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Turning a Pool into a Sand Volleyball Court


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Team Sting in Birmingham, Alabama decided to do something about the empty pool that had been sitting in their facility (formerly a YMCA) for over a year. The club joined together with help from parents and players toThe pool is 9 feet deep and was very dangerous, as far as someone falling in, however, Facility Manager Robert Dailey was able to obtain structural steel from a store that was throwing it out for remodeling, and bolted it to the floor and wall to function as a barrier, kind of like a fence. Initially, Team Sting was going to put artificial turf in the pool and use it for speed and agility training, but a parent in the club had access to sand and being a contractor, had several dump trucks. Team Sting parents and players joined in to help create the sand court.

The first question was how to get the sand in the room without having to come through the volleyball gym? Robert took out a window 12 inches by 24 inches, built a shoot, and proceeded to load over 200 yards of sand through the small opening. View video to see this in action. It took about 5 trips for them to have enough sand, and every trip was about 40 yards. After the sand was in the pool, the players moved the sand to the far end with 5 gallon buckets and wheelbarrows. Once the pool was level with sand there was about 4 feet to the top of the deck and that left them with 20 feet to the ceiling.

So the next question was what to do about the concrete sides? Back in the 80s the gym was a YMCA and the pool was used a lot. There were two pool covers: one of them was a rollout cover to keep the heat in water when the pool was not in use. Robert took the 12 ft wide and 75 foot long covers and screwed one edge into the deck along the side, dropped it below the surface of the sand, placed a lane divider into the cover under surface, attached the other edge back to the deck but placed high density foam between the two sides of the pool cover to pad the walls.

Afterwards, he got some golf netting and strung it up around the pit all the way to the ceiling so no balls ever leave the pit. The amazing thing about the whole project is their only expense were concrete screws, foam sheets, netting, and cables. However, the labor that was put in was simply incredible. Along with sand volleyball training, the court is used for physical conditioning, tug of war, speed and agility, as well as an indoor driving range.

Sting Sand Elite has done extremely well in its first year. Accomplishments include winning three tournaments, four 2nd place finishes, two USAV National Qualifying teams and an AAU National Qualifying Team. Their 181 team was composed if a 17 year old and a 15 year old and placed 9th in the country out if 38 teams. Their 161 team placed 19th out if 63 teams and was composed of a 15 and 14 year old. Now that they have a sand court of their own, Team Sting is excited about what next year will bring for their indoor and sand programs!

The mission of the Junior Volleyball Association is to promote the growth of youth and junior volleyball through program and resource development, education and events.

For more information and education on junior volleyball, visit www.jvaonline.org


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