Date: May 12th
Location: Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University
Time: All day!
Tickets: Buy Here!
When the United States Men’s Volleyball National Team rolls up to the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University for the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, they might take a second look at their calendars. That’s because a group of dedicated, local fans are organizing an event to welcome the team that looks more like July 4th than May 12 th, the date of the finals. The “Vol-B-Que,” a patriotic festival for volleyball enthusiasts, is the brainchild of Matt Garthoff, a Long Beach resident and passionate volleyball fan. “We’re ecstatic the tournament’s taking place in our backyard and want to ensure our men receive a significant home-field advantage,” said Garthoff. His group ran a similar event last year for a USA World League match but he insists the stakes are higher this year, “Team USA are the defending gold medalists and are not yet qualified for the London Games. Now’s the time.”
Tickets to the festival are $20 for adults and $15 for children, include a general admission ticket to the May 12th matches, and are available through the “Vol-B-Que” Facebook event: on.fb.me/VBQ4USA. From 1:00–7:30 PM on the lawns in front of the Pyramid, attendees will be treated to an American-style barbeque, music by DJ Roueche, tailgate-style games, face painting, and Team USA player appearances. Beach volleyball legend Sinjin Smith has been named the Vol-B-Que’s Grand Marshal. At 8:00 PM, the party goers don red, white and blue costumes and file into the 5,000-seat arena to lead the cheers for Team USA. Tommy Dube, a Vol-B-Que co-organizer who helped the National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association (NCSVA) put together 26 tournaments across the U.S. sums it up, “I love that we’re uniting all aspects of the sport behind our Men’s National Team.”
The NORCECA event runs from May 7–12, with four matches taking place each day. If their FIVB seeds hold, World #6 USA would face #5 Cuba in the finals. The tournament champion receives a berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
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