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Valleyball returns next weekend

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:09 AM

HUNTINGTON -- If someone ventures by the RPA Memorial Park on Spring Valley Drive this weekend, they will see players tuning up their games.

That's not all that will be seen, however.

There will also be guys painting lines, sweeping courts and setting up the area in anticipation for next weekend.

It's all so the quiet Spring Valley outdoor park can host some of the area's best basketball players for next weekend's Valleyball 3-on-3 tournament.

"We've put a lot of work in so far, but it really gets cranked up now," said Matt McSweeney, co-director of the Valleyball tournament. "We want this to look really solid for our teams next week. The games are for pride, so we take pride in how the court looks, too."

The Valleyball committee has been teaming with the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District in an effort to find ways to liven up the area for the tournament while also making some changes that will benefit the public throughout the year.

"We've been trying to partner up on revamping this place -- all the way from painting the court, the poles, adding picnic tables and some other improvements," said tournament co-director J.B. Blankenship. "They've been good to us and we want to give back to them and the community. That's what this is about."

The Valleyball 3-on-3 tournament takes place July 19-21 at RPA Memorial Park and features teams in two divisions: 'A' division (for players with college experience) and 'B' division (high school experience or less).

Both McSweeney and Blankenship said the response on the tournament's social media sites has been large and spots are filling up fast, so those wishing to enter this year's tournament need to sign up.

Forms are available for download on the Valleyball Facebook page. Cost is $100 for a team of five players.

Registration for the tournament will close on Wednesday so the tournament officials can get ready for Thursday's Bracket Party, which is being hosted by Davis' Place of Huntington.

The Bracket Party will begin at 6 p.m. on the back patio area at Davis' and teams will find out their time slots for the games.

Action in the 'B' division gets underway on Friday evening with games beginning at 5 p.m. and running until dark.

On Saturday morning, the 'A' division gets underway and play continues in the 'B' division throughout the day.

Sunday's action features both championship and consolation action in both brackets, along with a Media/Celebrity game, dunk contest and the tournament's first-ever "Biddy Valley" game, which will features 6-10 youth players who will get their Valleyball start.

In addition to the new game on Sunday, it was announced on Thursday that Armstrong Cable is sending a film crew to Sunday's contests and the action will be shown throughout the year on Armstrong's cable channels.

"It's really exciting for us to get some television coverage, thanks to Doug Morris at Armstrong," Blankenship said. "It will be on a two-week delay, but then it will be shown throughout the year, which helps to keep the Valleyball tournament fresh in everyone's mind."

The Valleyball tournament has been a constant in the community since July 1986. For nearly three decades, the area's best players have come together for the tournament to earning bragging rights.

As the tournament expanded, so did its cause.

Now, proceeds from the Valleyball tournament go directly back into the community, helping to sponsor youth sports teams and camps in the area. The Valleyball committee also selects one Wayne County student-athlete each year for a scholarship.

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