Indoor Beach Volleyball -Toronto, ON

Alyson, bless her heart, finally went above the .500 mark on Gymineer commitments. The allure of beach volleyball in the fall was too much, and so with her and the last minute heroics of our good friends Colleen and Beth, our co-ed team was assembled in spite of me and the two Pauls constant inability to get women to hang out with us.

We were at Beach Blast in Toronto, celebrating the 5th annual Sunrise Medical Indoor Beach Volleyball Tournament, with all the proceeds going to the currently-under-construction Durham Abilities Centre. Our team was the opportunistic and quick striking Sunrise Team #3, aka Team Jay. There is dispute over where the nickname came from, with my teammate Steve suggesting he invented the name based on his “personal fascination with the numerous species of medium-sized passerine birds in the crow family.” Others suggest the name arose when we were all given shirts that said “Jay” on the front.

What we lacked in creativity we made up for in effort, and leading the way for us was Paul L, who wasted no opportunity to dive chest-first into the soft sand. Watch the video to judge for yourself, but after seeing Paul’s exuberance at sand-diving, it’s safe to assume that’s just how he’d walk down a beach. (It’s even funnier if you watch the video imagining that our whole team is actually a militia who have joined forces over our mutual addictions to brown sugar, and we’re playing on brown sugar, and the ball is some kind of sugar destroying sphere. Oh, and imagine every time someone dives they’re yelling “Nooooo!”)

In terms of the sport, you’ve probably seen beach volleyball before (When you turn on your TV during the summer Olympics and see those four girls in bikini’s – you know, the ones hitting the ball around – that’s beach volleyball). The main differences between indoor beach volleyball and its lakeside counterpart are primarily the roof, which is actually in-play on one of Beach Blast’s courts, and the fact that I could play for hours and never get a tan, making it a safe alternative for vampires. (I am hoping that including the word “vampires” will really spike up the hit count on this article… Twilight, Twilight, True Blood yeah!)

When it was all said and done my ears were full of sand, but Team Jay walked away as pretty big winners (thank you silent auction, raffle prizes and lawn chairs for all!) We ended up playing 6 games in total I believe, and I think all of them were battles with single-digit margins of victory. It was a sweet fall day – I was active, I was competitive, I was well fed and surrounded by good people – I was content and happy. Eleven months to get ready for 2011.