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By Joe McGivney

 Tomorrow the Rockaway Beach Volleyball troops will battle for the last time this summer on the sands of Riis Park.  The playoffs will begin at 10:30 AM sharp and will continue until 6 champions are crowned in 6 divisions later in the afternoon.  Nets will be available to set up at 9:45 AM.  If you like to practice before a big match get to the beach early.  Remember, this season everyone qualifies for the playoffs; the only question is whether your team gets a bye in the first round.  This year the RBVL has partnered with the Lipton Tea and the Gateway NPS and the partnership will supply a DJ, a light lunch and Lipton teas and waters throughout the day.  Feel free to bring any additional beverages but remember that bottles are prohibited at Riis.

 This summer Gateway National Recreation Area is participating in the “Healthy Parks-Healthy Living” program with support from Lipton® Tea and the National Park Foundation.  A program of the National Park Service, Healthy Parks-Healthy Living is designed to highlight the vitality, wellness and recreation benefits inherent in National Parks.  This week’s program is an open volleyball tournament and children's clinic, which will be held in conjunction with the RBVL playoffs.  To register for either event please call (718) 318-4304.

 Wednesday night concluded the regular season with Freedhand's Court Champs, Jameson's, Mahooshkas, NIC Ramblers and Gamblers all leading their respective divisions and getting a bye along with the runners-up, Mark's Maintenance, Papa Pizza Bikini Bottoms, It's All Good Tees and the Rogue Sharks.  If you have a bye your semi-final match is scheduled for 12 noon.  The Sun and Moon champs were Vaughn's Cheese Fries and the Brooklyn Transplants, whose divisions do not have any byes this time around.  However, both clubs are in a strong position to take home the title.

 The last week of the regular season saw beautiful weather and exciting volleyball as many teams moved up in the standings in time for the playoffs.  The Queen Mary (Whelan) docked at Riis Park and never made it onto the playing field as her Federation got thumped 0-5.  What a surprise, Tommy Kearns showed up to play for the first time since Reagan was president and no referee would come to his court.  Coincidence - I think not!

 Patty would like to thank Smitty for the private tutoring lesson he have her that improved her serve 100%.  One Win Away invites everyone to come see the "men" on their team.  They have the finest butts in the league - Brian, Sean, Greg and Danny.  Thanks, Kevin, for all of the "break dancing" during the game.  Happy anniversary to the Courtneys - 15 years!  Connolly's reports that Morgan Mania swept game 5 and that Bike Man's serves were on the money.  Happy Anniversary Glenn (Homeless Guy) and Laura, good luck in your new beachfront house.  The 127th St. gang is really coming together.  Sean, no bikini contest - no excuse.  Mr. Mike, where were you?  Brian, nice dancing, drinking, kissing, etc.  "I hope everyone had a great season - love, Captain Steve." 

 In the Battle of Brooklyn, the Transplants edged the Turtles 3-2.  Jamie found no talent on the West Coast and will head to Australia after the finals.  Jimmy M. embraces his new low-carb lifestyle.  Happy birthday to the Visco's who spent a lovely evening in Bayonne.  Johnny was so Rotten that he was not even allowed to play musical chairs.  What a surprise - the rules are actually enforced in the RBVL!  Dave and Marie of the Turtles are in the Dominican Republic scouting out the winter league.  Costanza (aka the FBI Guy) recently bought an oceanfront condo and was seen shopping for furniture for his new "Love Shack."  This should improve his odds in the dating game.  Marty entered the Yacht Club, sat down and didn't get up until 2 AM.

 All the Beach Posse bee-achies were out except Mary, the working girl.  Remember, happy-go-lucky 129th St. gang, it is August and it's time to come alive on the court.  Look for the new flavor Kool-Aid this week.  The Ramblers and Gamblers welcome back Paul and his bruised ribs and thank Brian for zipping his lip.  The Beach Orphans may have won 3-2 but it might be because the NIC crew was worried about their drink orders for Saturday.  Gio seems to be inspiring Gerry who improves weekly.  Did Joe suffer a wife-inflicted injury?

 Last Call squeaked by 3-2 against the Suns of Beaches without Digger who may have been interrogating guerillas or training commandos in a kilt.  Spike was last seen with a flowered hat on a black and white cow.  (I don't think I've ever said, heard or written those words before.)  The old dogs, Frankie D. and Air Steinberg need a little work on their timing.  Something was amiss.  Could it be a margarita and amoxicillin hangover?  The Blonde Bombshell celebrated her 75th with a cake served to her by McByer.  Page Six hears rumors that Air Steinberg and the Sister of the Blonde Bombshell are having a fling.  What does his wife think about that?

 Debbie Kanel noted that the Yacht Club was a "Wonderful World of Adult Fun!"  CB noted that BHYC is probably the only Yacht Club in the world with no boats.  (But an awful lot of rugby players.)  The highlight of the evening was the Adult Musical Chairs competition won by the feisty Geraldine Walsh, who nosed out the formidable Kerry Touhey ("I wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley." - DJ Teddy) for the title.  Umpire Nancy Gentile had several tough calls to make but always gave the nod to the most cheek on the seat.  DJ Teddy played his usual great mix of tunes and the party was hopping until quite late.  Bugsy led the charge onto the dance floor and shoes were being kicked off left and right.  How much does Joe Abbracciamento's knee really hurt?  He was moving on the dance floor like the Joe of 1989 (1st year of RBVL).

In case you didn't know, Teddy's services were paid for by both the BHYC and the RBVL ("Vanna, can I buy a vowel?") and a new tradition may have been born.  If you liked the final night party let your league officials know.  If you had a good time, don't hesitate to stop by on another night, like Family Night each Tuesday.  Thanks to the staff for a job well done.

 No matter how heated the action is on Saturday Everyone should remember that fun and sportsmanship are still our guiding principles.  Let me quote from your RBVL Rule Book: "Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.  The offender will be immediately issued a red card meaning both a side-out and a point given to their opponents.  Additionally, unsportsmanlike conduct toward any league official or referee will not be tolerated.  Offenders face sanctions at the discretion of the league from match suspensions up to and including permanent disbarment from the RBVL."

 On a lighter note, the gala RBVL Awards Dinner is set for Friday night 9/16 at the Beach Club.  The cost is $60 and includes an open bar, bottled beer and hot food with music by Souled Out. Captains are collecting money as we speak and the first 200 people will be confirmed. In the past we have never had to turn anyone away but this year’s expanded league has produced large turnouts at all of the parties and the dinner promises to be booked solid.  Reserve your tables early.  Talk to Rocky or Bugsy if you have any questions.