Volleyball tournament to begin Friday

Event back in Steamboat this weekend for 28th time

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If you go

What: Steamboat Doubles Volleyball Tournament

When: Friday through Sunday; play begins at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Howelsen Hill sand volleyball courts

Online: Visit www.steamboatdoubles.com for more information

— The Steamboat Doubles Volleyball Tournament - formerly called the Powder Keg tournament - returns to Steamboat this weekend for the 28th time. The volleyball competition begins Friday and continues through Sunday at Howelsen Hill.

The popular event features 13 divisions and more than 400 players. Play begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Divisions include men's, women's and coed dinosaur divisions (ages of teammates must add up to at least 80), grass divisions, sand divisions and an open division.

"I am hoping to get just about 400 players," said Doug Arritola, the tournament's director. "Last year was the biggest with 385 people, and we're on pace to hit more than 400. Each year continues to grow. One thing is the quality of product. People enjoy it. We put on a good show, and it's the growth of volleyball in Colorado."

Arritola also runs Volleyball of the Rockies in Denver. The organization has two venues that feature indoor and outdoor courts. It also organizes grass leagues, and on any given week will have 4,000 to 5,000 players and more than 800 teams playing.

Arritola said the Steamboat Doubles tournament is one of the biggest in Colorado and draws players from his leagues as well as places across the state and surrounding regions.

The tournament caters to all divisions and is played at the sand courts at Howelsen Hill and the grassy areas across them.

The open division, which starts Saturday in the sand pits, should feature some of the best recreational players from around the state.

In addition to several high-level former collegiate players, Arritola said he expects several former AVP players to be attendance.

Although Arritola expects big numbers, he said there still are slots open in the grass brackets for locals. Visit www.steamboatdoubles.com for a registration form, or stop by Howelsen Hill before play begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday.

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