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Spikers and Bumpers and Sets, Oh My!

By Joe McGivney       June 6, 2008

What a surprise – it rained on the RBVL Wednesday night at Riis Park.  After so many questionable weather nights over the years, players really have their routine down to a science.  By setting up quickly and on time they were rewarded with a window of just enough good volleyball weather to complete all matches.  The rains came but too late to affect play.  Then it was off to the bar which had a ceiling and walls and was very dry.  Everyone said they would be glad to pitch in and help out if the league expanded to 56 teams and all of our friends and neighbors were taken in.  Please start by doing something very simple - bring your nets up after the games as soon as possible. Your executive committee cannot leave until the last net and shovel are put away.  (And they like to go to the parties, too.)  Please continue to have patience when it comes time to set up your nets.  The bird fencing seems to change daily and we are being squeezed more and more.  If you are on the courts just to the right of the walkway you must set up as close to the walkway as possible.  If you do not, there is not enough room to fit our other courts in.

The Senior Living Sharks are taking the field this season without their longtime leader and man-about-town, Cubby.  Like his TV idol, George Jefferson, Cubby is “moving on up” to the second division to play with Captain Jimmy Mack’s squad.  In fact, the Brooklyn Window & Door team has honored him with the title of “Henchman.”  It’s kind of like an Assistant Captain but with much more serious and potentially leg-breaking overtones.  Think about this scenario.  Cubby’s team performs well this season and continues in the Wave division next year.  Rocky’s aging group falters again and drops from the Ocean to the Wave division.  Cubby and Rocky face off at the net for the first time in 20 years of league play.  Rocky attempts a spike and Cubby roofs him for the winning point.  It could happen.  After her match, Allison unfortunately got a flat tire in the parking lot.  Not too worry, there were plenty of able-bodied men available to help out.  First up, TBG and Earthquake Flanagan.  They hit a snag when TBG tried to change one of the tires that wasn’t flat.  Next up, Cubby, Jimmy and Howie showed up and fared a bit better.  All told it took five grown men of the RBVL almost two hours to change one flat tire.  Is that the Indy 500 Polish Pit Crew calling?  They’d fit in beautifully.

The Brooklyn Transplants have expanded to three teams.  New team captain, Beautiful Mike Newman, and co-captain, All-Net Elaine have been entrusted with the third franchise in the empire.  Can it be long before the Transplants take over an entire division?  They’re already using two huge fish-coolers each and every Wednesday night just to keep their three teams properly hydrated.  Something tells me those fish-coolers have never seen even a single guppy.  Earthquake Flanagan is the early choice for MVP on It’s All Good and it’s not because of his playing ability.  But rather it’s because he brings a radio to the matches and inspires his mates by blasting classic rock and roll music.  If Tommy hears Led Zeppelin you can almost guaranty a handful of aces.  If Murph hears Blue Oyster Cult you know a spike (or more cowbell) is imminent.  Don’t even ask what happens if Bugsy hears Brown Eyed Girl!  If Dickie’s satellite radio reception ever gets jammed because of inclement weather or lunar eclipse he travels with a back-up CD player.  Now that’s a true MVP, Kobe! 

Bugsy gave out uniforms to the eager throngs back at the Irish Circle, which set a 2008 RBVL attendance record.  That makes three weeks in a row that the players showed great support for their very generous sponsors.  And the Circle came up big as well with a terrific spread of food.  Hot dogs were wolfed down and pasta and meat balls were flying off the table.  And how about that vegetable fried rice for you Vegans.  The standards were set very high by the Blackwater and Healy’s and the Irish Circle answered the bell, too.  The DJ and the rocking tunes completed the party.  The Sharks won their match 3-2 against Connolly’s, who fell short despite the efforts of G3 (George Sullivan III.) and their fabulous four women.  Welcome back to Tommy Morgan. John Brennan’s group hug didn’t work and he’s thinking about going back to his old ways next week.  Happy birthday, Andrew.  It won’t be long before you’re on the team.  A second happy birthday who goes to Tommy D. for turning 41, although he noted his body felt like it was 81.  Casino Towing was led to a hard-fought 4-1 victory over Jameson’s by their stellar setters, Sarah and Kathy.  These young girls had to be nearly perfect for the old men up front and they were.  Keith’s spikes, TC’s overall play and Sean’s voodoo jinx were not quite enough to pull the upset.  The beachside court had to have had a dead body, skull, small deceased farm animal or chicken bones buried under the sand because no points could be won there by either side.  The Bay House Babes beat the Irish Circle and seem to have gotten their mojo back.  Pier 92 Piranha’s want to dedicate their one win to Bodie.  He’s so hot right now.  They also debuted their 2008 tie-dye shirt design, tie-dye and looking fly! 

Robin Shapiro Realty won 4 out of 5 games from the Suns of Beaches but not without suffering injuries like the hit one of their comrades took in a sensitive area that all men can feel when it strikes one of their own.  Denise was seen sporting a shiner, courtesy of Bobby, who didn’t even want to play all five games.  Her son, Shane, tried in vain to make it right for mom but fell short.  Matty’s shuffle was nice to watch and at least there were no frozen feet leaving the court unlike last week where the first cases of frostbite at a beach were cited.  Yves St. La Dima, ever the slave to fashion, wore his new cabana wear straight from Boca del Vista Phase 2.  Janice played with total disregard for her face and body and Big Dan brought his “A” game as Last Call swept to a 5-0 win.  Remember, all questionnaires are due next week; a scale and measuring tape will be available for those needing them.  You’ve got to love Alyssa who named the team and brings plastic wine glasses to the beach to enjoy her Merlot.  Bar 13 NYC gave Commissioner Bugsy’s team false hope for the playoffs and they want to warn next week’s opponents.  They’ll be back with a vengeance and hopefully a few more spikes, that is, if they get off the lifeguard tower on time.  Blackwater swept Sands Point 5-0.  It’s still the same story as last week, King Toe-Mos is the best player on the entire team but Blackout killed it too.  Phil is a great new replacement for his bro, Devon.  Thank God.  Smell ya, Smokey!  The Grey Beards will hold a blood drive this Sunday at St. Francis. on 129th St. In the gym.  Next week the league will welcome back our special athletes from St. Camillus Special Olympics.  They will be setting up a net and playing alongside us.  They are known as the Volley Warriors.  Feel free to stop by and cheer them on.  George Johnson notes that his new sponsor, McCarthy & Kelly LLP, is available in case you need an attorney.  Perhaps you could use them for a personal injury case the next time you go up for a spike and CB comes flying under and/or through the net and crashes into you in the sand.  Mary is still sandwiched between George and Danny in the rotation and it doesn’t look like that is going to be changing any time soon.

Note:  If there is an extra piece of equipment in the volleyball bag please don’t put it back in the bag at the end of the night.  Put it aside and give it to one of the “equipment specialists,” Rocky or Steve or just bring it to the room.  The early feedback about the new referees was positive and the same could be said about this year’s three important rules:

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.

Finally, if you are in a division that features players hitting hard-driven balls at your head, Rule 13.4.2a states that, “In defensive action of a hard-driven ball, the ball can be held momentarily overhand with the fingers. Momentarily held or double-hit balls are not considered faults.”

Keep up the good work throughout the entire season.  As always, if you have any questions during the week, please call Patty Moule at 917-613-0908.  (Be sure to call between 10 AM and 9 PM.)  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.

See you on the beach!