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RBVL Hits the Beach

By Joe McGivney                                                          5/27/16


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League kicked of the 2016 season Wednesday night at Riis Park with its annual practice night.  All 78 teams were invited and about half took part in the festivities.  The early weather forecasts were good and the actual weather was even better than good.  Many said it could be the best day they’ll see all summer season, and the season hasn’t even officially started yet.  80° with sun and no wind made the conditions perfect.  That only helped Colleen and Theresa distribute uniforms to the masses.  And how about some of those neon pastels?  That hot pink really brought out your blue eyes, Johnny.  Are the wild shirts part of the RBVL Steinbrenner’s plan to stay on top?  We’ll see, Rusty.


The 2016 season will feature some new team names and several new sponsors.  Welcome to all and to any new players as well.  The RBVL is happy to have you onboard.  We’ll see you at Riis Park every Wednesday until 8/13.  On Saturday, 8/13, the league championships will be played, starting in the morning and running until the afternoon, when ten champs will be crowned.  Then the real fun begins as teams try to outdo each other, partying late into the night.  The first night back on the beach ran smoothly with the help of many players, young and old, 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.  What didn’t go as smoothly was the bumping, setting and spiking!  It gets harder and harder each year.  However, the carrying looked to be in mid-season form.  Come early each Wednesdays and check the information board to find out where you are playing.  And bring your GPS system; you’ll need it. 


Each year we try to accommodate as many people as we can in the RBVL.  Most of you have offered your assistance many times over the years and now we really need it.  We have many new refs, some of whom are learning on the job.  Some are young and some are not as young 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.  (There has been occasional slippage in this department the last two seasons.)  However, we want them to improve their performance, too.  To that end, please send us an e-mail (jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com) on Thursdays with a quick summary of the previous night’s ref.  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.  Some of the new refs were shown the ropes by Joe, including where to buy yellow and red cards.  They also attended a seminar to review rules and regulations and expectations for the upcoming matches.  They even got to do some “student teaching” by working some of the practice games.  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

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! 


Welcome back to all of the returning sponsors and to the newest sponsors of RBVL teams.  The league would not flourish without your financial support and is very grateful for your help.  RBVL players should consider using some of the many league sponsors for personal items.  After all, these businesses supported you when you needed them; why not return the favor and support them if you need services they provide.  Your league has become the place to be during the summer in Rockaway.  Remember that has happened primarily because of great camaraderie and sportsmanship more than great athletic play, although there is quite a bit of that, too.  On an administrative note, the RBVL has gone “green” and the Rules and 2016 Schedules are posted on the website.  This saves the printing of thousands of pages of copies.  Captains who have handed in unsigned rosters must now get them signed.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week one (6/1) at the latest.  Captains are reminded that they can have team items entered in the weekly Wave article by showing up at the sponsor bar or by e-mailing Joe at jmcgivney2@nyc.rr.com by 11 PM on Wednesday night.  The RBVL has a Facebook page and, if you like it, you will receive timely updates, whoever you are, captain or not.  Your RBVL Committee members will be around each and every week to help out on any matters and answer your questions. 


Rosters are also waivers and must be signed by players the first week of the season.  For this reason and reasons of fair play, teams are not permitted to pick up players from the sidelines on nights they are shorthanded, not even if the opposing captain approves it.  If you need players for your roster, let us know what you need; there are many individual players looking to join the RBVL.  President Patty Moule and her Committee members have one major complaint with league players.  It is a problem that has persisted over the years and there is no reason for it at all.  Each and every week, a handful of teams return their nets to the equipment room late. That means Equipment Manager Extraordinaire, Steve, and several other Committee members cannot leave for the after-party and must needlessly sit around and wait.  And don’t just wait for the deadline time; bring your net back immediately after your game.  Then go back and finish your beverages and chit-chat.  Steve does inventory every week.  That helps keep the equipment coming back.  Have some consideration.  It’s the least you can do. 


The Human Quote Machine summed up the practice evening, “I had a hip replacement and I can’t play this year.”  Sorry, he summed up his season not the practice night.  And then he flew off on the flailing zephyr to new Platonic heights.  Cement Shoes and the Volleyball Player Formerly Known as TBG both receive MVP votes for their two man cooler work which began right at the start of the practice week.  By August they should be in gold medal form once again.  And reporters are trying to pry loose stories of their vacation trip with Seal to the Octogenarian Eden, St. Petersburg, Florida.  So far, nothing.  Stay tuned.


Wednesday, 6/1 will be opening day and play will continue every Wednesday until 8/13.  On Saturday, 8/13, the league championships will be played – keep your schedules clear.  Every year it’s a blast!  It will only be a couple of months before the ultimate “Survivor” battle begins on the tropical island shores of Riis Park.  Right now there is a 78 way tie for first place but that ends next week.  It will only be five days until the bumping, setting, spiking and carrying for real begins so loosen up the bones and stretch out those muscles. Next week the games and scores count.  Let the games begin! 


See you on the beach on 6/1 for RBVL opening day - season #27!