Keeping the beach volleybal vibe alive for the kids

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Karch Kiraly is bringing back the Corona Light Wide Open, one of the nation’s leading grassroots beach volleyball tours.

The tour will make nine stops, beginning at South Beach Park in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on May 15-16.

It is the official qualifying tour for the 2010 US Open of Beach Volleyball, a USA Volleyball-sanctioned national championship that will be played Sept. 17-19 in Manhattan Beach.

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The other stops:

== Galveston, Texas, May 22-23
== Siesta Key, Fla., June 19-20
== Huntington Beach, June 26-27
== Santa Cruz,, July 10-11
== Chicago, July 31-Aug. 1
== Long Island, N.Y., Aug. 7-8
== Breckenridge, Colo., Aug. 14-15
== Point Pleasant, N.J., Aug. 21-22

“The Corona Light Wide Open is one of the few beach volleyball events in the world that
captures the true essence and vibe of the beach,” said Kiraly, the winningest player in
beach volleyball history out of UCLA. “It’s all about playing the sport and living the lifestyle.

“Last year we quickly saw how people wanted a top-shelf, competitive beach volleyball tournament and a package of activities on the beach that allowed them not only to compete for a spot in the US Open, but have some fun and really let loose. This year,
we are taking the Wide Open experience to a much higher level.”

The inaugural tour drew more than 3,500 players competing in up to 16 different
divisions.

Kiraly, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, co-founded the tour last year and will be
the chief volleyball officer this year. He will oversee the tournament structure and
rules development, conduct clinics and participate in exhibition matches in select
markets.

Meanwhile, the AVP announced Tuesday that it would bring back and expanded version of its Junior Camps, held in conjunction with eight AVP pro beach volleyball tour events.

“Being on site, the kids will not only be taught the classic beach fundamentals, but they will have an opportunity to experience the soul of the game and a sense of the possibilities,” said AVP commissioner Mike Dodd. “Teaching young people to appreciate and enjoy our game is a responsibility the AVP accepts with pride.”

Current and former AVP players, along with experienced coaches, will teach girls and boys ages 8-18 training techniques to improve their sand and indoor games with skills demonstrations, drills and workouts designed specifically for their skill and age level. Small courts, lower nets and lighter balls will be used for campers age 12 and below.

Just in time with the NCAA approving sand volleyball as a sanctioned sport, teams can sign up as well. Groups of 10 or more get a $50 discount. More info: www.avp.com/Play-Beach/Camps.aspx.

The schedule (with some dates on Saturday/Sunday and others on Tuesday-Thursday before the AVP tournament):

== Fort Lauderdale, Fla. April 17-18
== Santa Barbara, May 1-2
== Huntington Beach, June 5-6
== Virginia Beach, Va., June 19-20
== Belmar, N.J., June 26-27
== Malibu July 20-22
== Manhattan Beach, Aug. 17-19
== Chicago, Ill., Aug. 28-29

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