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June 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm #607785
I love volleyball and I love to support local sports but enough is enough. Beach volleyball is taking over most of the public beach space at alki beach. Some days they take up about 80% of the beach space which causes crowding for picnickers and other visitors. And the sponser tents and canopies often spill up onto walking path, not to mention the noise of their PA systems. Alki is already crowded enough without this adding to the stress.June 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm #791238
I agree. Last year it got so bad with the PA systems I could not even have a conversation inside my own beachfront apartment. I talked with the organizer of that specific tournament and he basically told me they has as much right to use the beach as anyone. I filed a complaint with Parks and Rec and they told me it was an ongoing and growing problem both here and at Golden Gardens. Parks and Rec said they were “working on a solution.”June 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm #791239
And have you noticed that often those “courts” aren’t in use, yet they are set up and apparently “saved” for the leagues and tournaments? I’ve seen kids batting balls back and forth and then told to leave by official-looking volleyball people. And then that “court” sits empty for an hour or more. What gives? I support volleyball as a sport also, but come on! They need to get real and realize they don’t always get to have what they want….ie, unlimited beach time!June 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm #791240
I had to stop taking my volleyball loving niece down to play last year as there were just too many times were we were setting up a net on what looked like a completely empty area or actually playing when someone from an “official” meet or league comes and tells us we have to move on, they have the courts. I often see people on my morning runs bring bags to place by the nets as early as 6am, and then taking turns watching the courts and shooing anyone away who wants to use the area. It is really frustrating. I have written many times to the parks about this and I would love it if they could set up some sort of formal reservation system with signs, something like what is done for covered picnic areas, so at the very least someone knows that the net areas are rented.June 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm #791241
I had no idea this was going on. Reserving a spot for a limited time is one thing but preventing others from using a chunk of public beach for an indefinite period is unacceptable. And the laws for disturbing the peace should apply to the operation of the PA system. It only needs to be heard by the participants who are nearby, right?June 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm #791242
Until today, I thought I was the only one who cared about this. Thanks to the others for speaking out. Last summer one group even set up their BLEACHERS on the promenade! When I see what small space is left for other beach visitors it just fries me. Grrr. Glad to get this off my chest.June 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm #791243
I checked the Seattle Parks site, and it seems they don’t have a program to reserve the volleyball areas (unless I’m too inept to find it). I would think that means that nobody can kick you off, regardless of how much more “important” their game is than yours.
Here’s the list of public recreation facilities available for reservation. Volleyball is conspicuously absent:June 8, 2013 at 1:54 am #791244
I drove by this evening. Do they really need that many VB nets?Two or three wouldn’t suffice? It DOES seem like overkill…June 8, 2013 at 3:38 am #791245
Ask to see their use permit. If they fail to produce it, tell them to get lost.June 8, 2013 at 7:17 am #791246
I looked online and found a couple of things. First, the city is involved with “Community Sports Organizations”:
The one you are encountering at Alki is likely Sandbox Sports that is promoting something called “Alki Fridays”:
They DO need a permit and must have it available at all times. The next link also addresses the PA system and what their limits are. You can always call in a noise complaint to SPD.June 8, 2013 at 7:56 am #791247
The complaining here is unreal!!!.. Summertime only lasts maybe two months out of the year. Stop the bitching!!June 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm #791248
Jiggers, you are right it is only a couple of months. But it is also only a couple of months for non-volleyball players. They deserve to use the beach too.June 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm #791249
I think it’s annoying, too. They do take up a huge amount of beach real estate on the days they are there and often it doesn’t seem like there are actual games going on.June 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm #791250
Fighting over a park? Hmmmm…shades of Istanbul! ; )
Don’t like the nets? Knock ’em over! (But not if people are playing!)June 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #791251
imagine complaining about gangs of young and not so young people engaged in a sport….
instead of roaming the beach causing troubleJune 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm #791252
That is right, anytime anyone is concerned about anything, they are a nimby/complainer/fuddy duddys who just do not know how to have fun…….
For me, the issue is that the parks/city are frequently (almost every weekend now) giving out permits for big, pay to play, sponsored events, that take up a significant portion of the park for most, if not all, of the daylight hours, and there is no notice to anyone that the space has been reserved. When I go to Lincoln park to set up a BBQ, I know exactly what areas are first come first served and what covered areas have been rented and when, because there is a sign up, same for a foot race, community fair, or most any other type of event. It is frustrating to come down to alki at 10:00 am, set up a net on one of the empty poles, only to be told 20 minutes later by someone (with a permit) that we have to leave the area because they have paid for the privilege to be there. No signs, no notice, nothing to indicate to me that we have a limited window to use the park. I am not even able to rent a net area if I wanted to, like you can for a covered picnic area, because outside of these larger events, the nets are supposedly first come first served. All I have repeatedly suggested is that the parks dept. takes into consideration how many of these events are allowed each month and to set up some sort of schedule board (could even be done on the outside of the community center) showing when the volleyball areas have been reserved for licensed events. That way I can plan ahead of time, especially as it is not as simple as setting up a net in any old park area, at it needlessly tares up the park grass and there is a much larger potential for other nearby kids to be hit in the head with a heavy object, as younger/newer players are still learning coordination and volleyballs will go haywire.June 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm #791253
A schedule board would be a great idea..
a first come first serve policy doesn’t work so well when you can’t tell if someone is already there..June 10, 2013 at 4:56 am #791254June 10, 2013 at 5:26 am #791255
the parks department rents the volleyball poles and thistlemist is correct a little notice would be niceJune 10, 2013 at 6:12 am #791256
I think if there were only putting up a few nets, no one would even question it. But they literally took up the entire beach today – asinine. Everyone needs to be able to enjoy the beach, yes, including volleyball players. They need to scale back.
Has anyone reached out to Sandbox Sports on this lately? It’s not particularly good PR on their part.June 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm #791257
“I think if there were only putting up a few nets, no one would even question it. But they literally took up the entire beach today – asinine.” [Cait]
A friend and I were walking the beach yesterday and couldn’t believe how MUCH of the beach was taken up.June 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm #791258
I was down on the beach yesterday morning around 7:30am and they were already down there taking up 3/4 of the beach. I think it’s a reason to complain. It would be fine once in awhile but not every weekend when families want to go to the beach. I’m fine with them being there, they just need to share the beach.June 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm #791259
There are permits to reserve the nets and courts and ball fields for the City of Seattle.
I used to work for an adult sports league company and we rented the courts – only the standards poles – meaning the ones that are permanent – in the evenings M-Th during the short summer months.
We had to have enough time to set up all six courts which takes a while, once one net was up people were welcome to use it until it was game time. I have seen people put their nets up around 7am for evening play, which leads me to believe they are lacking a permit but just using the first come first serve policy, and when they lock their net to the pole it is tricky to take down without damaging it. (This happens a lot)
Since the company i worked for never did the big tournaments and never used music I am not sure about all that – our company motto was “laid back leagues for the everyday player” :)June 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm #791260
You can give feedback to parks and rec on their web site. Under Contact Us there is a link to feedback. Let them know how you feel.June 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm #791261
June 13, 2013
Response from Park and Rec
Seattle Parks and Recreation has been lobbied hard to allow more reservable volleyball courts at Alki Beach, and we have persistently declined because beach space is at such a premium at Alki (and also citywide).
While we haven’t added any poles or issued permits for groups to add poles, people set up their own volleyball courts in the open beach space. It’s not something we would try to prohibit because use of the beach is first come, first served. (If we did try to prohibit, we would have no means to enforce the prohibition.)
The sad truth is that we just don’t have enough public beach space to accommodate all the ways that people would like to use it.
Thank you for writing.
Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 8:48 AM
Subject: Volleyball nets at Alki
Just wanted to give you feedback that many of us West Seattleites are concerned about the excessive number of reserved volleyball nets on the beach. Those of us that just want to relax on the beach with kids and grandkids have very little beach to call our own. Please reconsider your policy.
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