Crazy Dress-Up Volleyball Tournament’s Best Chance For Its Future Is On This Adjacent Beach
The Manhattan Beach 6-Man dress-up crazy costumed beach volleyball tournament has gotten out of control.
It’s gone too far, and if something isn’t done about it the entire event could forever disappear.
I speak not of the event itself, mind you, but of the Manhattan Beach City Council and MBPD’s approach to it. The police have adopted a SWAT-type, lock-down mentality to 6-Man, going as far as commandeering a beach parking lot to set up a military-style command post, complete with “Command Center” motorhomes. All to keep people from taking a drink onto the beach.
But there’s a place that is perfectly suited to host the 6-Man. It’s out of the jurisdiction of the Manhattan Beach Police Dept., and would enable the City Council to wash its hands of the event. It’s a wide and open area between two beach towns a mile away from the nearest resident.
That location is just a couple miles north of the Manhattan Pier at Dockweiler State Beach in El Segundo.
It’s the perfect location because it has everything the tournament needs: Plenty of room, adjacent restroom facilities (even with showers) and, for those who require it, tons of parking. For the teams and party people, it’s right along the bike path, not far at all from Manhattan and Hermosa, yet it’s also remote enough to where it can take place without disturbing a soul.
Heck, you can camp out right by the site for the entire weekend if you’ve got a motorhome.
And it’s also a proven venue for a similar event. The second weekend of each August, The Gillis is held at Dockweiler. The Gillis is the original 6-Man, where partying, acting silly by dressing in costumes and playing the South Bay’s cultural sport of beach volleyball combine in a fun-filled weekend.
Today, The Gillis has just celebrated its 42nd year and is hardly the wild event of its early days. The original organizers kind of sit back while their high school children make up most of the teams. But it still retains its original flair, with people in costumes enjoying its lively atmosphere.
There are team tents, music and in 2012, they even put a band on the sand.
And that’s another thing about Dockweiler. It’s so remote, and has so little impact on its surroundings (including those using the bike path as their regular weekend stretch of exercise between Playa del Rey and El Porto) you can put a band out there and not bother anyone. In fact, you could put Van Halen out there and still not cause a commotion.
Some may say that El Segundo’s City Council and Police Department – so ultra conservative South Bay locals refer to the place as “the Mayberry of L.A.” – would storm the beach with torches if such a thing were to happen on their territory.
But why should they even care? Dockweiler is a mile from the nearest resident, it’s too far (and up a long hill) for people to swarm into town and, as I mentioned, The Gillis goes on without incident.
The city and police should require security, but that security should look the other way on adults and instead focus on the real problem of 6-Man, and that is the number of teenagers who manage to get their hands on alcohol and then act like teenagers who have gotten their hands on alcohol. Frankly, you could end this pretty quickly if you held the parents accountable and you could do that by fining the parents for their children’s misbehavior.
Instead, the Manhattan Beach City Council and PD are punishing the responsible adults and even the teams; the entry fee is now more than competing in the Boston Marathon.
One person who would welcome this change of venue would be Greg Newman. That’s because Sharkeez Upper Manhattan is only about a mile from The Gillis site and would be the ideal bar to host the post-event party.
So see, it’s a win-win for everybody. And such a move might well save the event.