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RBVL Plays for Keeps

By Joe McGivney                                                          6/3/16


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League kicked off the 2016 regular season Wednesday night at Riis Park and opening day was a smash hit.  The weather was cool with a moderate wind but quite enjoyable and very playable.  The RBVL opened 2016 with 78 teams, a new league record.  Ten divisions of different levels of play will battle on the beach every Wednesday after the long cold off-season.  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.  Only 8 teams out of 78 did not get even a single win in their first match.  (You know who you are.)  That means 8 teams are leading their divisions with 5-0 records – Serves ‘Em Right, Downtown Digga’s, IFMA’s, Riis Park Beach Bazaar, Kerry Hills Pub, Five Rock, Boarders Surf Shop and Sands Point PT.  Mad ups, tons of spiked balls and sick blocks were all reported to league writers.  Did anybody actually witness this superb playing?   What court number was it on?


Casino Auto Body defeated The Mighty Boosh four games to one, with standout performances by the deft passing and setting of Lauren Ganun, Brianne Johnston and returning Cali girl, Sarah McCarthy.  After being away for two seasons Sarah had to catch up with her teammates.  Did you file for early SSI, Joe?  What kind of diabetes medicine are you considering, Rocky?  Have you considered knee replacement, Stan?  Is that all your own natural hair, CB?  This is how it goes when a twenty-something has to chat with the elder statesmen of the league.  One joust at the net had two players going at it who totaled 116 years of age.  And later, Rocky lowered the hammer on several powerful kills, all while wearing a collared RBVL administration shirt.  Hopefully, GQ was watching.  Emergency girl, Alana McCarthy, may not be needed as much this season now that her sister has returned to NY and she seems very happy with that notion.


The Atlantic Service Sandsharks shook off the rust to take a 4-1 win over the Rincon Gringos on the night.  All the matches were good and close against a great team.  Happy anniversary to Rob and Kristen, MVPs of the night.  A couple of the guys celebrated at Whits with some jerk chicken.  A new superstition might have been born; jerk chicken equals team victory.  Last week, the Bungalow Baranha’s joined together with the IFMA's and scrimmaged with the Netropolitans, formerly Wine with Sue, formerly Harry and the Hancocks.  They also learned something new after being in the league many years.  Most people drop the boundary line with six people, four on the corner stakes and two to hold the center pegs.  But Bodie showed them how to do it with one person and it worked!  Ask them to show you the trick.  This week the Baranha’s took 3 from the White Horse to start the season on a winning note.  In the Moon division the longtime "Island" team has yet another name and new sponsor. "Chicks to Go" on 97th and the Blvd. was kind enough to sponsor the team which had a great opening night winning 4 of 5 from Rogers Irish Setters.  Aside from having a winning team they also have delicious chicken!  And if the team loses next week the chicken is still delicious.  Welcome to Rob, the newest team member.  And thanks to Dennis (Banzai) for spending his birthday with us.  Freedhand’s and Bungalow Bar met in week one and the results paralleled their finals match a year ago when Bungalow squeaked out a 3-2 victory.  Now it looks like they have two huge players who make a living smacking volleyballs.  Good luck Ocean Division.


Rathbones eked out a 3-2 win over longtime adversary Harbor Light; their rivalry seems to be as old as the Curse of the Bambino.  DysFUNctional’s 4-1 rout of the Social Yachties has people asking, “Who are the dysfunctional ones here?”  And how competitive is the Wave division with four teams winning 3 – Edison Place, Eh-Stay, Pico and Whit’s End and four teams winning 2 – Dalton’s Grill, JG Diggin ‘n Swiggin, Sand Spikers and the Cabana, Long Beach, NY?  That’s as tight as you can get.  On a palindromic evening (6-1-16) some players reminisced about their palindromic championship year of 2002.  And the palindromic family went 4-1 and 1-4.  Eerie!  Others said they should get over this palindromic nonsense since 2002 was 14 years ago.  Let it go, Mailman Formerly Known as TBG!  This is 2016.


A mix-up occurred on Wednesday and original party host, Playland, had to cancel.  Players were pretty good about coming up with Plan B’s that included staying at the beach and finishing up their coolers or going to their favorite watering holes in Rockaway.  Next week’s party is at Rogers, which always supplies some of the best grub each season to go along with their hidden gem, a spectacular juke box.  Put the date on your calendar (and all of the other Wednesday party dates, too).  If you did not pick up your uniforms this week do it before the matches next week.

The RBVL has been squeezed out of storage space at Riis Park; who knows where your shirts will end up?  Your sponsors paid good money to back your efforts so get their names out there for all to see.


Welcome back Katie Honan, our newest “cub reporter.”  Katie has writing skills, class, ability, intelligence and youth, five things not often associated with Rocky, Joe and John.  Keep up the good work.  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. 


We are trying our hardest with refs, but we always have the potential to run short.

That’s what happens when the league grows as big as the RBVL has.  The captains have been informed of this tough spot on many occasions and the general feedback is that everyone wants the big league in spite of the referee shortage.  So play ball, be fair, have fun.  If you know anyone interested in being a ref, please send them our way!   And be nice to the young refs; they’ll be playing beside you and across the net from you in a couple of years.  And they’re great kids.  Believe me, no ref has 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.)   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.  SIGNED rosters must be in by week two (6/8) at the latest.  Bring them to Patty or any of the RVBL Committee members you can find.  As a reminder, 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 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.


See you on the beach!