2013-08-30 / Sports

RBVL Players BeginWinter Hibernation

By Joe McGivney

On Saturday, August 10th, volleyballs flew all day on the sands of Riis Park as contestant’s battled for titles in nine different graded divisions of play in the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League playoffs.

When the day ended and the smoke had cleared, nine division champions were crowned and were awarded the fabled winner’s sweatshirts in the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League. Congratulations to the nine winners; they worked hard to get to the top of the pack.

The beloved sweatshirts have been ordered and captains will be notified as soon as they arrive. Once again, Chris from It’s All Good Tees is working OT to make this all happen as quickly as possible. Every year he comes through for us and we can’t thank him enough, especially this year when his business was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

By the end of Championship Saturday, the mood was both festive and bittersweet as the 2013 season ended and the joy of another terrific year was offset by the sadness that many friends would go their separate ways over the next 10 months, not seeing each other quite as regularly anymore. More than a few people were weepy! And the season was even more special coming on the heels of Hurricane Sandy when many residents didn’t know what was happening day to day.

Even now, many folks and businesses are struggling to make it back from the devastating storm. However, they knew that each and every Wednesday evening they could put aside their troubles for a few hours of volleyball, a couple of cold beverages and an hour or two on the dance floor. The people lucky enough to be in the RBVL know it doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you all for making the season a great success.

Commissioner Patty Moule outdid herself again although she selflessly deflected credit to her committee of Rocky, Steve, Denise, John and Joe for a job well done. Patty and Denise and the men of the RBVL committee would like to say, “Thank you,” to all players and friends who help along the way simply by being nice, understanding and cooperative. You are what make the leaguer so great. And thanks for helping us keep an eye on the few people who always seem to find something to complain about. (Thankfully, there are not many of those folks.)

“And thanks to all who helped out on “Playoff Saturday,” reffing, tracking scores, updating the scoreboard and basically doing whatever was necessary to make the day run smoothly. It takes a lot to pull off the Greatest Day in Sports but Rockaway does it every year. Thanks to Corona Light who provided a generous donation (and some delicious frosty beverages) and thanks to all the sponsors who contributed financially. Your financial help is essential. And Rockaway WISH extends their thanks to the RBVL for their generous $500 donation. Kelli Donohue-Tirado is most grateful. And Mr. Happy is also grateful that the late net return fines went to a good cause.

Commissioner Patty traditionally concludes the 2013 season with her final thoughts: “To all RBVL Players, Friends, Family, Referees, Sponsors and Future RBVL Players, Here goes: As I get older, the season just keeps going faster. The RBVL is my second family and it gives me so much pleasure to see my son Alex and my daughter, Lauren playing and little Juliana keeping score. I look around and see all different families of all ages playing together and it gives me such a good feeling of contentment. I want to thank all the players, refs and fans who make the RBVL such a wonderful experience to be a part of. It’s magical. As always, I want to thank my RBVL committee members who continue to amaze me. As we age, they are more hard working then ever (OK most of them are retired now) and they truly are one of the most cohesive groups I ever had the pleasure of working with. They are a well-oiled machine that improves as the years go on. (Is the oil actually Ben Gay?) They are: Denise Brunner - treasurer, refs, scheduling court assignments, sweatshirt orders - she really is the brains of this outfit; I am just a figure head. She amazed me by doing much of her RBVL work via the internet from Texas. Rocky Dorogoff - equipment meister, cub reporter, playoff social organizer - he tirelessly takes on many tasks. The same goes for Steve Gifford who runs that equipment room like a tight ship. Look out next year as he creates new ways to examine those bags. No one better be rude to our Stevie or they will have to answer to me. Joe McGivney - cub reporter, email guru and rules chairman. He continues to be my voice of reason and “right hand man” though he has gotten a little less patient with unsportsmanlike behavior as he ages. And last but certainly not least, John Sica - web meister and cub reporter. He is a “nice guy” and just wants everyone to be happy. He makes it look so easy. I’m looking forward to seeing you around town. Have a great year.”

Everyone in Rockaway is getting a bit verklempt just thinking about the season coming to end. What the RBVL does for Rockaway is quite magical. Just because the league is officially over doesn’t mean that the volleyball games must stop. Action should continue around the beach for several more weeks. The Thunder Dome at 127th Street should be busy this Labor Day if there is no sand pumping on Monday evening. And in a short while, Aviator Sports will start up their fall indoor league, in which many of our players take part. As always, if you have any volleyball questions 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. (There are a fair few playoff pictures posted, too.)

See you on the beach in 2014! Practice week is scheduled for May 21st, 2014, Opening Day is May 28th, and Playoff Saturday is set for August 9th, 2014. Mark your calendars.

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