If you live in San Diego County or are a frequent visitor familiar with our lifestyle, you know that our beaches and ocean offer some of the most exciting ways to spend time. Along with surfing, fishing, sailing, diving, boogey boarding and awesome daily sunsets, there is wildly popular beach volleyball.
On any weekend, in fact, almost any day it’s not raining or storming, the beaches are filled with volleyball players of all skill levels. For many years, the beach pro tour came through our area at least once or twice a summer.
Beaches best known for high level 2-person sand volleyball competition are Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla Shores, Del Mar, Moonlight, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.
But there is even more for players and spectators who savor the fact that Mexico is not far away. Held every year since the early 1970s, less than 45 minutes’ drive south of the Tijuana border, is the Mexico International Volleyball 2-person beach volleyball tournament. It is a true blast for all who attend. The quality of the players ranges from professional to novice. There are both men’s and women’s divisions.
Next year’s tournament will be held on Saturday / Sunday, June 24-25, 2017, on the beach in front of its major sponsor, Pappas & Beer bar and club, in Rosarito Beach, Baja California.
It is an event that witnesses outstanding competition at the sport’s highest level, coupled with all the misbehavior of “Spring Break” in Florida. It’s just better, because it’s right here in our backyard, done in a way only Southern California (truly Baja) can deliver. What happens in Rosarito, stays in Rosarito.
It’s quite a sight to see 40-50 volleyball courts strung out along the sand, with athletes of all abilities, playing nature’s perfect sport. The sand can get extremely hot, so “sand socks” are often needed whether one is playing or just walking over to the hospitality tent. Some players will dress in costumes too.
Many folks come to the tournament not as entrants, but to watch friends or relatives play. So, if someone wants something to do in addition to watching the players, there are all the recreational sports one would expect from a beach resort environment. Fishing or picturesque oceanfront golf is available between Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, no more than an additional hour drive to the south. If you like the beauty of vineyards and wineries, there is the rapidly expanding region of the Guadalupe Valley, about an hour and a quarter drive to the south and east. Close by, there are a number of outstanding restaurants within walking distance of the beach or less than a 15-minute cab ride away.
The tournament’s motto, slightly different from the famous adage, is “what happens at Mex Volleyball, should be photographed.” It’s a blast!