Seaside Stories

World’s Largest Beach Volleyball Tournament

July 3, 2017 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament

Come August, the “digs” along Seaside’s beach have nothing to do with razor clams. For the 36th year, Seaside will host the Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament on August 10-13, 2017. It’s the world’s largest amateur beach volleyball tournament, drawing players from across the United States and Canada. Around 3,200 amateur and semi-pro players will set, shank and spike on more than 150 courts along Seaside’s coastline, stretching from 3rd Avenue south to Avenue E; center court will be at the end of Broadway Street near the city’s iconic Turnaround on the beachfront Promenade.

More than 20,000 spectators are expected to watch the four-day event. The youth divisions will play on Thursday and Friday, the adult divisions on Friday and Saturday, and the mixed youth-adult divisions on Saturday and Sunday. Games are scheduled from around 9 a.m. until dusk. Admission is free for spectators.

A Family Fun Event

“A lot of summer events are tied to alcohol,” says Brian Owen, executive director of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event, “but this tournament is wrapped around family and fun.”

Tigard resident Greg Bunnell couldn’t agree more. Both of his daughters — Katie, 13, and Emily, 15 — will compete with their partners in the Junior Doubles division for the third year in a row. During the regular indoor season, the girls play for the Athena Volleyball Academy based in the Portland metro area.

“It’s not about the winning and losing at this tournament,” says Bunnell. “It’s about playing on the coast. It’s really a tremendous setting.”

“I grew up on the coast and still have family there, so it’s a special place for us,” says Bunnell.

His least favorite part of the weekend? Finding parking. A former local, he’s got some secret spots. But what’s an out-of-towner to do? Event organizers agree that parking can pose challenges, but they say finding a spot is not impossible. They recommend arriving early and spending the day, or booking a room at a local hotel and staying for the weekend.

How to Get Involved

If you’d like to get in on the action yourself, teams can register to play until July 31. Divisions are determined by age and skill; registration fees range from $80 to $100. More than $75,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. To register and learn more about the event, click here.

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