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RBVL Rained Out at Riis Park              

By Joe McGivney                            6/11/10

It occurs as rarely as Haley’s Comet but the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League cancelled the entire slate of volleyball action at 4:45 PM on Wednesday, two hours before game time.  In the olden days of twelve teams and six refs, an attempt might have been made to play and everyone would have had to trudge down to the beach.  But in the new world of 68 teams, 34 refs and 34 nets, the attempt would have been disastrous.  The logistics of contacting so many people in such a short time make early decisions nearly a necessity.  This time the decision was a good one as lightning and thunder later joined the steady rains.  Who knows what will happen the next time?  Have sympathy for your executive committee if the skies miraculously clear at 6:30 PM after they have postponed a future match at 5:30 PM.  They are making the best choice they can within the boundaries of common sense and safety.  Who is willing to stand up and admit that they put the curse on the RBVL after the first week of the season by saying, “We’ll probably not have this perfect weather again all summer.”  You know who you are.  You must take responsibility for the rotten weather Wednesday night which forced a complete cancellation of all scheduled matches. 

Different divisions have “Position Nights” scheduled at different times during the season.  This rainout week’s schedule will be played instead of the first “Position Night,” whenever that comes around in your division.  Bonnie and Erin Walsh formed a new “Idea” committee with Commissioner Patty and they came up with several good thoughts already.  Bobby Balmes of the Beach Bums wins the “First In the Bar” award for arriving at Healy’s in a very timely fashion.  It was almost as if he prefers partying to volleyball.  Very unusual!  Pat Gallagher represented her rookie team, The White Horse Tavern Beach Posse, well again and is just happy to be in.  Tom Touhey of Sands Point PT noted that his sponsor wouldn’t have to handle any Thursday morning sprained ankles or backs this week because of the rainouts.  Kudos go out to equipment managers Steve and Rocky who were at Riis Park for three hours in the rain checking and repairing nets and poles while many players were home watching “Joanie Loves Chachi” re-runs.  Mr. Happy makes his first appearance in print this season and notes that the Side Out Babes must have prayed for rain because they didn’t look like they wanted to face the first place powerhouse known as Connolly’s.  They even lost to Connolly’s 2-1 at the bar although those low totals mean both squads were pathetic.  What happened to Ex-Co-Captain McDonough?  After being home all day, shouldn’t he run up to Healy’s for a free meal?  After all, they had salads.  G3 from Connolly’s biked to the bar and took the cycling title away from Mr. Happy who drove his car because he didn’t want to get wet.


Rusty of the Rockaway Breakers was still missing from action.  What diabolical plan could he possibly be working on and why was he recently seen shopping for a spandex unitard?  Once again, the Vinny-less Bar Flies showed up in force and busted up the dance floor.  Bar Flies 2 – Rusty 0.  Tara and her posse were circling in their usual frenzy  and showed up sporting pink mustaches and tiaras to celebrate her birthday #23, an age most of the league cannot even remember.  (Some members were celebrating our country’s bicentennial birthday when they were 23.)  They immediately sparked a fire in Healy’s and before long Commissioner Patty was sporting her very own Bollywood pink mustache.  It was cute but very disturbing nonetheless.  (Pictures are on the website if you don’t believe the report.)  Rumor had it that Vinny went back home when his pink mustache turned purple in the rain.  Last week Bugsy thrashed his It’s All Good squad with a two beer post game tirade.  The tongue lashing seems to have paid off as the team went undefeated this week.  TBG missed no serves, Cement Shoes missed no spikes, Seal missed no digs and Kirby missed no opportunity to crack open another cold one.  It may go down in history right next to the Knute Rockne speech for the Gipper.  The Cubby Hole was closed Wednesday and where was the most interesting man in the world?  No one knows but it is almost certain that he stayed thirsty, my friends.  He doesn’t drink beer often but when he does he makes sure it is a Dos Equis, or Corona, or Budweiser, or Heineken, or Coors or … 


Owner Tom Healy served up two 6-foot heroes and was ready to order pizza if the crowd got even bigger than expected.  Instead, the crowd was even less than expected.  Alas, the RBVL members embarrassed themselves and their big party reputation by their absence.  By 8 PM only nine folks had shown up and three of them were Patty and her family.  Then things picked up a bit until 40 stout-hearted troopers braved the elements to stop by.  They thoroughly enjoyed the delicious chicken cutlet and Italian subs and were treated royally by bartenders, Bob O and Kevin, while Tom Jr. tended to their dancing needs with a fine mix of music, highlighted by some great 80’s tunes.  Tommy Tunes, eat your heart out!  After three weeks, the perfect attendance award can only be won by a handful of revelers at this point and that is very sad.  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 that said they’d do anything to get in the league 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 quick math tells us that 8 new teams times 12 players per team = 96 new league members who previously claimed they would do anything to get into the RBVL.  How about showing up at the post-game parties for starters?  If you are under 21, you have an excuse; if you are over 21, you do not.


The first night on the beach ran smoothly with the help of many players 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 Wednesday and check the information board to find out where you are playing.  Here is your weekly reminder 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.  Remember, we all just want to play - - - volleyball!  Not jungle ball! 

We asked that you send an e-mail (jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com) on Thursdays with a quick summary of the previous night’s ref even if you don’t know his name.  (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”.  You get the idea – brief and to the point, both good and bad.  Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.  So far, only four critiques have been received.  That must mean that every other ref is doing a near-perfect job.  That’s great news.

On an administrative note, the RBVL has gone “green” and the 2010 Rules and 2010 Schedules are now corrected and posted on the website.  This saved thousands of pages of copies being printed.  Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week three (6/16) at the latest.  In case you are calendar-challenged that is next week.  The magnitude of the league (and the uniform order) seems to make it more difficult each season to have the shirts ready for the practice week.  But sit tight, they’ll be here any minute.  As always, if you have any questions please call Patty at 917-613-0908.  (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. 


See you on the beach!