Hundreds of gorgeous models will take to the sands at Eighth Street and Ocean Drive on Saturday and Sunday to compete in the annual Bang Model Volleyball Tournament.
Last year, the friendly competition, created by local entrepreneurs Michael Malone and Olivia Ormos, received an official proclamation from the City of Miami Beach naming February 16 “Model Volleyball Day.”
Ornos remembers the inaugural year of the fashionable event, inspired by Ocean Drive Volleypalooza from the magazine.
“After Volleypalooza had not been produced for several years, we knew it was a special event that the Miami Beach community was looking forward to, so we wanted to make sure it returned,” she notes. “We started in 2010 with a small tournament of no more than 60 models at Nikki Beach and a few sponsors, with no idea of the turnout.”
Now in its 12th year, the event has grown to include over 200 models from 12 agencies, 30 different sponsors and around 10,000 spectators. Proceeds from the event will go to the Angel Watching Over Me Foundation, which supports the community through initiatives such as the AWOM Girls Cluba weekly after-school program aimed at fostering leadership among young girls.
To compete for the 2022 Model Volleyball title, the models compete in a bracket-style tournament in which teams compete in a round-robin format, with the second day a single-elimination format. The prize: bragging rights and trips to undisclosed locations.
“This is an invitation to agencies, who are building their teams to represent them at the tournament where bragging rights, connecting with friends and having a good time are top priorities for the year,” explains Ormos. “The winning agency keeps the trophy for the whole year until the next event. It has become a reunion for many of us and a way to reconnect with friends.”
A constellation of parties and sponsors will revolve around the two-day mixed tournament. The long weekend of events kicks off on Thursday, March 10 with a party at a private home, followed by an official pool party at the Gale Hotel the following day. On Saturday and Sunday, DJs will begin spinning at 10 a.m. on Eighth Street and Ocean Drive, with sponsors providing food, drink and entertainment.
TV personality Brody Jenner will DJ on Sundays starting at 3:30 p.m., and a closing party will close the proceedings later in the evening at Bodega South Beach.
“There’s such a strong volleyball community in Miami Beach and nothing like what we do,” Ormos says. “We’re also lucky to be in Florida, where things are happening every day now. People are excited to get back to normal life.”
Bang model volleyball. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13 at Eighth Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; modelvolleyball.com. Free entry.