CRYSTAL PALACE SOCIAL
If you are looking to play some beach volleyball on a Friday or Saturday then look no further. The Academy at Crystal Palace run social sessions for all levels of player in a relaxed and chilled out environment. You can meet new people, play as much or as little as you like, no need to pre-register just show up and much much more!
Friday : 7 - 10pm
Saturday : 10am - 5pm
Ian is the social sessions organiser and he will be there to greet you when you arrive. He gave us a great insight into the social sessions below!
We asked, Ian Vincent, our weekend socials guy a few questions about how the Friday and Saturday / Bank Holiday socials run.
Here's what he had to say....
Q. When does it start?
Ian: On Saturdays I'll open at 10am so you can get up to 7 hours play before we close at 5pm. Come early before it gets too hot!
Q. Do I need a partner?
Ian: No, not all! Many people come alone. There are tables, chairs, bean bags, music, drinks from the upstairs cafe, so it's a friendly atmosphere and people get talking to each other easily.
Q. How much experience do I need?
Ian: I remember the first time I came to a social as a beginner and how nervous I was. However all was good and my worries were unfounded. I only play myself at socials if there's no one else wanting to, but I relish playing with beginners as it's keeps me on my toes if your passes aren't perfect. Yes, I know what you're thinking and yes people might say that about playing with me now too.
Q. How are games organised?
Ian: I do encourage people to get together and get some games playing but generally people just ask each other to play when they are there. If there's a bit of a queue, I make sure that people play up to 15 points so you don't have to wait too long. Everyone gets a card with their name on it which goes on a board so that people can put their name down for a court - but that system only clicks in if it's really busy.
Q. Is it on every Saturday?
Ian: Yes, apart from Saturday 22 June, Saturday 20 July and Saturday 31 August when the Beach Series Tournament runs all weekend. I'll also be running the social on some Bank Holiday Mondays to make up for those missing Saturdays.
Q. What about Fridays?
Ian: Ah, yes, Fridays. This is 3 hours to help you forget your week's stresses via the medium of beach volleyball. Or in other words, it's Friday social play organised by me into a "Top Ranking Social". I get people into fairly even teams, possibly mix it up half way through the evening, keep scores and then I issue a random number of statistics about total scores, individual winners, team winners' etc. It starts with some free play at 7pm and the tournament starts around 7.45pm. Let me know if you’re running late!
Q. How much does all this cost?
Ian: Well, Saturday is £8. Fridays are £5. You can pay in cash or you can pay in advance by card here.
Q. Is it cheaper for club members?
Ian: It is! Substantially cheaper. In fact, it's free.
Q. Are there changing and shower facilities?
Ian: There are showers accessible until about 9.40pm on the Friday and up to about 4.45pm on the Saturday. There are occasionally events at the centre that disrupt this though.
Q. Any rules?
Ian: Well it's the normal common sense stuff really that those who come follow anyway and some of which you can see on Deep Dish's terms and conditions. One thing I would say, is please come and say hello when you arrive so I can check you in. This helps me track demand and I can introduce you to people if you're new, answer any questions, etc.
Q. Do people need to bring a ball?
Ian: No, balls are provided
Q. What about the music? Does it always sound like a summer Caribbean beach festival? Do you ever stop playing roots reggae?
Ian: Ah, that's a bit of a throw back question based on my previous playlist and maybe my time in Jamaica? In fact there's a lot more variety now - for example last Saturday, yes you would have heard Chronixx and some Busy Signal but you'd have also heard Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, some Jungle, some latin stuff, even an Ed Sheeran track (the Stormzy remix of course, we are in London). If you’ve other preferences, send me your Spotify playlist or thoughts and I’ll see what I can incorporate!