Costume Beach Volleyball Tournament Back On A Saturday In 2017
You can see it in the people’s eyes, hear it in the excitement of their voices.
The Manhattan Beach 6-man is back on a Saturday and the South Bay is excited about it. It may signal a resurgence of the event that was struggling to find enough teams to play, endangering the very existence of the event.
Granted, it’s only for a day and it’s the second day of the two-day event, which will have many of the teams eliminated, diminishing the number of players on the sand. But it’s also a small beach volleyball bump to the return of the glory days when it was the biggest event in the Beach Cities.
The dates are Aug. 5-6 and the location is the south side of the Manhattan Beach pier.
Almost everywhere you go these days, someone mentions “hey, the 6-man is back on a Saturday!”
Or, “I can’t wait for the 6-man again.”
Or “I’m so excited about the 6-man this year!”
People who had tossed it aside like a former girlfriend (or boyfriend) are now talking about forming teams. Others are already making plans for attending it. The buzz about it is back at the beach.
After all, when the event was moved from a Saturday and Sunday during its peak in the mid to late 2000s to during the weekdays, it was like a parent sending their kids to bed without dinner. The tournament was moved to a Tuesday and Wednesday (and eventually to Wednesday-Thursday) but the crowds and many of the teams disappeared as if lost in a sandstorm.
The city had taken away our most fun toy.
But now, based on a unanimous decision by the city council in June, they are giving us back that toy, although with certain conditions, of course.
This is an experiment to see if we can be responsible with it. Like the past few years, there will be a massive police presence and barricades on the beach limiting access points with security throughly checking backpacks and purses.
This is not because there have been any security issues but to keep people from bringing alcohol onto the beach. In the past, there was a kind of European-style “let it go” policy and some 20,000 people took full advantage of it. At times, it was hard to tell the players from the partiers.
For those who are not familiar with 6-man, it’s a showcase of South Bay culture as part of the international lifeguard competition known as Surfest. Started by Charlie Saikley, it features 6-man volleyball (the kind you see in the Olympics) with players of all abilities, from touring pros to weekend hackers.
One day in its early years, the players one of the teams showed up to play dressed in costumes and a tradition was born. Now, all teams all wear outfits in a team theme of some sort; one year, PubClub.com even brought a dozen PubClubettes to serve as cheerleaders for what turned out to be the winning team.
Don’t expect the 2017 version of the 6-man to be anything like its peak of the past – to keep it on a Saturday everyone needs to behave like adults and and to be respectful of the neighbors – but it’s a bump, like a soft volleyball pass, to its heritage.