WooTown Volleyball: Setting Players Up for Success
Danny Jaillet • Photo by Susan Sun
Have you ever wanted to take part in competitive volleyball but don’t know a league to join or where to start? Listen up, WooTown Volleyball may be for you.
Formed in the summer of 2013, it began as a small league. The group has since evolved into a league with multiple competitions throughout the week with various matchups.
Despite being the hallmark of the pickup volleyball league, WooTown Volleyball is only part of what is available to players. With WooTown Volleyball being an adult league, there are also options for the younger crowd. An indoor volleyball club for juniors called SLAM Volleyball is just one of the offerings. Ten girls’ teams and two boys’ teams make up SLAM Volleyball. These teams each carry about 10-12 players.
If juniors want to take their talents to the beach, there is also a league called Northeast Beach Volleyball. Northeast Beach Volleyball gets over 200 players per summer in the club program and 40-plus teams sign up for the tournament which takes place at Hampton Beach. Northeast Beach Volleyball trains at several locations, including close by in Shrewsbury.
The rapid growth of WooTown Volleyball has undoubtedly contributed to its success. Headed by director John Kubilis, over 3,000 players have joined the league since its inception. When the program first began, only 12 teams of doubles and six teams of fours joined the league. Now, they run programs most nights of the week in multiple locations.
During the winter, the leagues themselves often have at least six games per night. They hold men’s pickup games on Tuesdays, a coed fours league on Wednesdays, and a coed sixes league on Thursdays which all take place at St. John’s Gym in Clinton, Massachusetts. USA volleyball tournaments which are also offered on Saturdays and Sundays are held at various gyms and colleges across New England.
There is even more action to be had during the summer. Outdoor leagues take place five nights a week at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury. At Ski Ward, three well-maintained sand courts add to the experience for the players and Kubilis thinks very highly of this venue. As far as the schedule goes, Monday and Tuesday are coed fours, Wednesday and Thursday are coed sixes. The action concludes on Friday with coed and same gender twos matches.
“At Ski Ward we are able to offer both a recreational level and a competitive level on each night!,” Kubilis said.
In addition to this, WooTown Volleyball runs grass doubles tournaments in various parks throughout Central Massachusetts, especially Nathaniel Allen Recreation Area in Acton. With its headquarters located in Billerica, the league is just on the outskirts of Central Massachusetts. The league itself offers everything from pickup games, to tournament-style play, to skills clinics. Perhaps the biggest out of all the categories is the individual leagues the program offers. With many options to chose from, it is safe to say that WooTown Volleyball has successfully fulfilled the league’s intentions.
“WooTown Volleyball’s original purpose was to create a place for high-level, competitive volleyball athletes to compete in Central Mass,” Kubilis said. “We have filled that goal with many of our leagues containing former and current NCAA Division 1,2,and 3 players as well as some former and current pros!” he added.
If this sounds overwhelming to you, do not worry. Luckily, for inexperienced players, skills clinics are also offered. Held on Sunday nights at St. John’s Gym, the skills clinics take place over the course of three months. There are two different classes for the clinics: an Advanced Class and a Fundamentals Class. WooTown Volleyball has something for everyone.
Does this sound like fun? Joining WooTown Volleyball and its leagues is rather simple. If players already have created a team, they can just go to the WooTown Volleyball website and sign up. The nine to ten week league sessions are offered indoors for Fall, Winter, and Spring. In the Summer, two sessions are offered. They take place in mid-May, mid-July, mid- August, and mid-September. If players want to play a pickup game, they take place on Tuesdays and can be joined by an individual signup.
Kubilis offered advice on how to become part of WooTown Volleyball. “If you are a beginner, you’ll want to just attend a skills clinic which will prepare you for league play,” Kubilis said. “If you are experienced, then the best thing to do is join our Facebook group! This is the best way to find a team to join,” he said. Kubilis added,“If you already have a team, then just register! All of our programs use online signup where you can also see who else is signed up to play.”
From a small startup league to an undertaking that is ever-expanding, WooTown Volleyball has come a long way and it shows no signs of slowing down.
For more information visit, wootownvolleyball.com.