In February of 2001 a phone call was made. Chris Hairston had called his friend Chris McGarity and asked if he could take him to lunch. It was at this lunch that the idea for Volleyball Virginia (V2) was originated. Hairston wanted to put together a cost effective, fun, volleyball event with quality prizes. “Can’t be done.” was the response. Hairston went to his local Home Depot and purchased all the materials that were needed to build eight high quality portable courts. Where did the money come from? His own pocket. Seeing Hairston’s dedication to the cause, McGarity decided to do his part.
McGarity acquired needed materials from the old Marina Shores crew and was able to get the rights to the “Kill Team” name. Then the discussions followed of just what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to run events and not just tournaments. Hairston, the stickler for details, wanted everything to be professional and done right. Scoreboards were acquired. Antennas were gathered and thick strap lines were gathered. Sponsors were gathered, a date was set, and the first newly revamped “Kill Team” event was held.
It rained the week prior to the event and the grass field was underwater. But, if you looked close enough out over the KOA campground you would have seen Hairston and McGarity out there in the drizzle setting up nets at 5:30 in the a.m. The sun came out and the event went off. It was a huge success. Everyone was happy, even the crappy and complaining player who has never been happy in their entire life.
After the first “Kill Team” we decided to make a real business out of what we were doing and C and C volleyball was born. The name was later changed to Volleyball Virginia. Hairston also started hosting kids camps each week over the summer. These camps filled rapidly and were full the entire months of June, July, and August. Who knew that Hairston knew so much about this game? We held events throughout the City of Virginia Beach, at the north end of the beach and at city parks. We promoted the events by word of mouth, calling players at home and handing out a lot of flyers. Did it work? Yes.
In the winter of 2003 Hairston also took another bold step forward and acquired a partnership with the AVP. That’s right, I said AVP. We are now an AVPnext affiliate.
5 YEAR UPDATE
In our first year as an AVPnext affiliate (and our first year of keeping track of membership) we had 35 members. Now 5 years later we have upwards of 500 members from around the country and various countries!!!!! McGarity has become the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the AVPnext and helped to write the new AVPnext volleyball rulebook.
V2 has taken over the oceanfront boardwalk!!!! In our short 5 year history we have taken prime real estate at 33rd street on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. We have also started our own V2 beach leagues that filled in their first year.
Living up to our company name we have hosted tournaments/camps/clinics in almost every city in Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach, Hampton, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Newport News), in our state’s capital, Richmond, and in our nations capital Washington D.C. We have also either hosted or helped to host events in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado.
In our first 5 years we have taken over the Virginia Beach oceanfront and quickly became the beach volleyball leader in the state. As we look forward to our next 5 years we are making HUGE strides in volleyball for the local area. We have eyes on a new indoor facility. And quite possibly two, yes 2, separate indoor adult leagues. Look for us to take over the indoor scene just like we did the beach and grass. We will do it the right way and stay true to our V2 foundation which is aimed at keeping tournaments, camps, and clinics affordable and fun for all. We will continue to promote the volleyball lifestyle, especially the beach volleyball lifestyle, and be organized in a professional and respectful manner to all participants. Our costs will remain nominal and affordable so we can attract even the most casual of players. The volleyball business was in need of a quality run organization in Tidewater, one not caught up in only making money, and that is where Volleyball Virginia stepped up. The promotions of volleyball is our main focus. We not only wrote the rule book, we provide court balls, antennas on each court, scoreboards, and quality prizes for all tournament participants.
If we have made this much progress in only 5 short years just imagine what we will be accomplishing over the next 5 years. Be sure to check back for the next 5 YEAR UPDATE.
10 YEAR UPDATE
Volleyball Virginia is a chunk of beach volleyball history, and an important one. Volleyball Virginia is a Boston Tea Party, a loud, rude act of defiance against a bad, broken system built on abusing its finest. Volleyball Virginia was a bold gamble that paid off and made beach volleyball a better field for anybody with talent and a fresh idea. 20 years ago players had little reason for complaint on our own behalf-unless the tournament host had a friend playing, was playing his or her self, or worse, unless we made the mistake of playing out of town. This much remained intact of the old system, and it is this central mechanism that made any true and meaningful reform impossible.
To be a new player was an exercise in self-abuse. Desperate to prove their unprovable talent, some old promotions would, sooner or later, get around to screwing players for their talents, who they hangout with, or where they are from. You content yourself to doing the old stuff or you leave. Leave we did. As years passed, feeling restless, wishing sincerely to break the old cycle of resentment and bitterness, hungry to put behind us the increasingly distasteful job of breaking the trends of tired old companies, eager as hell as we were to pump some new ideas, some of our own blood, into a once-vital sport gone catatonic, many of us turned our backs on the old promotions. We found new sponsors, ready to do business, ready to swim into the uncertain waters ahead rather than drown in the stagnant pool we’d all inherited. The result was not revolutionary. Not for years it wasn’t. Not until Volleyball Virginia went national.
The old-machinery tried to re-tool. There was no stopping Volleyball Virginia. The players would not allow it. So the old machinery rebooted their directors, tried to show that their product was not obsolete, gambling that their friends would stay and that those they mis-treated would come back. With superb timing and expert strategy Volleyball Virginia rallied players to abandon sad old promoters. With quality production, play that rippled with enthusiasm, and tournament sites put together with euphoric abandon, Volleyball Virginia formed and competed jaw to jaw with the old promotions and won!! The players went with Volleyball Virginia. While the old promotions stagger on their roar has gone hallow and their numerous misdeeds are visible to all.
Volleyball Virginia will continue to be a beach volleyball mainstay. We will not succumb to the temptations of the robber-baron policies that has enervated beach volleyball since its inception. In the meantime, it is good news indeed for players, and for fans, that one of the best and biggest beach volleyball promotions in America, Volleyball Virginia, is owned and controlled by those who are morally and ethically sound. Volleyball Virginia’s future looks bright. Now, at last, free of sorry conditions and mistreatment, we have proven the we can cut the mustard.
Volleyball Virginia started in an area, Virginia Beach, that desperately needed a good, honest, and fair volleyball company. The formula worked and within our very first year in business Volleyball Virginia became the top volleyball organization in the area. Then Volleyball Virginia took this formula on the road and it worked in other places as well. In fact this formula has worked all over the country and Volleyball Virginia has become one of the top volleyball promotions in the entire country. It has not been easy as we have had to overcome many obstacles, especially many old ways of thinking and doing business.
Who knew? Who knew that Volleyball Virginia would make it 10 years?? What started as a bootleg grass promotion in which we had to mow the grass and call players at home to get them out has turned into the largest Volleyball promotion in the region. We have added two high quality staff members: John Johnson and Dave Smith. We have even hosted regular local events that have been bigger than both ECSC and Neptune Festival. IN FACT WE NOW HOST BOTH ECSC AND NEPTUNE FESTIVAL. We travel all over the country hosting events from amateur to national pro events as well. Volleyball Virginia co-hosted the largest outdoor volleyball event in the U.S. Volleyball Virginia is recognized as the 5th largest grassroots organization in the country!!! (And we will only get bigger.) Volleyball Virginia has brought not one but, two pro tours to the area.
Volleyball Virginia has also exorcised the volleyball demons from the south end of the Virginia Beach oceanfront and in doing so we were able to bring back one of three BIG events: the Memorial Day Weekend tournament!!! We now host all the beach volleyball on the entire Virginia Beach oceanfront. People told us it was impossible and we replied that it was not impossible. We just had not done it yet. Now we have done it and we will keep our focus and strive to continue to be not only the best beach volleyball promotion on the east coast but one of the best in the country.
The secret to our success is simple. We love what we do. When you truly love the game people know it. This is not only our business but it is our passion. We take care of our staff and our players. This is why we are the only game in town. Other companies tried to be competitive but they did very little to make themselves competitive. Our success is the best form of revenge.
15 YEAR UPDATE
We have hosted the first ever Jr Beach National Qualifier in Va. Beach. In fact, we are the host for the Jr. Beach National Championships which has rarely ever been hosted on the East Coast. This is the biggest beach volleyball event to ever be hosted by Volleyball Virginia and the biggest beach volleyball event to ever be held in Va. Beach.
Is it any wonder why for the 10th year in a row Volleyball Virginia has been named BEST ON THE BEACH?? (And to think it was not until our 4th year in business that we actually got on the beach.) Also, within the past 15 years we have been named ONE OF THE NATIONS BEST BEACH VOLLEYBALL PROMOTIONS 2 years in a row and 3 times overall. Need we mention that we are the ONLY beach volleyball promotion in the entire region to have, not only won these awards, but, have even been voted for to win these awards!?!?
We have grown so much in the past few years that our permitted area went from 1-3 blocks to 7 city blocks. Where we used to have a membership of 35 players we now have thousands from all over the world. Our beach leagues had 15 teams in them and now we boast over 300 teams in our beach leagues. The average tournament went from 11-33 teams to over 300 for the National Championships.
In recent years our success has become so widely known (Thank you Volleyball Magazine for all the stories you have done on V2) that we have had some of the largest beach volleyball promoters fly out and check out how we do business.
Since overtaking our sport locally and nationally you may ask “What is next for V2?” The world what else? We have switched our beach volleyballs out to the most widely used beach volleyball in the world. Mikasa. This ball is used in every country in the world for beach volleyball, the Olympics, a pro tour here in the U.S.A., and now the largest/leading beach promotion in our region is using it as well. V2. Not only that but we have branched out overseas and have hosted events as far away as Hawaii, (we know it is not overseas but it still is pretty far away) Itlay, South Africa, Fiji, Japan and have been invited to host more.
Our success can be credited to countless valuable volunteers over the years, a knowledgeable and dedicated staff and a simple business philosophy that starts at the top and goes all the way down:
BE FAIR. BE HONEST. BE CONSISTENT.
If more groups could adopt this train of thought there would be more successful and rapidly growing beach volleyball organizations out there.
Hope to have you back for our 20 year celebration. In the meantime, keep it in the sand.