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RBVL Off and Running 

  By John Sica           6/3/11

Opening night 2011 and 70 teams came to play ball.  All reports came in that things went smooth and no conflict for space arose with our feathered neighbors.   Just a couple of friendly reminders:  All nets are assigned by court number.  Net number 9 goes to court number 9.  At the beginning of each year there are always a few people who forget or are unaware.   They take the wrong net, get to their court and see a net being set up, and drop the mis-taken net at their court.  That leaves the proper net owners combing the beach like a Sherpa guide looking for their net.  This happened three times opening night.  That number should shrink to zero in week two.  The first night of game action on the beach ran smoothly with the help of many players who pitched in to help out.  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.   

The “tornado that wasn’t” blew in a mixed opening night of wind, calm, sun and clouds, and volleyball and merriment.  Teams moved up and down in the off season but everyone landed on their feet, or derriere in the sand.  The Blackwater Boarders showed their age against Third and Long going 2-3 in their introduction to the Wave division.  Two long time missing veteran girls of the league made the best of the passes that were sent their way, Rita Sica and Mary Smith after a 10 year absence.  The two new young players, Dylan and MJ, provided some fresh legs, bailing out old timers, Steve, Smitty and John  Sica.  The team is hoping for some help from the former Communist block.  Sands Point Physical Therapy took only 2 games against Simba’s Pride in a closely played match.  After losing the first game in OT and then going down 0-3 they came back strong as the wind died down, winning the last two.  Jake and Jessica had strong games and newcomers Riely and Josh had impressive introductions into the league.  Luckily no one needed Sands Points services after an injury free opening week. 

The Beach Bums weren’t Bums after all, despite taking the last space shuttle to new heights, moving three divisions with Patty and Denise piloting the ship.  Despite their rocket climb they took three in a closely played match over the Kerry Hills, who hosted the after-game festivities.  Glenn decided to show up for the first week.  Even though he spent a week in Florida he still had the worst tan on the team.   The Rockaway Breakers took all five games this opening week.  Don’t tell me they’re getting serious.  One of the best party teams winning five?  Don’t worry, they kept up both ends of the bargain at the Kerry Hills Pub, showing they are still a team to be reckoned with off the court.  While Rusty was chasing tornadoes in Connecticut, the Rockaway Breakers swept their match 5-0.  No Rusty, no losses.  Do the math.  As usual the food at the Kerry Hills was superb.  Their famous Sheppard’s pie gets better every year.  Their Italian fair is like from the old country, meatballs, lasagna, spare ribs and sausage and peppers.  And this year they added a desert, the sensuous Ambrosia salad.  Maybe Carmel will change up her menu next year and just order some pizza from Domino’s. 

If McDonough wants to be the captain of Connolly’s he must set a better example.   Anybody can act like Mr. Happy; Connolly’s was hoping for an upgrade.  You don’t need red hair to be a captain.  Oh yeah, Mr. Happy doesn’t have red hair anymore.  Grace continues to improve every week so far.  Oh yeah it’s only been one week.  Speaking of Mr. Happy, Steve-o will be competing in a great charity, fun event this Saturday, at the little league field, starting at 12 noon.  There will be a home run derby, the Gray Riders band performing, a Marine Corp vs. Army game and the dunk tank challenge, featuring many of the Rockaway people you would love to send into a dunk tank as they raise money for charity.  Also included are DJ MC and a free BBQ.  Bring your beach chairs, coolers and stay for the day for this fun community event.  The Harbor Light Brooklyn Transplants won 3-2 this week with their newest addition Fuzzy Naval serving up success.  After two straight years of not making the playoffs, the Transplants are not leaving anything to chance.  Danny Segrue, and Lauren Atwood played well without the intimidating presence of coach Sherk, Pat Connolly.  Due to complaints from the community we are required to have at least one article a season without mentioning the name of the most interesting man alive.  Sorry C…. 

U Got Served won the match 3-2, but the Bud Light highlight of the game was made by Bryan Elfant when he made a spectacular save on a ball.  He didn’t save the ball, he dove five feet across the back line to knock the ball away from hitting his Bud Light.  “Our sponsors thank Bryan.”  The Federation moved up to the Ocean Breeze Division but will have to wait another week to find out how they stack up as they played old rival, JG Electric , who moved up with them.  The match was well played on both sides as JG won 3-2.  For the Federation, Pat Glenn came up huge with a key block to win game four.  Tommy and Ryan and Maureen all played great.  As usual, Greg couldn’t play in many games, as he had more important obligations.   (Little League)  The joys of parenthood.  Nothing better, cherish the memories.  Sullivan and Galleshaw took 2 of 5 from Freedhands former court champs.  Richie was trying a new move, spiking it into Tommy D’s hands.  It didn’t work.  Good blocks Tom.    Freedhands has retooled for this year, bringing in some younger talent and hoping to recapture their old glory.   

It’s All Good was coached to a 5-0 victory by Murph, who is in line to replace Jim Tressel at Ohio State.  Unfortunately he was wearing his Michigan colors and was seen coming out of the tattoo parlors and getting into his late model new car.  Although the “not to be named player” hole members don’t come to the bar until late, they showed up at midnight as reinforcements in the night, and sure enough Carmel had plenty of food for them.  Remember when you hollered at ref Tommy Kearns for relentlessly calling all of your carries on a Wednesday night.  Well now we need you to holler a little more.  Tommy had gotten ill a week ago and is slowly recovering.  So holler out a few prayers for one of our founding fathers, who is a good man and a great friend of the RBVL.  Tommy and his family would really appreciate it. 

All refs were reminded of the 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 have many new refs, some of whom are learning on the job but they all are trying their best to call the games fairly.  Believe me, they do not have an ax to grind with any of our teams and we need you to treat them with respect. 

Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week three (6/15) at the latest.  However, there is really no reason you can’t take care of that at the beach before your first game.  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!