This has been very hotly debated over the last few months … whether or not to add courts in Hermosa, who is for and against, the implications, too many or not enough volleyball events, etc.
Well here is our position. Beach volleyball at the youth level has grown exponentially in the last 4 years (when the NCAA made it a scholarship sport for girls). USAV, AAU, the CBVA and JVA, and other organizations have made Hermosa Beach their home for youth volleyball. While it brings more people to downtown Hermosa (offering a boost to business and in turn City revenues), it has also caused a significant increase in events, which displace the locals who often play volleyball at the Hermosa Pier courts.
Our classes, leagues and tournaments really are not impacted by the additional events, nor the issue with courts, since for Cinco, Smackfest, and the 9/11 events, we only use the south side and build courts if necc. Smackfest (and VBV) doesnt really have a “dog in this fight”, but I it important to be involved as having taught classes and run leagues and tournaments in the City for 18 years … as well as being a Parks and Rec Commissioner for 11 years.
Regarding the number of Events, yes, they have grown substantially over the last 5-10 years. Why?? Because Hermosa is the perfect venue !! We have parking, restaurants/bars, an amazing beach with lots of volleyball courts, a reasonable Council, and most of all a “beach lifestyle attitude” by the majority of our residents who feel that events, in particular, volleyball events, are an important part of Hermosa’s culture and part of what makes this the best little city in the world !! But this issue does need to be addressed, because the City is maxed out and doesnt really need all these events and tournaments displacing residents who play at the pier courts.
More courts would be nice, but in moderation. The proposal before the Council is to add 20 new courts … but this is excessive. Reality is the City should allow an additional court to be added to the west of an existing court where there is only 1 (not 2 courts). We feel it also makes sense to move around the 7 courts on the south side of the pier, which by doing so, will allow for 10 courts and still allow access for Lifeguards. These additional courts could be used by kids trying to get better … or adults like those in my classes looking to develop friendships and have a place on the sand they can call home.
There was a suggestion by council at 2am during a mtg in March which was enacted upon which reserves 6 courts on the northside when a tournament is using the northside courts … and if that event needs all courts, the tournament director must build temp courts on the southside allowing residents to play. This is really a ridiculous rule for various reasons – the Pier courts are by City ordinance, there primarily for event; also with a total of 21 courts on both sides of the pier, there is no logical/objective reason that 13 of these need to be open to free play.
The Parks and Rec commission decided last week to form a sub committee to analyze the situation and develop a comprehensive plan addressing all aspects of the volleyball courts, events, and more. When they unveil this plan, lets hope it meets all factions in the middle – because it just makes sense!!
Thanks, Bill Sigler