The 31st Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament rolls into Perth’s North Inch for this weekend’s annual competition. Recognised as the most popular volleyball event in the UK the tournament has again attracted over 100 teams from around the UK and Europe. European Interest comes in the shape of Leuven Volleyball Club from Belgium playing in men’s division one and the Faroese women competing in their division one. Both European sides are “weel kent” with the SOVT having been regular attenders over the years.
As well as the men’s and women’s competitions, once again the most popular is the mixed divisions, seeing 63 teams divided into three levels. Mixed division three alone is attracting 41 entries. The 35 men’s teams are also divided into three levels.
The volunteer organising committee was pleased to see the long term weather forecast for the competition weekend predicted to be warm and sunny which would put it on par with last year’s glorious sunny weekend.
Although the bulk of teams come from near and far, local teams are very much in evidence with a number of Perth District League sides taking on “new fun names” entering into the fun aspect of the competition, some playing in fancy dress.
Men’s division one features three local sides: Craig Donaldson’s Kinross based side “Kelty Chiefs,” Colin McGinlay’s Glenrothes based “Teach Fife,” and former Kinross High School pupil Ruari Soutar’s Newcastle based multi-national “Six Nations.” Former Kinross Volleyball Club player Calum Law’s “Tip City” compete in men’s division two, with men’s division three featuring Andy Lochhead’s “Team Awesome,” Mathew Moloney’s “M&M Minions” and Carole Hardy’s “Dunfermline Phoenix.”
Mixed division sides with a local flavour feature Jayne Cafferty’s “Super Heroes” who are joined by two Dundee University teams.
Mixed division three sides feature five local sides: Mary Cook’s “Aberfeldy,” Susan Scott’s “Plus Perth,” Mae Lucas’ “Mae’s Mysterons,” Kirsty Imlay’s “M&Ms,” Greg Marshall’s “Renegades” and Declan Greenwood’s “Sail Away to Victory.”
Play starts at 10 am on the Saturday morning after all 104 teams have registered their players and with almost 40 courts set up on the North Inch it provides a wonderful spectacle of fun as well as promoting volleyball as a tremendously social sport enjoyed by boys and girls, men and women around the world. Sunday’s play starts at 9 am and continues throughout the day with the knockout stages culminating in finals for all 7 divisions.