Popular mud volleyball tournament returns
     2015-07-09      By McKenna Copsey   
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - Mud Volleyball participants keep their eye on the ball at last year’s muddy event. The mud volleyball tournament is bigger and better this year, as it gains in popularity each year, adding more brackets and improvements to the tournament site at Five Rocks. 
One of the newest additions to Oregon Trail Days, the fourth annual mud volleyball tournament will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 11 at the Five Rocks Amphitheater. Though the last day for registration has already passed, spectators are welcome to come watch the lively competition.

The mud volleyball tournament was started by Rebecca Shields who ran the idea by the Gering City Council in 2012 in commemoration of Gering’s 125th birthday. The event was so well received that it has returned for every Oregon Trail Days since.
“This year, since it’s growing so much, we’re having three adult divisions, and adding elementary, junior high, and high school divisions so that the kids can participate in their own age group,” Shields said.
The tournament is free for any spectators wanting to come watch the players, and there will be food and refreshments from food vendors, the Chili Cook- Off, and the beer garden that are also sharing the grounds.
The double elimination tournament will follow normal volleyball rules other than the exception of 15 points being the goal to reach instead of the usual 21 to make the games pass by faster. The team that wins the most sets in the half hour time allotment given will be declared the winner of the match.

“There’s a lot of friends and relatives who come to watch, and they don’t have to pay,” Shields said. “Once we have our bracket, we’ll get down to our championship game. Mike’s Husker donates all of the trophies, and usually the top six teams get a trophy.”

Only six players can be on the court at a time, and at least half of the players registered per team have to be female. Last year, the tournament accommodated an astounding 63 teams, but there are even more expected for this year.

For more information on the contest or on how to participate next year, contact Rebecca Shields at (308) 641-4018.

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