Mud volleyball makes its debut
POLSON — Getting muddy was unavoidable and precisely the point for more than 50 mud-caked volleyball players that participated in Saturday’s inaugural Bump, Set, Splat! Mud Volleyball Tournament held at the Polson Fairgrounds.
Hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County, the mud-soaked affair replaced the previously held Mud Fun Run as one of the organization’s summertime fundraiser events.
“We are really excited about the turnout,” said Jimmy Ray Stagg, Boys and Girls Club teen coordinator and resource development officer. “When we were looking for something to replace the Mud Fun Run, we thought: ‘Why not a mud volleyball tournament?’ Even if you didn’t like playing volleyball, playing in the mud would be fun.”
Before the bracket-style tournament began at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, volunteers turned the Polson Fairground’s rodeo arena into seven mud volleyball pits filled with gritty water and thick mud.
Over the course of the afternoon, seven co-ed teams slipped, sloshed and splashed their way through the muck and mire as they battled it out for bragging rights as the number-one mud volleyball team in the Mission Valley.
The championship game came down to team “That’s What She Set” versus the “Oh Well Diggers.” The two played for the best out of three games, and despite a valiant effort by the “Oh Well Diggers,” it was the “That’s What She Set” team that brought home the victory in three sets 16-14, 7-15, 16-14.
By the end of the tournament, every player left the court with mud on their skin or clothes, and several finished their matches covered in mud from head to toe.
Many of the players said the mud did make playing volleyball a little harder but also made the game more exciting. “I got stuck way down in the mud,” said Addy Day, who is a member of the “That’s What She Set” team. “I didn’t expect it. I thought it would be way easier.”
The mud, however, didn’t seem to bother all the competing teams. For the members of the Oh Well Diggers team, a squad consisting mostly of employees from Oh Well Drilling, it was just another day at the office. “We play in the mud at work most of the time,” said team member Jayden Bell.
Overall, Stagg said the day ran “amazingly” and is excited to watch the tournament grow larger next year.
Proceeds from registration fees will go to help support various Boys and Girls Club programs in both Polson and Ronan. For more information about the Club’s programs visit www.flatheadbgc.org or call 406-676-5437 or 406-883-5623.