In 2011, the 30th Annual Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament went to new heights by establishing two world records. The first, for becoming the largest tournament in the world with 975 teams played on 113 courts. The second, for establishing a record of 44 consecutive passes over the net. To achieve this mark, both players and fans took turns rotating through the court in what became one of the many highlights for 2011.
While there was no attempt made to surpass the consecutive pass mark in 2012, the tournament itself established even greater heights for total number of courts and teams during the 31st annual event held this past weekend.
123 courts were set up – demonstrating just how expansive the Seaside beach is – with 1,269 teams competing during the three-day event. A very impressive feat considering this event started with about eight courts and a couple dozen teams in 1982.
It’s a truly remarkable event and if you’ve never been (as a participant or spectator), it’s worth the effort to get here and spend a day amongst some hard-working amateurs and many very talented professional teams.
Center court – which sits just below the Seaside turnaround – is often the main draw and where you’ll find most of the pros playing, but venturing out to courts north and south gives you great respect for a game that continues to grow worldwide.
This was my third tournament as a spectator and my amazement grows each year. The energy, wide cross section of visitors and passion for a beautiful sport is hard to miss. If you’ve ever played sports or simply enjoy watching people, this is the place for you. And go ahead and mark your calendars now. Next year’s tournament, like they are every year, will be held the second weekend of August. See you in Seaside!