Pro Beach Volleyball Has Two Tournaments In The L.A South Bay Cities
The Association of Volleyball Professionals hits the sand the weekend of July 26-29.
Once again, mecca of beach volleyball in the USA has two events in the Los Angeles South Bay. The AVP Manhattan Open, regarded by players as “the Wimbledon of beach volleyball” is Aug. 16-19.
For years, the Hermosa Open was as much a part of the tour as the volleyballs. There were packed grandstands, fans filling the bars from afternoon into evening and a general air of excitement running through this beach city.
It was one of the South Bay’s “must-do” events, especially for the many single people who live in the area. The game’s legendary players – Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, Mike Dodd, Karch Kiraly, “the Hov” – all played in it. Its heyday was in the ’80s and ’90s when the players wore yellow and even pink dayglow shorts and nearly every local person bought and wore an AVP tank top into the bars.
The Poop Deck – now simply The Deck – was the daytime drinking destination and the event was the focal point of daylife and nightlife in the South Bay.
In the 2000s, as beach volleyball grew into a worldwide sport after it was introduced into the Olympic Games, things such as thump sticks, AVP Dancers, a DJ and a loud and enthusiastic emcee turned the events into mini-Vegas nightclubs.
Then poof! The AVP was gone; the tour folded and when it was resurrected it initially did not include Hermosa in its limited tournament schedule.
Now, tho, it’s back and the hundreds of recreational players who fill up the courts on a daily basis from 1st to 35th Street (as well as courts in neighboring Manhattan Beach) are sure to celebrate seeing the pros twice in the area in the same year.
So, too, will the Hermosa Beach bars, which will love the busy business on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and nights.