Check out the different places to play volleyball
Are you an avid volleyball player that wants to find a good game to play, or someone who has always wanted to try out the game but didn't have the opportunity to do so? Don't sit around wondering how to get involved any longer. The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department has just what you are looking for. Get ready to get out and enjoy a fun, exciting game of volleyball!
At any of Yuma Parks and Recreation volleyball programs, you don't have to be Misty May-Treanor or Kerry Walsh Jennings, former Olympic volleyball stars, to play volleyball. It's a great sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, and it's played year-round, both indoors and outdoors. Aside from the pure enjoyment of the game, do you know that participating in the sport has many positive health benefits?
First, it's a great way to be active and burn calories when you play. Only 45 minutes of bumping, setting and spiking can burn up to 585 calories. Volleyball also improves muscle strength and tone. The movements required when playing volleyball strengthen the upper body, arms, shoulders, thighs, abdominals and lower legs. In addition, volleyball improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes and balance. Last, but not least, playing the game promotes teamwork and communication among players and is a great social forum to meet and make new friends.
There are many opportunities to play volleyball, offered by Yuma Parks and Recreation, that will appeal to a variety of volleyball enthusiasts:
• Pick-up volleyball is played seven days a week at the Kennedy Park sand volleyball courts. Four outdoor courts are located at 23rd Street and Kennedy Lane and are open to the public throughout the day and evening until 11 p.m., when the park closes at night. Players usually start showing up around 6 p.m. and are an active crowd of friendly, volleyball enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages. They jump in whenever there is an opening on the court. Some people come as a team, and single players make their teams on the spot, joining in as a court becomes open.
• For the young at heart, senior volleyball for ages 50-plus is offered every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Joe Henry Optimist Center, 1793 S. 1st Ave. Meet and compete with players, many who are our winter visitors from all over the United States and Canada, and be ready for a challenging game. Recreation staff is there to help put teams together and keep score, and players officiate their own games.
• Another opportunity to play volleyball at the Joe Henry Optimist Center is drop-in volleyball night every Sunday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For only a $2 drop-in fee, players can play for three hours if they want. Again, recreation staff is on hand to help organize games and keep score, but players get to make their own calls. Although some games can get competitive, it's really recreational, allowing for the very novice player to join in and not worry too much on how they hit the ball over the net. Players of all levels are encouraged and are welcome to come and participate. This is a great venue to practice your skills, while meeting other volleyball fanatics.
• If you have a group of players who like to compete, coming soon is the Summer Series sand volleyball tournaments. The first of the series of three sand volleyball tournament kicks off on May 11 with the Leapin' Lizards tournament, followed by the Sunscorchers tournament on June 15, and then finishes off with the Spike Night tournament on July 13. All three start at 6 p.m. Put your team together, practice at the sand volleyball courts any night of the week, or at Joe Henry Optimist Center on Sunday nights, and get ready now for these three upcoming tournaments.
• Finally, we haven't forgotten the youngsters out there who want to learn how to play volleyball. Beginning June 3, youth instructional volleyball clinics will be offered for two weeks at a time at the Yuma Civic Center. This program for boys and girls ages 6 to 14 will focus on teaching the fundamentals and basic strategies of the game, set in a friendly and fun learning environment.
For volleyball players of all ages and skill levels, Parks and Recreation has just the program for you. Indoors or outdoors, morning or night, just for fun or for the competition, get out and play volleyball. We've got the game you are looking for. For more information, call the Yuma Parks and Recreation Department at 373-5243 or visit www.yumaaz.gov.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for Yuma Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.