England's volleyball officianados are not allowing the capital's lack of any beach worth lazing on to get in the way of bringing to town the spectacle considered by many to be more appropriately featured in the opening shots of a CSI: Miami episode than the Olympics. The Hub in Regents Park's north west corner is the setting for the Volleyball England Beach Tour that started yesterday with an Open tournament which concludes today, Sunday 5th, with play starting at 9am.
Several thousand spectators are expected over the two days for a sport so viewer-friendly it was the first to sell all its tickets at the most recent Olympics in Athens. Following the tournament weekend two of the four courts used will become available for adult (evening) and junior (daytime) sessions on Monday and Tuesday. There will also be opportunities to try your hand on the imported sand should you go along to watch the Open matches.
If you catch the bug you could explore your interest further on any of the next three Monday nights over at the O2 Dome where "basic technique sessions and mini games" are on offer to the general public on a court, conveniently constructed next to a bar, two blocks to the right of the main entrance and if you become hooked you might be willing to travel 30 miles out to The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire where there's a permanent court.
You'll not want to take this up if you're the John McEnroe type, though. The organisers strictly enforce etiquette, both verbal and sartorial. Failing to wear the requisite VEBT top could get you thrown out of the tournament while "any incidents of swearing, unsportsmanlike or rude behaviour" can expect to attract some rule book target practice and these folks are pretty nifty with a set and spike.
Picture of a beach volleyball tournament in London two years ago via Robin Kearney's Flickr stream.