Emotions were buoyant at Seaside’s 37th annual beach volleyball tournament. With just under 1,700 teams — doubles, quads and sixes — players from North America and beyond celebrated the event with families and team supporters.
On Saturday as the sun slipped in and out among the clouds, players kept their eyes on the ball, with two of the top refs in the game working the matches, support of the Association of Volleyball Professionals and sponsorship by Wilson sporting goods.
Two of the top refs in volleyball, John King, director of officials for AVP and John Rodriguez, a member of AVP’s board of directors, judged the championship matches.
Players included pros along with amateurs in AVP Next hoping to accumulate points to qualify for the professional tour. “It’s just like trying to get your PGA card,” co-organizer Mike Griffin said.
Griffin worked with Seaside Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian Owen to make this year’s event what they called the most successful ever.
“We’re focused on making sure the players have a good experience,” Owen said. “Making sure the scheduling is done on time, that they have enough courts.”
That gave players opportunities to check out local businesses and restaurants, and city streets were filled.
The city’s efforts are paying dividends Griffin said at courtside.
“It’s going great,” Griffin said. “The players appreciate having the entire playing schedule online, so it makes it easy for them to know what court assignment they’re going to have and what they time they play.”
By late day, the sun won out, not that it would have mattered to players.
The threat of rain is “just part of the coast,” Griffin said. “You could have everything from sun to rain to clear skies.”