Kicking back up for a nine-week series, the Fort Myers Beach Volleyball Club will go head-to-head in 45 doubles matches until one team is found victorious, all taking place in the sand behind the Holiday Inn of Fort Myers Beach, 6890 Estero Blvd., beginning this Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10 a.m.
David Regenthal, coordinator of the FMB Volleyball Club, is eager to get the tournament started.
"It's been very well received," he said. "We have about 40 players registered in the tournament so far, and there's still time."
Nicolas 'Nico' Crossa offers a mean serve to the other team. Photo provided by DAVID REGENTHAL.
The public tournament is open to men and women ages 18 and up, and David said the action should be intense.
"We have nearly as many women volleyball players as we do men and they're good. They're really, really good."
Starting this Sunday, and every Sunday through March 6, the doubles matches will begin on the sand around 10 a.m.
FMB Volleyball Tourney
A nine-week series
Beginning Sunday, Jan. 10
Where: Behind the Holiday
Inn of Fort Myers Beach
Free to spectators
To compete (45 games): $40,
includes tourney T-shirt
"The games will be run as a King-of-the-Beach or Queen-of-the-Beach type approach, David said. "You'll play with a different partner each game, and at the end of the series of the ninth week, the top half of players will be paired up to win prizes."
Spectators are more than welcome to bring a beach chair, a cooler, a blanket and enjoy the show.
"Open play is available Saturdays and Sundays to those who would just like to get a couple games in," David said. "If you want to play, we'll fix you up."
The tournament will be split into two sessions. After the first session, the top half of winning athletes will compete against each other until a final winner is determined.
David, who has been competing in high-end tournaments for the last 20 years, said all players from the top half of the first session will be awarded with goodies: from cash and prizes to merchandise and more.
And halfway through the two sessions, David is organizing a one-weekend, blind, co-ed beach-doubles event, basically drawing names out of a hat.
"It's a fun thing," he said.
Also during the nine-week series, a number of basic skills sessions will be offered for those either new to the sport, or those who are just getting back into it or not used to playing in sand.
Anyone 18 and up who's interested in joining the tournament is welcome. The cost to compete in the 45 games is $40 and includes a tournament T-shirt and admission in the basic-skills courses offered throughout the series.
Warm-ups will take place Saturdays.
David concludes with a thank you to the tournament hosts and venue.
"Karla Feazell and the Holiday Inn have been wonderful and have really well-supported beach volleyball. Thank you."
*About the FMB Volleyball Club*
The FMB Volleyball Club, umbrella-ed under the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals), gathers year-round for competitive and non-competitive activities.
The group gathers throughout the Fort Myers Beach area on a weekly basis, including Bay Oaks Rec Center, Wa-Kee-Hatchee Rec Center, the sand behind the Beach Pub and Holiday Inn locations, Estero Rec Center and beyond.
For more info on how to join the club, call David Regenthal, FMB Volleyball Club coordinator, at 207-1145 or visit FMBVolleyballClub.com.