The 5th National Beach Volleyball Festival of Guayabitos Beach 2017

The 5th National Beach Volleyball Festival of Guayabitos Beach 2017

by Tara Spears

Rincón de Guayabitos is preparing to host the National Children’s and Youth Beach Volleyball Festival 2017. This year the five day event is to be held from 23 to 27 August. With participating teams from almost all of the Mexican states registered, the level of competition will be fierce.

Although the skills required for beach volleyball are the same as those for regular volleyball, there are many more challenges. Firstly, there are only two players on a team which leads to differences in offence and defense. There is more shot variety (with halfspeed, finesse and placement shots); blockers take more risks (deciding where to block and when to pull off the net or backpedal to play defense); there is greater mobility in the backcourt (players are not so bound by “positional” convention  they are free to move to all areas of the court) and players need to be adept in all the basic skills.

On the sand, there is no such thing as “calling subs” if you’re having a bad day. And there are no courtside coaches  players decide tactics during timeouts. Definitely thrilling action and fast pace!

Because of the many difficulties of playing outdoors, such as the sand, the sun and the wind, Beach Volleyball players must have outstanding ball skills and court speed. Partners must be well matched or opponents will win easy points by exploiting the weaker player.

For Beach Volleyball, matches are a best of three sets using the rally point system. The first two sets are played to 21 points, with the final tiebreaker set being played to 15 points. A team must win a set by two points. There is no ceiling, so a set continues until one of the teams gains a twopoint advantage.

Volleyball has come a long way from an old YMCA gymnasium in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, where the visionary William G. Morgan invented the sport back in 1895. Most accounts place the start of beach volleyball’s origin to Santa Monica, California, where the first volleyball courts were put up on the beach around 1920.  Volleyball is now one of the big five international sports, and the International Federation of Volleyball, with its 220 affiliated national federations, is the largest international sporting federation in the world. Mexico has been an active member since 1908.

With teams from across Mexico registered to play, it will be an exciting competition! The youth playing are being groomed for qualifying to represent Mexico at the next Olympics. There are five categories of play based on age, ranging from 7 years to the Juvenile rank at age 15.

While the opening reception and final registration will be on August 23 from 4 to 6 pm, at the Decameron Los Cocos Hotel in Rincon de Guayabitos, the area next to the ocean break wall, in the Residential Zone of Rincon de Guayabitos, is the site of the actual games. The promotional literature states “for this event you can enjoy one of the best views of Coral Island, the most spectacular sunsets, as well as having special sand, which results in one of the most optimal courses for beach volleyball in the region.”

The Mexican Volleyball Federation is providing the official judges. Competitors will be awarded trophies and medals for the top three places of each category in the Men’s and Women’s branches.

One of the reasons that the beach volleyball tournament has become so popular through the years is that it is not about the very top players, it’s an everyman’s volleyball tournament in which only one team may win, but all the attendees are winners in fun and camaraderie.   Access is free for the general public so grab a beach chair and join the fun!