Championship-round Sunday at the Roebbelen Center
Roseville, Calif. – One of the longest-running boys’ volleyball tournaments on the West Coast that will determine some of the teams that advance to the national championships will bring more than 5,000 athletes and fans Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 4-5) to Placer Valley – and provide a $1 million spike in revenue for the region.
The Northern California Volleyball Association’s 17th annual Boys’ Far Western Junior National will feature some of the best club teams and players competing in a tournament where the “intensity is turned up a notch” with a bid for the USA Volleyball national championship this summer in Dallas on the line.
The Far Western Junior National Qualifier starts 8 a.m. Saturday and continues through Sunday at the Roebbelen Center located @the Grounds in Roseville and the California Sports Center at McClellan Business Park. The Roebbelen Center has 24 of the 36 courts for the tournament. The championship games will be held Sunday afternoon at the Roebbelen Center, 700 Event Center Drive in Roseville.
Over 30 clubs!
More than 30 clubs – including Aspire Volleyball Club, Core Volleyball Club, DYNAMIX Volleyball Club and the Northern California Volleyball Club from the Sacramento region – will play in the two-day tournament. Many clubs will bring several teams, separated into 12- to 18-year-old divisions.
“It’s a lot of games, a lot of volleyball and some very competitive play,” said Joao Goncalves, communications coordinator for the Northern California Volleyball Association in Santa Rosa. “Once you get the bid (for the national tournament) involved, the intensity is turned up a notch. It’s the cream of the crop that gets those bids.”
Sports tourism on the rise
The Far Western Qualifier will give a big bump to businesses in Placer Valley. From the estimated 1,400 booked hotel rooms to meals at restaurants and players shopping at stores, the tournament will generate more than $1 million in revenue.
“Everyone benefits from the Far Western tournament, from area volleyball clubs that can play close to home to local businesses,” said Kim Summers, Chief Executive Officer of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds. “It’s a dream event that makes the most of the Roebbelen Center and showcases Placer Valley.”
Volleyball is one of the fastest-growing boys’ sports in the U.S. About 175 teams will compete this year in the Far Western tournament, a 20% increase compared to a year ago – and up 40% from 2021. The Northern California Volleyball Association recently added the California Sports Center at McClellan Park to handle the increase in teams participating during the two-day tournament.
“It attracts athletes and clubs from all over the West,” said Jason Companion, Director of Operations for IMUA Volleyball Club in Marina. The club – started in 1988 by Companion’s uncle, Vincent Rosa Sr. – will have two teams participating in the Far Western Junior Qualifier. “It’s a very competitive, fun event.”
The best-in-the-west competition also attracts college coaches looking to evaluate players, especially those in high school who will start the school volleyball season during the next several weeks, basically halting club team tournaments until the late spring.
“It means a lot for our boys to compete at such a high level and get on the radar (of college coaches),” Companion said. “Players get to see the bigger picture.”
And volleyball fans get to see some of the best athletes – and the leading volleyball clubs on the West Coast. Volleyball fans can “watch the next generation of athletes, and maybe the next Olympians,” Companion said. “Some of these athletes could be representing the United States.”
Advance tickets are available online, with a two-day pass for $20 and a single-day ticket for $10. On-site, day-of-the-event admission is $30 for a two-day pass or $15 for a one-day ticket. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Parking @the Grounds is $10 per day.
“It’s a lot of good competition, including players with college aspirations,” Goncalves said. “It’s really cool to see and experience.”