Main Beach Volleyball Community,
The City of Santa Cruz is planning to install new nets and poles at Main Beach, which is good news since the current equipment is getting pretty worn down. The new nets will be mounted on a stainless steel slider system (now on Court 2), making height adjustments much easier, and the new poles will be a sturdy wood laminate.
Putting up new nets and poles gives us the opportunity to rethink the court layout. There is a proposal to rotate Court 16 to align with the other courts and add two additional courts next to it. To make this work, all the courts would have to be moved closer together, reducing the back line separation from 40 feet to 30 feet (see image below). As a reference, the courts at the Harbor have a back line separation of about 33 feet.
Complicating the decision are some uncertainties about the future of the beach. This year’s El Niño wiped out the third row of courts. Courts 9, 12, and 15 will be back this summer, but Courts 3 and 6 may not have enough sand. So in the near future, we’d have 14 courts with the current layout, or 16 with the closer spacing. (We currently have 11 courts). When/if the sand comes back for Courts 3 and 6, we'd be able to get back to 16 courts if we kept the existing layout.
It’s possible that when more sand comes back, the reduced back line spacing layout could give us 18 courts. However, increasing to 18 courts will require an amendment to the City’s Beach Management Plan (which currently limits the number of Main Beach courts to 16) and Coastal Commission approval, which could take a year or two with no guarantee of approval. If we didn’t get approval, we would be limited to 16 courts with the reduced spacing and couldn’t replace Courts 3 and 6 even if the sand did come back.
Before considering a 30-foot back line configuration, the City would first like to get input from Main Beach volleyball players. Once the new nets and poles are installed, moving them again will be out of the question for many years. The City set up a 30-foot back line trial case between Courts 13 and 10 so you can test it and provide feedback through this survey. Please consider the Pros and Cons of this proposed reconfiguration. For example, possible Pros of two additional courts are that it would increase public availability and enable tournaments to be more efficient, while Cons might include more “ball – ons” from neighboring courts and lost space between courts for socializing, peppering, etc.
Please respond to the survey by June 1, 2016. Thank you for your participation and feedback.