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Sun Shines on RBVL Practice Night 

Cubby and friends get off to a good start to the year, at the Healy's after party.

The first night of volleyball has meant one thing to Rockaway residents most years - torrential rain!  However, for the second straight year the sun was shining and hundreds of early birds bumped, set and spiked for the first time in nine months.  (I'm sure there will be a few sore bodies on Thursday.)  Although it was dry, the winds were gusting at record volleyball highs.  Undaunted, players forged ahead.  What in the world did Simon Says Sea Bar and Robin Shapiro Realty Island do to warrant a referee for their practice game?  Nothing really.  Veteran ref, Joe Abbracciamento, was just showing some of the new refs the ropes, including where to buy yellow and red cards.  The new refs also attended a seminar to review rules and regulations and expectations for the upcoming matches.  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.)

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.  Remember, we all just want to play - - - volleyball!  Not jungle ball!   

The late night beach party crowd, led by Jimmy Mack and Cubby, were practicing at practice night in a “Cubby” hole behind the buildings, protected from the ferocious wind.  In order for a practice to be productive though, they should really practice drinking under real conditions and face the mighty wind.  Cubby’s rehab from a broken leg in the winter seems to be coming along fine.  I’m not sure how this works but the 12 oz. curls he’s been doing are healing his leg?  Due to the injury, he may have to remove himself from the annual vertical leap competition.  (Cement Leg?) 

Afterwards, it looked like the middle of the summer as scores of revelers flocked to Healy’s for a night of celebration to begin the 2007 volleyball season.  Taps flowed, bottles were cold and the libations were plentiful.  The bar put out a great food spread (provided by Board Walk Bagel) for 40 but unfortunately (for the food) 100 players showed up for the first party.  The meal was devoured in minutes by the barracudas that attended.  Fortunately, the record first night crowd did what they do best, partied late into the evening.  If the first night is an indication, the parties may set attendance records this summer.  Sponsors, be prepared!   

Shirts and schedules were distributed to all of the teams and summer friendships were renewed as the RBVL revved up its engines to speed ahead to the Summer of '07.  A special thanks to Bugsy for the outside setup, giving the inside drinkers more elbow room.  While most gals are thrilled with the new uniform colors, the guys are asking, “Sky Blue?  Sea Foam Green?  Dusty Rose?  Do they help me get laid?”  They better be thankful that Patty didn’t assign them Hot Pink, as she had desired.  Seriously, everyone loves the new earth tone shirts and the committee members appreciate the positive feedback.  The Rat Pack is happy to be sponsored by Healy’s as they traveled back to the future, landing in the spot in which many of them started out. 

It appeared that the first night would end on a low note for the Brunners when Jack went home after volleyball to find his car had been stolen.  Denise couldn’t understand why thieves would take her car when there were so many other nicer cars on the block.  In fact, she asked Jack that very question.  After thinking a bit, he realized he had left the car on 129th St. at 4 PM and forgot all about it.  They returned to the scene of the “crime” and sure enough, the car was right where he left it, double-parked in the middle of the street.  Thank God he remembered to take the kids with him earlier in the day. 

Does anyone know a better way to spend your birthday than at the beach with a few hundred of your friends and a few wagons of brew?  Happy birthday, Pat Connelly.  You’re a man after my own heart.  The Yoda of Quotes and Headlines, TBG is off and running.  Sporting his championship sweatshirt of 2002, Murph simply claimed, “I am going to put the team on my back and carry them to another title, just like I did in 2002.”  Seal wondered if his mind has gone down the tubes like his running, jumping, bumping, setting and spiking abilities.  How is he going to do this after losing his two best young players to the Mighty Boosh?  (Some are saying that It’s All Good Tees is just their farm team.)  TBG wonders what’s next for the Sharks, who went from the Irish Circling Sharks to the Sunrise Senior Living Sharks?  Could it be the Greenwood Cemetery Sharks?  Stay tuned.  The entire division will look spiffy in their new “Lungy Green” uniforms.  Joe and Eddie compared their new hair plugs and concluded Joe’s “Marv Alpert” style looked better than Eddie’s “Donald Trump” ones.  And why did Eddie spend all of that money on white plugs?  They make him look even older than his actual 59. 

The Belle Harbor Physical Therapy Posse (formerly Beach Posse) was ”estrogenized” at Healy’s with the girls out on a manhunt.  They found none.  Congratulations to Bobby, Greg, John and Casey on their graduations.  Thanks to Mahmoud and Ahmed for their sponsorship.  Boys, get your hands ready!  Even though A Night Out didn’t all get to go out, a sincere and special thanks goes out to Kevin for leaving two other family parties to attend the practice night.  Rumor has it that he had to dig up the old, hard sand that was lying there all winter and then show some of the newcomers how to set the nets up.  (And he didn't even get to play!)  You are a true team player.  We are your new family now. Who cares if you relatives don't ever speak to you again?  Welcome, Paul.  Billy, we are sorry to hear about your broken knuckles.  Please make a speedy recovery.  The Ozone Layer, formerly known as the Bayview Bashers, formerly known as the Bikini Bottom All Stars, formerly known as Generation X and Y, formerly known as Casino Towing, formerly known as many other names over the past two decades, are still awaiting their new signee, who is living in her own private Idaho.  It seems that Julie, who has lived in Rockaway for four days, can’t find Riis Park.  If anyone has seen her wandering around looking for the beach, please call John Sica.  Meanwhile TJ Toohey has been signed to a two-year deal by the Ozone Layers, who forgave him for his one-year free agency deal, which took him away from the team.  The Layers are also awaiting Steve to return from Arizona and Carol, Timmy and Mary to leave their porch at sunset.  Welcome to all the new teams and players.  We're happy to have you all onboard the RBVL express.   

Wednesday, 5/30 will be opening day and play will continue every Wednesday until 8/11.  However, this year there will be one exception.  Since the 4th of July is a Wednesday, the league has moved the weekly matches to Tuesday, 7/3.  Make a note on your calendar and get ready for a great night of volleyball followed by an even better party.  On Saturday, 8/11, the league championships will be played and the RBVL Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, 9/14. 


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 rules will be enforced in ALL divisions without exception.  Don't take this out on your ref!  He or she is just doing his job.  All 7 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 (Bay House Babes), Bugsy Goldberg (It’s All Good Tees), Steve Gifford (Connolly’s), Denise Brunner (Robin Shapiro Realty Island), John Sica (The Ozone Layers) and Rocky and Joe Abbracciamento (Casino Towing).  You can find them every week on the beach. 

Before we sign off, condolences to the Kearns family for their loss – our thoughts and prayers are with you.  Next week the games and scores count.   As always, if you have any questions before then please call Patty Moule at 917-566-2809.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.  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!