref.
As the league has grown the last few years, many players assured 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. That same spirit will be needed once again. Already, Jimmy Mack has helped out by making extra spikes and plates for the nets and he has provided buckets to clear rocks out of the sand each week. Kaila and Caroline and the rest of their volunteer crew handled the distribution of the uniforms on the boardwalk beautifully as well. New corporate sponsor Bud Light helped finance the uniforms and may run promotions at the bars this season. Stay tuned.
Because of the enormous task of running this large mass of humanity out there every week, the league is now officially capped. On an administrative note, the RBVL has gone “green” and the Rules and 2011 Schedules are posted on the website. Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed and must be in by week three (June 15) at the latest.
And now a few words from our Commissioner, Patty Moule: “I am looking forward to another great season of beach volleyball and seeing old friends and meeting new ones. What I am NOT looking forward to is a few people ruining it for the rest of us. This means NO pulling people off the beach for your team and NO arguing with refs. The three simple playing rules will be enforced in ALL divisions without exception. If you don’t like it, don’t take it out on your ref! He or she is just doing his job. All six people on your RBVL Committee are willing to help you with any problems that come up; just take care of matters in a respectful manner. For new players, the RBVL Committee is made up of President Patty Moule (Bogatelle Vino), Steve Gifford (Connolly’s), Denise Brunner (Robin Shapiro Realty Island), John Sica (Blackwater Boarders) and Rocky and Joe Abbracciamento (Casino Towing). You can find them every week, playing ball on the beach.”
Next week the games and scores count. As always, if you have any questions before then please call Patty at 917-613-0908. (Be sure to call between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Remember, Patty has a life outside of VB, too.) Or just check our website at www.rbvl.com. You’ll find the answers to most of your questions there, not to mention pretty pictures and funny stories. Let the games begin!
See you on the beach!