NAGVA brings volleyball championship to Dallas
Tammye Nash | Managing Editor
About 1,300 players, coaches and fans representing 147 teams from across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico are expected to converge on Dallas over the Memorial Day Weekend for the 34th annual North American Gay Volleyball Association Championship Tournament. This is the third time Dallas has hosted the championship.
The Dallas tournament is expected to be the second-largest tournament in NAGVA history. The largest, according to NAGVA President Jason Fallon, was in Las Vegas. “We had 169 teams competing that year,” he said.
Host hotel for the tournament is the Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Blvd., on the edge of downtown. Games will be played at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St.
Local registration, for Dallas players who will be competing, will be held Saturday, May 21, 4-7 p.m. in the Back Lot at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar, 4011 Cedar Springs Road. Take-Off: The Pre-Party, begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Cedar Springs Tap House at ilume, 4123 Cedar Springs Road.
Registration for those coming in from out of town will be held at the Hyatt from 7-9:30 p.m., with Ascend: The After-Registration Party taking place at Woody’s from 8 p.m.- 2 a.m. on May 26.
The tournament begins in earnest on Friday morning, with morning group pool play at 8 a.m. and afternoon group pool play starting about 11:45 a.m. NAGVA’s annual meeting will be held at the hotel Friday evening, followed by Avion: Dance Party at Kaliente Club, 4350 Maple Ave.
The second round of pool play begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. Things get serious with double elimination tournament play starting about 6 p.m. The day ends with Turbulence: Dance Party from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.
Tournament play begins again at 8 a.m. Sunday, and will wind up in time for a cocktail hour at the host hotel at 7 p.m., and the awards banquet at 8 p.m. Woody’s hosts Descend: After Banquet Party, beginning at 10 p.m., while The Brick, 2525 Wycliff, hosts Plunge: After Banquet Party, also at 10 p.m.
The 2016 tournament concludes Monday, May 30, with Dive: The After Sand Tournament, at Sandbar Grill and Cantina, 317 S. 2nd Ave.
Fallon said NAGVA officers “have been working closely” with officers and members of Dallas Invitational Volleyball Association — or DIVA — to organize the tournament and surrounding activities and parties.
“We couldn’t do this without the local guys helping us,” he said.
DIVA member Adam Cebulski, the marketing and communications director for the NAGVA championship tournament and chair of the local organizing committee, said DIVA is thrilled to have the NAGVA tournament coming back to Big D.
“DIVA has grown leaps and bounds since the last time we hosted the championships, in 2005, and we are excited to show how far we’ve come and how the city itself has changed,” Cebulski said.
“We have received an incredible amount of support from the city of Dallas throughout this whole process,” he continued. “An event like this unifying the LGBT community will hopefully also let the residents know the city does support our community, and convince them to strive the further the work our local agencies do.”
DIVA, which marked its 25th anniversary two years ago, currently has almost 400 playing members rated across six divisions and 50 teams. The league has 12-week spring and fall seasons, a six-week summer indoor season and a six-week summer sand season. The league also hosts two NAGVA-sanctioned tournaments each year: the Austin Summerfest each August and the Dallas Fall Classic each October.
For a list of all events taking place in conjunction with the NAGVA championship, visit Facebook.com/NAGVA2016/events. Games and parties in the Dallas bars are open to the public.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 20, 2016.