New York's Outdoor Volleyball Scene
Volleyball is a team sport invented in Massachusetts in the late 1800's. Typically, it is played six versus six when done indoors. When played outdoors, however, it is more common to see four versus four or two versus two. That last version is affectionately referred to as doubles.
New York is not necessarily a hotbed for beach volleyball. Aside from Long Island, our beaches sit on the lakes and tend to be as rocky as they are sandy. However, there are exceptions that lead to some good outdoor volleyball opportunities. This article will highlight those opportunities.
Long Island Outdoor Volleyball
Long Island Outdoor Volleyball
Long Island had three really good options for the avid volleyball players; VBLI, Long Island Volleyball Association (LIVA), and East End Volleyball.
VBLI - Created in 2004 by Glenn Yankow, VBLI boasts a fan page with over 3,600 likes, they have a mix of both grass and sand tournaments during the Summer season and a pretty sweet website to promote their tournaments.
Long Island Volleyball Association (LIVA) - Focusing more on leagues than tournaments, they play at Jones Beach and Robert Moses. They have six versus six, four versus four, and doubles leagues during the Summer. Their fan page has over 1,800 likes.
East End Volleyball - The mother of all Long Island outdoor volleyball opportunities. Their Facebook Page boasts a whopping 6,300+ likes and they offer leagues, tournaments, and youth clinics.
New York City Outdoor Volleyball
New York City isn't exactly known for its beaches. So the opportunities are not quite as expansive as those on the Island.
Big City Volleyball - Boasting outdoor leagues and a few tournaments in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Big City offers some opportunities right in NYC. With a fan page of 2,300 members, they are a decent opportunity right in the city.
Poughkeepsie Outdoor Volleyball
Heading up into Upstate, NY, the first stop where you find outdoor volleyball is in Poughkeepsie. While they play predominantly on grass, the level is still very good and the tournaments are quite competitive.
Hudson Valley Volleyball - Hudson Valley teams up with Powerzone in New Jersey and offers membership options for both New Yorkers and Jerseyites. They play tournaments only at Beacon and in Clifton, with doubles options and fours options.
Poughkeepsie Outdoor Volleyball
Capital District Outdoor Volleyball (Albany)
Heading up route 87, the next stop for volleyball is in the state capital. Again, not known for their beaches, the Albany area offers more grass than sand options.
Outdoor Capital District Volleyball (OCD) - Offering sand and grass options as well as youth clinics and leagues, they have everything a volleyball enthusiast could ask for. With a Facebook page of 425 members, they have the support to have good turnout.
Syracuse Outdoor Volleyball
It's time to head west from Albany. The next stop along the volleyball chain is Syracuse, NY, home of the Orange. In Syracuse, there are two main options and some outlier leagues at the YMCA.
CNY Volleyball at Bridge Street Tavern - An awesome mix of blue collar workers and volleyball players, Bridge Street Tavern offers sand volleyball leagues and weekend tournaments to Upstate New Yorkers. With their Volley-Dome, there is sand all year round for those wanting it in the Winter months. With a fan page of 425, they draw a nice following.
Sharkey's - Located in Liverpool, Sharkey's recently expanded to provide eight outdoor sand volleyball courts for leagues and tournaments. Often mixing in live entertainment with their leagues and tournaments, Sharkey's provides a nice atmosphere for players. They run the area's largest Summer tournaments with big payouts and have recently tied in with the AVP to offer options on that front. Their Facebook page has over 1,100 likes to date.
Sharkey's Tournament Action
Rochester Outdoor Volleyball
Going further west still, you come to the booming volleyball town of Rochester. Long known for their strong indoor clubs (Pace, VolleyFx), Rochester provides a year-round volleyball atmosphere for its players.
NOVA - Started in 1987, NOVA provides tournament opportunities all around the Rochester area, as well as making a swing back to the Syracuse area to Sylvan Beach. NOVA also helps run one of the largest NorthEast Volleyball events in Ten Ugly Men.
HotShots - The granddaddy of Beach Volleyball in Upstate, NY. They had an indoor facility long before most people realized it could be done. With five indoor sand courts and three indoor courts combined with a bar and grill, they offer year-round volleyball options and partner with NOVA in the Summer. To prove their clout, their Facebook page has over 3,200 fans and the Ten Ugly Men page alone has 2,200 likes.
Buffalo Outdoor Volleyball
The last stop on route 90 takes us to Buffalo, NY. Buffalo is another hotbed of volleyball in New York with many players going on to play in college. With mostly league offerings and tournaments tied into NOVA, there are definitely opportunities to play.
Buffalo Volleyball - Offering tournaments and leagues, this is the first option out there.
KAV Sand Leagues - Another low key option for outdoor volleyball in Western New York.
Neighboring States Outdoor Volleyball
Some New Yorkers opt to play in neighboring states. There are two big options on that front, one in Jersey and one in Pennsylvania.
Jersey: Great American Volleyball - The big organizers of volleyball in Jersey with tournaments and leagues for multiple levels.
Pennsylvania: The Pottstown Rumble - The largest East Coast grass event. Huge payouts, huge field (over 500 teams). Lots of dead grass.
Volleyball in New York
As you can see, there are ample places to play outdoors in New York. From Long Island to Buffalo, the sport is thriving and has immense popularity. While not known for our beaches at all, New York has a strong network of outdoor volleyball culture.
Where's your favorite place to play in New York
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