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WOVA goes to four nights

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Building on the success of past seasons the Whistler Outdoor Volleyball Association has added a fourth league and night this season.

Last season a partial fourth league was added in the afternoon after strong interest at registration. But after talking with teams, league director Scott Rogers opted to book a fourth night at Rainbow Park.

This year there will be two recreational "C" leagues, with C1 teams playing on Wednesdays and C2 teams playing on Fridays.

The C League is co-ed. Each team should register six players, and four players are on the court at any time - including at least one female at all times.

"We split up the C Leagues so our players that work at bars and restaurants and things can make games on Wednesdays when things are a little slower, and so the people that work 9 to 5 p.m. can kick off their weekend at Rainbow Park with a fun game of volleyball," said Rogers.

The A League plays on Tuesdays, and is a two-on-two league.

"It's the purest form of the sport and the Olympic format," explained Rogers. "Last year we ran a three-on-three league, but most of those players had played two-on-two before joining the league, and there was some call to return to that."

That leaves the intermediate B League, which plays on Thursdays. B League is three-on-three, and co-ed is optional. Each team should register four players in order to have a substitute.

"It's a step up from the recreational league, and it opens up the option of creating strategies and plays," said Rogers. "I'm willing to work on strategies with teams that are new to the format to get them up to speed."

There is a limit of 12 teams in A and B Leagues, and 15 teams each in C1 and C2 Leagues, which will require teams to play a few games on grass courts, as well as the sand. Rogers says he will balance the schedule so each team will play each other at least once during the 10-week schedule, and will play roughly the same number of games on the grass.

The first Tuesday games take place on June 16 and the last Friday games on Aug. 21, followed by a post-season where only the top-eight teams in each league advance.

The cost is $200 per team for the season, which includes a professional quality beach volleyball. All games start at 6 p.m. and run until 9 p.m.

Rogers would like to hear from teams in advance, but to register early you need contact information from all your players and a designated team captain who will handle registration and other responsibilities for the team. Otherwise, WOVA is holding its registration night and first league social on Tuesday, June 2 at the Longhorn Saloon, starting at 6 p.m.

This year representatives will get a number and will be called up to the registration table to prevent lines.

Rogers is also creating an area where individual players can meet to form and join teams, and existing teams can recruit replacements for lost players. Individuals can also contact him in advance by e-mail, and he will try to match them with existing teams early so they can ensure that the match is a good fit. Rogers can be contacted through the league website at www.wova.ca.

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