Elite beach volleyball bounces into Redcliffe

Published 3:00pm 13 October 2022

Elite beach volleyball bounces into Redcliffe
Words by Jodie Powell

The state’s elite volleyball talent will hit the beach at Redcliffe for round three of the 2022-23 Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour this weekend.

Volleyball Queensland events manager Damian Searle says Saturday’s action will be played out on up to 20 courts at Suttons Beach, with 75 two-player teams registered.

There are 16 men’s premier teams, 16 men’s challenger teams and 11 men’s aspiring teams, along with 16 premier and 16 challenger teams for the women.

“The thing about Redcliffe is you have that lovely walkway and steps which act as a pavilion,” Damian says.

“Redcliffe can turn on some absolutely cracking days.”

Full day of action

Elite beach volleyball bounces into Redcliffe

Damian says play will be a reduced format, with teams playing to 18 points across three sets rather than the usual 21 and each match running for 30-40 minutes.

“Each court will probably have 14 games on it on the day,” he says.

Damian’s excited to be bringing Volleyball Queensland action back to Redcliffe after an absence of several years.

“A few years ago, I rediscovered Redcliffe and we started with about 80 teams and then it was 120, then 180.

“We had 21 courts, but we ran out of sand and we had to move it from there to Coolangatta because we couldn’t fit any more in.

|“We needed to get something back to Redcliffe.”|

Great to watch

Elite beach volleyball bounces into Redcliffe

He’s encouraging locals to come along and see the event.

“Absolutely come and watch - beach volleyballers love playing out in the public.”

There’ll be action on Sunday as well, with more than 150 junior players signed up to try out to represent Queensland at the Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships – billed as Australia’s premier beach competition for male and female junior athletes.

Volleyball Queensland will be aiming to nominate five teams per age group and gender for the Australian championships.

State-level coaching

Elite beach volleyball bounces into Redcliffe

Damian says Redcliffe is the ideal location for the trials, because it gives recruiters the chance to see players in an open-air setting.

“Wind is the other element for beach volleyball faces,” he explains.

“How do you find out who’s a good player if all the elements are not there?”

He says having more courts than an indoor centre will also help the process, because each player will have a longer trial period.

“They’ll have four hours with a state-level coach, so hopefully they’ll learn something.

“Volleyball in general is growing – even through the pandemic it’s grown 20-30 percent.

“People might have stopped playing contact sports or maybe they see how good volleyball is,” he laughs.

Saturday’s event runs from 8am-6pm, while Sunday’s trials are 9am-1pm

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