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RBVL Hits the Beach

By Joe McGivney                                                                5/26/17


The Rockaway Beach Volleyball League kicked of the 2017 season Wednesday night at Riis Park with its annual practice night.  All 76 teams were invited but only about 20 took part in the festivities.  The early weather forecasts were shaky but the actual weather was pretty good, probably better than average for the RBVL.  60° with no wind made the conditions perfect.  That only helped Colleen and Theresa and family distribute uniforms to the masses.  And how about some of those neon pastels?  Rocky and Joe will be wearing hot pink for the first time in 28 years.  Take note, ladies.  The only thing the NPS would allow new RBVL president Steve Gifford to use for storage is a temporary POD tucked in the weeds near Cubby Corner.  And Steve pulled it off despite the difficulties of using a storage bin stuck in the middle of a remote area since no NPS rooms were available.


The 2017 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 8/12.  On Saturday, 8/12, 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. 


Rosters are also waivers and must be signed by all players by practice week (Wednesday past) or delivered to Patty at 550 B. 133rd St. by Monday 5/29 or you will forfeit the first week 5/31.  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. 



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.


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 2017 Schedules are posted on the website.  This saves the printing of thousands of pages of copies.  Each and every week, a handful of teams return their nets to the equipment room late.  Now our room is a POD in the woods.  We must have the equipment returned promptly each week.  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.  Have some consideration.  It’s the least you can do.   Captains, you are reminded that the RBVL is your league and you are responsible for your team’s behavior.  Step up to nip any problems in the bud.


Cement Shoes and The Big Guy once again flew off on the flailing zephyr to new Platonic heights and received early season votes for MVP 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.  What two famous athletes said, “I will not leave my team until we have won a championship together?”  And then bolted prematurely!  Kevin Durant left OKC for Golden State and Alex Goldberg left It’s All Good for the Melons!  Both left empty handed.  I guess a blood oath signed and stored on the family refrigerator doesn’t mean what it used to anymore.


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.  Wednesday, 5/31 will be opening day and play will continue every Wednesday until 8/12.  On Saturday, 8/12, the league championships will be played – keep your schedules clear.  The RBVL has a Facebook page and, if you like it, you will receive timely updates, whoever you are, captain or not.  If you have any questions along the way please contact Steve Gifford via e-mail at irvman331@verizon.net.   Right now there is a 76 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 5/31 for RBVL opening day - season #28!