The Mid-City Volleyball Group and Mid-City Youth Volleyball presented the gifts above to Bayou Bicycles for their continued support and especially for the use of their bathrooms. The temporary arrangement of setting up portable nets along the bayou has lasted an unexpectedly long time, and Bayou Bicycles has supported the volleyball venture the entire time. The Mid City Volleyball group has been running formalized speed tournaments near Bayou St. John for three years. The group hopes to have a permanent sand facility in Mid-City someday, but until then, they depend on the generosity of businesses like Bayou Bicycles for the use of their bathrooms.
by Peter Hickman
Mid City Volleyball Group will run an adult speed tournament at noon this Saturday. We’ll be at our usual place along Bayou St John across the street from the Mid-City post office. This week will be a draw tournament with two divisions based on skill level. The tourney will most likely be co-ed, but we will always consider running a separate women’s division if the ladies are insistent. The photo above was taken by Eddie during last week’s co-ed tournament… it was a record turnout, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. The photo of Angela and Doug shows the intensity of play in the upper division! Speaking of skill level, MCVG may run a few adult clinics this winter to give some pointers to help your game, but you can also contact Reuben Alumbres to arrange for private instruction.
Bicycle rack fundraiser
NOLA Social Ride will be selling raffle tickets this Saturday. Bill Katzenmeyer, fearless leader of the Thursday slow-speed bicycle rides of NOLA Social Ride, will show up this Saturday with raffle tickets to purchase a bicycle corral for Frenchmen Street. Bring an extra $5.00 and help their cause… you could win a nifty new Cruiser bicycle that’s been fully decked out, or you could win bar tabs at Mid-City establishments like Finn McCool’s. The drawing will take place whenever they finish selling their set number of raffle tickets. See http://www.nolasocialride.org/ for more info.
Saints Game at 3:30pm
Wanna watch the Saints game as a wild-and-crazy group? We will be breaking down the nets right after the tournament so that we can watch the New Orleans Saints dominate their re-match with the Seattle Seahawks during the Saturday afternoon divisional playoff. I suggest we head to the nearby Bayou Beer Garden… they have a great deck complete with heaters for colder weather, and the food and beer selection are both fine.
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Hello volleyball friends,
We’ll be playing volleyball as usual along Bayou St John this Saturday assuming the weather holds. I think there will be about a 50% chance of rain Saturday, but most of you know the routine… if we get nets set up before it’s raining then we’ll most likely play through any isolated showers. Our schedule is as follows:
9:30am-11:30am Junior League (help us get more kids!)
11:30am-2:00pm Adult “speed” tournament ($5.00/player)
2:00pm-until… Free pick-up games
Don’t forget that we’re also now playing on Tuesday evenings starting at 5pm and going until sundown. Frank is running a doubles tournament Tuesdays ($5.00/player) starting at 6pm, and we may be adding a net of quads tourney action too if there’s demand.
FYI our volleyball group has submitted a proposal to the Sewerage and Water Board to develop sand volleyball courts on vacant land across the street from where we usually set up. A handful of nearby neighbors have raised some concerns about our proposal which has caused the S&WB to consider withdrawing their lease offer. MCVG in the next three weeks will be doing everything it can to convince the S&WB that there is great community benefit to our proposal. We may need you to be present at a meeting or two to show the S&WB that there is in fact great demand for a sand volleyball venue. I will keep you posted when we hear which meetings to attend, but I can say that all S&WB meetings take place at 9am at their headquarters at 625 St Joseph Street (2nd floor conference room). Just to give you a heads up, the Finance Committee will meet June 4, the Executive Committee will meet June 7 and the full board will meet June 19 (see http://www.swbno.org/news_boardmeetings.asp).
On a sad note I must deliver some tragic news. Long-time volleyball player John Martinez passed away yesterday morning at the age of forty-six after a sudden bout with lung cancer. He has inspired a group of nineteen of us to visit his home town of La Ceiba on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, and we will miss him dearly on our trip next week. I will pass along information about funeral services as soon as I hear anything.
See y’all Saturday,
Details on Proposed Volleyball Courts
1) The proposed site for sand volleyball courts is more than 200 feet from the edge of Bayou St John on vacant land that runs along side Armstrong’s Supply Company. We would initially build just two courts near Toulouse Street on the side of the property that tends to flood and become muddy. By adding drainage underneath the sand we would be adding value to the property by making it useful for recreation. I’d like to point out that we are not building any permanent structures on the property but instead are converting frequently unusable green space into usable tan space.
2) We recently had a lighting expert give us a quote for lighting two courts. Lights will be focused on the courts from poles on either side of the pair of courts. Lights will be used only when necessary meaning they will only be turned on at sundown and they will immediately be turned off after the conclusion of league play. Leagues will be run Monday through Friday from 6:30pm to 10:30pm for three or four seasons a year but probably not over the dead of winter. Weekend activities hopefully will be concluded during daylight hours so no lights would be necessary Saturday or Sunday. If lights were required on weekends, again they would be used only when absolutely necessary.
3) We have permission to use the parking lots of Armstrong’s Supply Company and Bayou Bicycles after hours. The Mid-City Theatre and post office parking lots may also be available. There is street parking available on both Toulouse Street and Orleans Avenue, and we will designate a portion of the S&WB property for overflow parking. We will have numerous bicycle racks and will offer discounts to players who arrive by nonmotorized vehicle as an incentive to lower the automobile parking burden.
4) We probably will not have a PA system initially as that would require a permanent structure to house the equipment. Eventually, however, we would like to mount speakers on each light pole and, as with the lights themselves, focus sound onto the court. We are well aware of being good neighbors and would keep the volume low. Furthermore, volleyball players need to communicate with each on the court all the time, so for that reason the volume of music would be kept particularly low. The “surround sound” approach to mounting speakers will actually help keep volumes low instead of a single speaker having to blast across the entire space. As for whistles, we do expect to have referees for most of the league play, but I point out that scale matters. For those who thought Coconut Beach was a cacophony, with only two courts there will be much less racket. For the nights and weekends when matches are self-reffed there will be no whistles at all.
5) We have an excellent relationship with Jared Zeller as MCVG was once a part of The MotherShip Foundation. We would only be using a small fraction of the S&WB property, and the Orleans Ave side would be left open for parking or other uses during the Bayou Boogaloo. MotherShip Foundation is actually contemplating making a parking arrangement with Delgado Community College or St Margaret’s Nursing Home in the future and offering free shuttle service to the festival. In other words, the MotherShip Foundation is also cognizant of the parking burden that automobiles exert on the bayou.
6) The Mid-City Volleyball Group was the first to approach City Park in 2007 regarding the development of a sand volleyball facility within the park. Coconut Beach approached City Park in 2011, and a couple of entrepreneurs that call themselves NOLA Beach Volleyball approached City Park in 2012. As far as I know, all three of our groups have been turned down by the City Park leaders who have a MasterPlan that simply doesn’t include volleyball.
There’s one last point I’d like to make. For many years MCVG advocated for a space along the Lafitte Greenway, and there seemed to be a great deal of public support for this. Unfortunately, the space most likely to be dedicated to sand volleyball courts is currently occupied by city facilities such as the sign and signal shop, and the city has no intention of re-locating those businesses any time soon.
Design Workshop suggested that MCVG approach the S&WB about developing land 1-2 blocks from the Greenway that is essentially an extension of the Greenway, and that sounded good to us as it could fulfill our immediate need (we are already an active group, and our numbers are growing each week). We have a dozen letters of support from community organizations, local businesses and national volleyball associations, and we have 443 petition signatures including over 100 from residents in the immediate vicinity of the S&WB land.
Unfortunately, a few vocal critics have caused the S&WB to hesitate with the proceedings, but I truly feel we will be providing a community service [our mission is to create a safe public space in Mid-City where residents can enjoy outdoor activity, reduce stress and build community through the shared experience of playing volleyball]. No matter what happens in the next few weeks with MCVG‘s proposal to the S&WB, there is no doubt that active recreation will be coming to the Lafitte Greenway and people within the corridor will have to adjust to increased activity and parking within their neighborhood.
MCVG has always tried to build coalitions, and we welcome comments from our neighbors.
President of The Mid-City Volleyball Group, www.midcityvolleyball.org
President of Mid-City Youth Volleyball, www.midcityyouthvolleyball.org
Hello MCVG volleyball players,
Here’s a message from the younger brother of John Martinez, Glenn, who himself is a volleyball player and coach.
hello and thank you for being such a nice human being…i can just know john said the same about you..his funeral services will be at the Gardens of Memories in airline drive from 10am-1pm this saturday the 1st of june prayers in chapel and then his burial…everyone is welcome..thank you and thanks to everyone in midcity volleybal..i know John will be watching your volleyball game in la ceiba from heaven…Godbless
MCVG will still hold it’s normal activities tomorrow, but I personally may head to John’s funeral to represent our group. I’ve attached a photo of John (orange shirt) and his Honduran buddy, Jesus (red shirt), taken during the summer of 2010 during a MCVG pick-up game. It’s how I will remember him. -Peter
The Mid-City Volleyball Group (MCVG) and its sister organization Mid-City Youth Volleyball (MCYV) will be back at the bayou this Saturday for volleyball fun and games. We will set up at our usual location along Bayou St John across from the Mid-City post office, and we’ll offer our usual activities: free youth clinic from 9:30am-11:30am, adult “speed” tournament ($5.00/player) from 11:45am to approximately 2:00pm, and free pick-up games following the conclusion of the tournament.
I personally will be at the Dillard University Health & Sports Fair this Saturday where I’ll set up one court and encourage DU college players to try the outdoor version of volleyball. The Health & Sports Fair runs from 10am to 3pm, but there’s also an International Art and Music Festival taking place on Dillard’s campus Saturday that goes from 11am to 8pm so I will likely stay at Dillard all day (and leave the net set up as long as possible).
If anyone is interested in becoming a Beach IMPACT certified coach and helping us teach the fundamentals of outdoor volleyball to youngsters, the next Beach IMPACT webinar is taking place April 15-16 (Monday and Tuesday) from 7:30pm to 10:00pm CDT. More information is available at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Calendar/2013/April/15/Beach-IMPACT-Webinar-Apr.aspx. To take the class you must first register as a USAV member in the Bayou Regional Volleyball Association (see www.bayouvolleyball.com), and you should indicate that Mid-City Volleyball is your “club”. The BRVA will re-imburse your webinar fee if you register with MCVG as your club affiliation! You are responsible for paying your own USAV membership fee, but keep in mind that summer outdoor membership only costs $15.00 and you’ll still get all the perks like the USAV bi-weekly newsletter.
President of MCVG and MCYV
MCVG and MCYV will hold the customary youth clinic this Saturday morning (9:30am-11:30am) followed by an adult “speed” tournament at noon (please arrive before 11:45am since that’s when we pick teams). There’s a ton of other stuff to do this weekend, but there’s nothing more fun than volleyball with friends! After the tournament we’ll hold an adult clinic on how to play “the box” which will be good preparation for the following week when we’ll require y’all to play the box! It’s sort of like playing doubles with four people on the court, and once you get used to it it’s quite fun.
FYI the Irish Channel St Patrick’s Day parade starts at 1pm at the corner of Felicity and Magazine on Saturday. For those of you who must see the parade and catch a month’s supply of cabbage, carrots and potatoes, you can probably play in the speed tournament and still make it to the end of the parade further along the route.
Speaking of green, the Green Wave sand volleyball team started their season last weekend with two victories. Congratulations Tulane! Their one and only home stint of games is this weekend. Tulane University will play Friday through Sunday, one game a day against a different team each day. See http://www.tulanegreenwave.com/sports/w-svolley/sched/tul-w-svolley-sched.html for the schedule. I personally hope to see the Sunday match if some other Mid-Citizen is willing to drive out to Kenner… we can all talk about it Saturday during our “Bayou Ball” activities.
To help MCVG/MCYV build a sand volleyball venue in Mid-City near where we normally play, please give in to pressure and sign up for a NOLA Wise Home Performance Evaluation. You can register by phone by calling 523-WISE(9473), or you can register on-line at http://nolawise.org/index.php/assessment-request. Make sure you specify that MCVG sent you! The evaluation costs only $35.00 (the remaining $65.00 is subsidized by Entergy), and you can learn many ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Small businesses are eligible, too, and if you rent please pass this message on to your land lord or land lady.
Don’t forget that The Mid-City Volleyball Group is sponsoring the NORDC Movie in the Park this Friday! Tomorrow evening “Dolphin Tale” will be shown at St Patrick ball field (corner of St. Patrick and Baudin), and MCVG will be selling concessions. Show time is dusk, and it is a family-friendly event.
It’s not too late to join our group adventure to La Ceiba Honduras this summer from June 5 through June 10. If interested please send me your passport number and tell me your date of birth (I promise I’ll keep it a secret). This is a rare opportunity to experience Honduras from the perspective of local Hondurans, so don’t miss out on the fun! Round-trip airfare will probably be on the order of $550.00, and the rest of our expenses will be minimal since the exchange rate between Honduran Lempiras and US Dollars is nearly 20 to 1.
FYI Madeleine Ruiz was admitted to Children’s Hospital yesterday with a stress fracture in her backbone spanning two discs. Needless to say she is out of commission for a while! If you care to visit her, she’s in room 325. I’m reluctant to give her phone number out to this entire list, but if you’d like to send her a message please contact me directly.
Wear something green and goofy Saturday in honor of St Patrick’s Day…
Tireless Advocate for Community Volleyball
Hello volleyball friends
This Saturday we’ll be doin’ our usual thing: free youth clinics from 9:30am to 11:30am followed by an adult “speed” tournament at noon. We’ll be at our usual location along Bayou St John near the Mid-City post office. Please arrive by 11:45am for the tournament so we can get an accurate head count… it really screws us up if we add more players as cards are being distributed. We’re thinking of charging extra money if you arrive after 11:45am. Seriously! Right now it’s still only $5.00/player whenever you arrive. FYI the final rounds of the LHSAA volleyball season will take place tonight through Saturday at the Pontchartrain Center. Playoff brackets for tonight’s quarter-final action can be seen here: http://lhsaa.org/sports/brackets-results/volleyball/. Just a reminder, the next opportunity to take the Beach IMPACT on-line course is in two and a half weeks. It’s a two-part webinar on Monday November 26 and Tuesday November 27 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm (CST) each night. The October course filled up quickly and at least one New Orleanian was unable to sign-up at the last minute, so don’t delay. Early Bird pricing will apply only until November 24, 2012. Sign up here: http://www.teamusa.org/Home/USA%20Volleyball/Education/Coaching%20Education%20Events%20Schedule.aspx. The cost will be $25.00-$50.00 depending on whether you are already indoor IMPACT certified. If you obtain a coaching certificate and help Mid-City Youth Volleyball give instruction for at least one clinic, then we’ll reimburse you the cost of your Beach IMPACT training. However, you will still be responsible for becoming a USAV member at a cost of $20.00 or $50.00 depending on what category you select (see www.bayouvolleyball.com to register as a member of the Bayou Region). Have a great weekend, Peter
by Peter Hickman
Hello volleyball friends,
Mid-City Volleyball Group will set up courts this Saturday along Bayou St John. A “speed” tournament will begin at 10am ($5.00/player), please arrive early (preferably by 9:30am) so the tournament can be configured with the appropriate numbers of teams. If we don’t get enough players for a quads tourney, I will bring short-court lines and run a doubles tournament. Pick-up games will follow the conclusion of the tournament somewhere around noon.
I’m proud to say that MCVG has created a sister nonprofit organization, Mid-City Youth Volleyball (MCYV), that is devoted exclusively to the education of children. Please check out our website: www.midcityyouthvolleyball.org. MCYV will start up free youth clinics on November 3 that will last through the winter (unless we must break to actually construct sand courts). We want to grow the sport!
Speaking of growing the sport, MCVG-supporter Stew Sheng is the USAV Bayou Region Boys Development Director, and he is organizing a mixed age division for boys fifteen to eighteen years old to play in USAV indoor tournaments during the winter/spring club season. He is also trying to organize a boys high school indoor league for spring 2013.
The 2013 Boys’ High School Indoor Volleyball League is supported and partially sponsored by the Bayou Region of USA Volleyball. Now is the time for your school to participate since there already is an interest in boys’ club and beach volleyball. Your school may already have students who are playing. Please forward this to the person(s) who will organize your school’s team and make this opportunity available to your students. Please contact Steward Sheng at (504) 638-1852 or e-mail Stewart Sheng at email@example.com for any questions or concerns.
Now for girls volleyball… as you may recall, Mark Bailey is an assistant principal at O. Perry Walker High School and has brought on several occasions one of OPW’s finest athletes, Delores Tyler, to the bayou for tournaments and pick-up games. In August she was selected as the Metro Pre-Season Player of the Year, a high honor for a region that has very competitive junior-level volleyball for girls. OPW will be playing at Cabrini this coming Monday. The junior varsity match will begin at 4pm, and the varsity match will follow beginning around 5pm.
To add to the intrigue, Cabrini‘s head coach Greg Castillo has coached at both Loyola University and Xavier University before switching to the high school ranks. This match-up is right here in Faubourg St. John not far from where MCVG normally sets up nets. Please join me in supporting our young local athletes.
by Peter “MadMan” Hickman
Hello volleyball friends,
Mid City Volleyball Group will hold a “speed” tournament this Saturday morning at 10am along Bayou St John across from the Mid-City post office. Since it’s the last Saturday of the month, this week you will be able to sign up with a partner of your own choosing. If there are clearly stronger teams and weaker teams then we will split up into two divisions, so this is the chance for experienced players to compete at a high level all day long. Please arrive by 9:30am to warm-up and allow us time to figure out how to separate teams. You are welcome to show up as an individual and recruit a partner at the last minute!
Mid City Volleyball Group has been advocating for sand volleyball courts along the Lafitte Greenway for a long time, and the decision-making process is nearly complete. There will be one last chance for public input in two weeks, and it would help if volleyball enthusiasts show up to support MCVG’s efforts. This coming round of meetings will be a final look at the design recommendations for the Greenway’s operation and maintenance, and a review of the revitalization policies and future implementation steps before the preparation of construction documents. These documents will then be presented to the City Planning Commission and the City Council. If you want to review the current Greenway Master Plan or Revitalization Plan prior to the charrettes please visit www.nola.gov/lafittegreenway. The meeting dates and locations are as follows:
Tuesday, October 9 | 6pm to 8pm (Open House 4pm to 6pm)
Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center | 2200 Lafitte Street
Thursday, October 11 | 6pm to 8pm (Open House 4pm to 6pm)
First Grace United Methodist Church | 3401 Canal Street
Tulane University has home matches this weekend on Friday night and Sunday afternoon while Loyola University has home matches Friday night and Saturday afternoon (Mike Senna and I are planning on going to Loyola’s Friday match). Next week there are many home college matches starting Tuesday, and there are some big high school matches too.
Finally, as a favor to Carl LeBoeuf I’d like to mention that in a few days he will be riding his bicycle from Boston MA to Raleigh NC as part of the Pablove Foundation’s fundraising efforts to fight childhood cancer. If this is a cause you would like to support please contact Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his personal page at http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=208349.
Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to enjoy the fall festival season!
Hello volleyball friends,
Mid-City Volleyball Group will set up volleyball courts at our usual time and place this Saturday:
9am along Bayou St John near Orleans Avenue.
We will hold a youth clinic from 9:30am to 11:30am, and any adults who’d like to refresh their memories or improve their skills are also welcome to participate.
At 11:30am we will have a sign-up sheet for the adult “speed” tournament and we will cut off registrants at 11:45am so please don’t be late. We will allow the first twenty people to play in the tournament and the remaining adults will have to play pick-up ball on a spare net. If we exceed thirty people we will take the first thirty people in the tournament and the rest will only be able to play pick-up. We will take tournament players only in multiples of ten, so forty players would work too. Yes, this is a new policy we’re trying for the first time this week. The goal is 1) to only play quads in the tournament format; and 2) to inspire adults to show up BEFORE 11:45am. Thanks.
On a happier note, everyone is welcome to come over to my house for a cookout and a dip in the pool following volleyball play this Saturday. It’s getting hot this time of year, and a quick dunking in the pool will undoubtedly be refreshing. There’s a Rouses Market on Carrollton Ave, so there’s no need to buy food and drink ahead of time. My address is 131 Sherwood Forest Drive which is pretty close to the intersection of Carrollton and City Park Avenue.
I feel like I’m forgetting something else. Hmmm. Did anyone have the pleasure of watching the college sand volleyball championships on CBS Sports Network last night? The first part of the tape-delayed broadcast was last night, and the second part will air next Wednesday. I went to the college sand championships myself (late April), and someday I’ll find the time to post some great photos and videos on the Mid-City Volleyball Nonprofit Organization Facebook page.
Once again, welcome to all the newcomers…
President of The Mid-City Volleyball Group