Cal Poly Beach Volleyball Club hosted the third annual Battle for Boobs beach volleyball tournament at Pismo Beach on Saturday and Sunday.
Cal Poly students and Pismo Beach locals played in advanced men’s and women’s doubles on Saturday and mixed fours on Sunday to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Cal Poly Beach Volleyball Club members paid $15 to play and others paid $20; players who participated Saturday received a $5 discount if they played again on Sunday. All participant fees were donated to the foundation and money was also raised by selling T-shirts for a total of around $1,500.
“Everyone has been directly affected by breast cancer,” biology sophomore and next year’s club co-president Eric Smith said. “It’s easy to base a tournament on a unified cause.”
The club was approved by Student Life and Leadership as an official entity this spring but has been forming and has had members since Fall 2009.
“The club is nonprofit,” graphic communication junior Josh Holland said. “We don’t need money to do anything except send people to Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) events.” Battle for Boobs with the club brought a lot more people to the tournament this year, he said.
The tournament was organized for both doubles and mixed teams of four competing in pool play with the top two teams of each pool advancing to single-elimination playoffs. Club president and founder Mike Smith said he was surprised at the competitive level of play during the advanced doubles this year. He ran and organized the first Battle for Boobs tournament as a sophomore.
“I wanted to put on a volleyball tournament for a cause, and I saw how many people are affected by breast cancer,” Mike Smith said. “My friend Mike Delach thought of the name and that was the deciding factor for me to jump into organizing the tournament.”
Mike Smith is graduating this spring with a degree in recreation, parks and tourism administration and will be interning with AVP after graduation.
“The things I will be doing in my internship are perfectly aligned with what I am doing now,” he said.
Other majors integrate well with the tournament. Holland uses his graphic design experience to create all of the T-shirts, posters and signs for the club.
“Beach volleyball is an entertainment sport that people love to watch and play,” he said. “The peak age of professional players is 30. It’s awesome for people who want to go to school, get their master’s and still go pro.”
This year’s tournament reached full capacity, Mike Smith said.
“It could have been way bigger, but Pismo only lets us rent four courts,” he said.
The club hopes to get the attention of California Beach Volleyball Association with tournaments like Battle for Boobs. CBVA could work with Cal Poly’s club to run competitive large tournaments and rent more courts, Mike Smith said.