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The CBVA and the City Defend the Manhattan Open
by J Parker Saikley, Mark Leyman & Richard Gill
On Friday the AVP shut down operations and went bankrupt. On Monday CBVA was chosen to host the 2010 Manhattan Beach Open. In a shocking twist of events, tournament director J Parker Saikley convinced the Manhattan Beach City Council to play the event under “old-school” rules, against the advice of CBVA president Chris Brown. “Old-school” rules include the larger court (30′x30′), no antennas, and an all-leather Wilson ball. This is the City’s letter written to fans regarding their decision to revert to old-school rules for the Open.
Thank you for your input regarding the format of the Manhattan Beach Open – 50th Anniversary. A few of you might know that the Manhattan Beach Open was originally a city event that began in 1960 by a man named Alex Bolianas who worked for the Manhattan Beach Recreation Department. In 1962, in the tourney’s second year, Charlie Saikley (who also worked for the city of M.B. Rec.Dept.) took the reins and successfully directed and grew the Manhattan Beach Open into the most prestigious volleyball tournament in the world. It is during these years of Side Out Scoring and long court that the MBO gained recognition and earned its nicknames like the Crown Jewel of beach volleyball, the Granddaddy of beach volleyball tournaments, or the Wimbledon of beach volleyball.
As the game evolved and the Olympics picked up beach volleyball, there was a need for a shortened game time for television purposes. This ruling to change the game to rally scoring and the short court was decided upon by the FIVB and was not the traditional game of volleyball in the USA. Although different, the new rules have helped the sport grow and find its way into the main stream media. For that, we are all grateful and hope that the sport continues to grow.
This year’s Manhattan Beach Open is unique in the sense that you cannot earn AVP or International points and there is no television contract. It will be an opportunity to honor the legacy of Charlie Saikley and the history of the sport of beach volleyball in Manhattan Beach. In addition, this format will allow spectators to enjoy long, hard fought games which exemplify the competitive spirit of the game of volleyball.
We are moving forward with the traditional style of play and hope that you will be a part of this great tournament, to play for your fans, tradition, the love of the game and having a permanent plaque on the Pier in remembrance of this historic 50th Anniversary Manhattan Beach Open.
See you at the beach,
J Parker Saikley, Manhattan Beach Open CBVA Tournament Director
Mark Leyman, Sports and Aquatics Manager for the City of Manhattan Beach
Richard Gill, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Manhattan Beach
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