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Thank You!

Thanks to all the players who have competed in a JSVBA event, more than 175,000 of you and still counting.

Information Posted: March 30, 2005

19 years! This season makes 19 years of extremely competitive, fun, and outrageously, massively attended beach volleyball tournaments at the Jersey Shore. More people have played at JSVBA events than any other beach volleyball tour in New Jersey.

Who would ever guessed that a former soccer player from New Jersey, by way of Denver, Colorado and a guy from Lancaster Pennsylvania would have been the impetus behind the biggest and best series of beach volleyball events in New Jersey, perhaps in the whole USA.

There have been so many firsts for the JSVBA in those 19 years:

  • First tournament in Belmar ever to receive the backing of the town
  • Largest Spike-it-up event to ever take place, some 2200 participants
  • First Pro Series to have equal prize money for the Men and Women. In 1990, the four tournament JSVBA series with $48,000 split evenly between the men and the women.
  • Only beach volleyball organization to have a City Park named after them, Wildwood's "JSVBA Volleyball Park."
  • The donation of and the putting up of lights and nets in Seaside Heights, NJ in partnership with Miller Lite that allowed players to play all week long at night until 1 AM.
  • 1st tournament to take place in Sandy Hook, Asbury Park, Sea Bright, Ocean City east of the boardwalk, North Wildwood, Seaside Heights, Avon-by-the Sea, Long Branch, and the 1st tournament in season in Belmar.
  • 1st Pro/Am series to institute a GranPrix format
  • 1st marriage proposal at a beach volleyball tournament in Seaside Heights announced by an airplane banner
  • 1st father/son tournament
  • 1st tour to schedule Co-Ed events each weekend
  • 1st true rating and ranking system for Pro/Am beach volleyball.
  • We were one of the founding organizations of FOVA, to bring some semblance of uniformity to beach volleyball.
  • 1st Pro/Am organization to conduct events on both coasts with our sister organization, West Coast Beach Volleyball in San Diego. CA.
  • And so much more.

Whew! It seems like just yesterday when Doug, Sharon and I were scrambling to try and find enough nets for the Belmar Youth Club Benefit because we had expected about a third of the tremendous turnout that just overwhelmed us, for our very first event.

More of our innovations have been copied than any other beach volleyball series in the world. And I still am finding that our policies and procedures are constantly being copied, and adopted by new beach volleyball organizers and groups at an amazing rate.

How does that saying go? "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." If that's the case, then, we are one very, very, very flattered association.

The JSVBA, widely imitated but never equaled.

The AVP Belmar event, now a long running tradition, is a direct result of our involving Miller Lite and getting the sponsor so pumped up and excited that after attending his first JSVBA event, he hounded the AVP into returning to NJ. This after the AVP swore they would never come back to NJ just 2 years earlier. Our relationship and history with the Mayor of Belmar and the town, had convinced the Borough Council that beach volleyball was a such positive factor or they would have never even considered allowing such an event.

The JSVBA events have always been participant driven with everything we do designed to make it as convenient and organized for the players as possible, rather than just a promotional outlet for sponsors. We have always been about providing a place where everyone could play no matter how good or how "not so good" you were, with the rules of competition fairly and equally enforced, with no preferential treatment from the tournament director, even if you were the best man at my wedding and the co-founder of the JSVBA, and that tradition continues to this very day.

You, the players, are the ones who truly make it happen. The response from the beginning was just overwhelming. We had no idea it would ever become as popular, as fanatic, as much of a lifestyle event and as much a part of peoples lives as it is. When we started we just wanted to create something where we could play organized tournament beach volleyball without having to drive to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

What do you think? Did we succeed? 175,000 of you certainly seem to think so.

Those hundreds of men's B, BB, and A teams every weekend on those 50-60-70 nets was just an astounding sight. I still believe that it was harder to win a men's BB tournament back around 1992 than it was to win the AA or maybe even the Pro. You would have to beat 50 or more teams just in the Men's BB Playoffs, after pool play finished.

And you needed really good night vision as the tournaments seemed to never end before 10PM.

Beach Volleyball at the Shore has gone through some very drastic and traumatic changes since 1986. Who would have ever guessed that we would be using Rally Scoring in 2004?

In 1986, we played 2 games per match in pool play, sideout scoring to 15 with five teams in most pools. Of course, those events were all 2 day tournaments with pool play on Saturday and the playoffs on Sunday. But as the players became more and more skilled and the matches got longer and longer and longer and we adopted, due to popular demand, one day tournaments, the number of games and points had to become fewer and fewer since it took longer to play each and every game.

Who among us ever thought that we would be reducing the size of the court to 8 meters by 8 meters? Drastic, traumatic, absolutely! But that change, and rally scoring, let serve, hand setting, antennas, etc. is now the accepted norm for beach volleyball. Wow, much of it still amazes me. And we have consistently been at the forefront in incorporating the new rules and criteria for the enjoyment of the players.

Thank you, whether you have been playing on our JSVBA tour for years or if this will be your very first JSVBA event, thank you for being a part of the JSVBA and the great and long tradition of beach volleyball at the Jersey Shore.

We invite you to help us celebrate our 19th year by doing the same thing you and we have always done, playing the greatest sport in the world, BEACH VOLLEYBALL, at the greatest beach volleyball venues anywhere in the whole wide world, the pristine beaches of the Jersey Shore.

And We'll See You on the Beach,

Michael Borga
President, JSVBA

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