2012-05-25 / Sports

RBVL Begins 2012 Volleyball Season

By Joe McGivney

The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League kicked of the 2012 season Wednesday night at Riis Park with its annual practice night. All 74 teams were invited and about 40 took part in the festivities. The weather looked bad to outsiders with a fog and mistiness hovering over the courts but players knew that the conditions were actually excellent with no wind, sun or heat around to affect play.

More than one player expressed shock that professionals would 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.

The 2012 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 11. The league championships will be played starting in the morning, and running through until the afternoon when nine champs will be crowned. Then the real fun begins as teams try to outdo each other, partying late into the night.

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. 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. 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.

The Rockaway Breakers played a friendly practice match for the first time under their new name, William J. Lachner Painters, and many players sported their 2011 championship sweatshirts to keep the chill out. For the fourth consecutive year, Frank Ganun was the only representative of the highly touted Ocean Division to attend the practice night. He’s their Cal Ripken. The Kirby Korner at Cubby Cove opened early in the evening and stayed open late. There were no d├ęcor changes or updates from last year. TBG notes that Cubby is so interesting that his neighbors take off on HIS birthday.

After the matches, players headed to Rogers Pub on Beach 116 Street for a night of celebration to begin the 2012 volleyball season. Old friendships were renewed and new ones sprouted up amidst the good cheer and good food. Last year, the league welcomed Rich Rogers as a sponsor and he is happy to be back again. And he’s even happier with his team’s name, Rogers Irish Setters. Once again, Rich went old school on the menu with simple, home-cooked, delicious meatballs, baked ziti and fresh ham. And plenty of it, too. Next week, our annual top home cooker, Carmel, will put out a spread at the Kerry Hills Pub. What a one-two punch to start the summer!

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 2011 said they’d do anything to get in the league and they can start by supporting the 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. This season’s new corporate sponsor, Corona Light, came to Rogers for their first promotion of the season.

With every Corona Light purchase, a player received a raffle ticket. When the bar ran out of Corona Light, the raffle was held and Theresa and Her Husband Who Shall Not Be Named won a bicycle built for two (feet, not people) while another patron won a NY Rangers hockey jersey. For a minute the Erstwhile Husband thought he had won the Rangers Jersey but it was not meant to be, just as the Rangers game versus the Devils was not meant to be.

Corona spokesman William says there will be bikes raffled off each and every week of the RBVL season at the sponsoring bar and occasionally other goodies, too. And his spokes model colleague did not have to say anything. She just looked great. Wait until the referees find this out. Coach, would you like a reservation for a party of one at Kerry Hills next week? You might be riding home on a new bike.

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; 3. NO reaching over the net to interfere with a ball unless your opponent is directing the ball to your side of the court.

This year a player can receive a serve with open hands as long as they do it properly. The Rules Committee has decided to adopt the standard volleyball rule on a trial basis for 2012. Hopefully, it will lead to better overall volleyball and not an increase in illegal carries. We shall see. Each year we try to accommodate as many people as we can in the RBVL.

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. Some are young and some are not as young but they all are trying their best to call the games fairly. There has been occasional slippage in this department the last two seasons. However, we want them to improve their performance, too. To that end, please send us an e-mail (jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com) on Thursdays with a quick summary of the previous night’s ref. We’ll know who it was because we keep track of that stuff. It can be simply, “Ref was great.” Or give us some detail, “Ref called no net violations,” Ref called too many carries,” or “He called the game tighter than any ref this year.” .

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 athletic play.

The BVL has gone “green” and the Rules and 2012 Schedules are posted on the website. This saves the printing of thousands of pages of copies. Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed. signed rosters must be in by week three (June 13) at the latest. However, there is really no reason you can’t take care of that at the beach before your first game.

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 (The Stanii), Steve Gifford (Connolly’s), Denise Brunner (Thai Rock Island), John Sica (Blackwater Water Boarders) and Rocky and Joe Abbracciamento (Casino Towing). You can find them every week, playing ball on the beach. They are always available to help out on any matters and answer your questions but especially: Steve and Rocky for equipment issues, Denise and Joe for referee items, John, Rocky and Joe for articles for the Wave, Denise and Patty for uniforms and schedules.”

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. check our website at www.rbvl.com. Let the games begin!

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