Sunshine, sand, sets and spikes. These are the choice ingredients for the beach volleyball tournament served up by the town of Seaside this summer.

The Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament is billed as the largest amateur volleyball tournament in the world, drawing more than 800 teams on 100-plus courts to showcase the strength and beauty of this physical competition every August.

For spectators, it’s a casual and fun atmosphere. Admission is free, and people stake out their space on amphitheater-style sand berms. Blankets and lawn chairs start appearing on Thursday as people stake out their spots. (Don’t be surprised to see the longstanding tradition of someone’s couch along the top row.)

And yes, there will suntanned muscles, men playing shirtless, female athletes in bikinis, and the celebratory spanking that goes along with the game. But it’s really about the athleticism. With many current and former Association of Volleyball Professionals members competing, you’ll see some of the best players in the country. And who doesn’t love an awesome, diving layout in the sand?

Last year more than 10,000 spectators showed up each day to watch beachside play in several divisions: Men’s and Women’s Open, Co-Ed, Advanced, Advanced A Divisions, Quads and Six’s, and Parent – Child. This year adds Men’s/Women’s B & BB Doubles, Masters 55+ Doubles, Coach/Player and Parent/Child Advanced 2’s.

Check out photos and videos at the tourney website. And for high-tech help planning your trip, download Seaside’s new, free mobile smartphone app.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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