A beach volleyball league has started in Eatonia.
The reception to the league has been great so far. So much so that the schedule had to be changed after new teams joined following the major success on the first night. Several teams are signed up for the new league that started last week and will continue all summer as a fun and just-enough-competitive opportunity in the town of Eatonia.
Local Morgan Follensbee was key in putting it all together. Recently returned to the area, Follensbee explained why she decided to focus on building the new court which brought a different version of volleyball to the small town.
“I’ve been playing beach volleyball in Saskatoon for the past five years so I wanted to bring it to Eatonia,” she began, “I chatted with friends to see if we could try it, I thought it would be popular and then spoke with the city who were very supportive of everything.”
The new sand courts are just another exciting addition to Eatonia, as according to the lead organizer, the mid-west community is on a roll after celebrating its centennial earlier this month.
They may well be the busiest small town in Saskatchewan in recent weeks.
“The other night we played beach volleyball and the Wheat Kings were playing a baseball game. We just celebrated the centennial,” Follensbee recalled. “It’s very busy and happy at Eatonia for the size we are.”
The new league runs every Tuesday and Wednesday night, though a special night is brewing on August 10 to serve as a meet and greet of sorts for all the initial teams. Follensbee also said it would give a good chance of bringing out players who are interested, but not quite convinced of what exactly the league is about.
“We usually play two nights a week, but we’re going to put it all together in one night so we can get together,” she explained. “It’s a good day to see what the league looks like and the energy we have there.”
The league is primarily made up of locals from Eatonia (Eatonia’s beach volleyball team), although some teams such as “South of the River” also feature players from nearby towns. Half the fun with the new summer circuit at Eatonia will be seeing who comes to play.
“We actually have two out-of-town teams that we’re very excited about. There’s not a lot of playing the same team twice because there’s ten teams, and it’s only been two months. It’s going to change every week who you play so it’s a lot of fun that way.”
Plans for the league began to materialize in the winter. Once they determined a spot to set up the pitch, the next step was to fill it with sand, and it was all over by Canada Day weekend.
The league started late this year but is now fast becoming a staple of the community’s summer plans at Centennial Park.
The teams can be male, female or mixed and the matches are occasional. the action being a frank mix between indoor and outdoor game versions of the sport. Teams compete 4v4, and Follensbee gave the reasoning behind their revamped version of the game which includes the honor system in case of a close call.
“We tell people to be fair with what they call it, if they wear it or something, but really what’s going on is just fun,” she shared, before expanding on the styles of game, “We hope people keep that attitude while playing, and we actually try to follow the court-style volleyball rules more because beach volleyball wasn’t played as often here.”
Even though the rules may be different, many of the people who have joined the club already have good volleyball experience and are just happy to have a higher level game available close to home. But people looking to use the courts should know that it doesn’t have to be as competitive. Follensbee encourages anyone in the community interested in playing beach volleyball to at least get out in their spare time and try out the new digs.
“If you want to go and play on the night the league isn’t open, it’s free to use. I encourage people to use it since it’s there. We might as well enjoy it as much as we can because the summer is short.”
It is possible that a half-season will be held in August according to Follensbee, in addition to the meet and greet on August 10. The league will end on August 31 with another meeting for all teams involved, although it will be strictly business for the four teams that make it to the final weekend as they compete to be named the first champions of the league. the Eatonia Beach Volleyball League.
The organizing committee includes Follensbee, as well as Maryanne Becker, Hannah Eckstein, Brooklyn Assmus, Randi Somerville, Carson Assmus and Spencer Somerville.