Volleyball jumps into the forefront of the Aspen sporting scene this week with the return of the annual MotherLode Volleyball Classic.
Back for its 41st edition, the volleyball party that started as a modest, backyard barbecue and volleyball tournament has evolved into a week-long volleyball extravaganza with more than 1,000 players.
“For 41 years, Aspen has hosted some of the best amateur and professional beach doubles volleyball players in North America, all coming ... to test their skills against other players from all over the United States and Canada,” longtime director Leon Fell said.
The tournament also has become known as the unofficial national championships of grass volleyball.
Play in the historic tournament, an event that has drawn Olympians and professionals for decades, will begin Wednesday and continue through the Labor Day Weekend.
Wednesday’s play will feature Men Seniors 55-and-over and Women’s Senior 45- and-over.
Play will begin at 8 a.m. at the tournament headquarters at Koch Lumber Park in Aspen.
On Thursday, more senior events are on the calendar.
The Men Seniors 45-and-over and the Men Seniors 50-and-over will play on the sand at Koch Lumber Park.
The Women Master 35-and-over division also will play Thursday at Koch Lumber Park.
Finals will be played at 6 p.m. at Koch Lumber Park.
On Friday, the Men Masters 37-and-over play will be held at Koch Lumber Park.
Also the Standard Coed Open division will play on the Koch sand.
Finals, again, will be at 6 p.m.
The full-fledged MotherLode will kick into high gear Saturday.
The featured Men and Women Open divisions will take the stage at Koch Lumber and Willoughby parks.
Play in other divisions will be held at five additional locations around Aspen on grass courts. That’s the Men and Women A, BB and B.
Play will continue Sunday and Monday.
On Monday, the amateur finals will be held along with the featured Men’s Open and Women’s Open finals at Koch Lumber Park’s sand courts.
Championship matches are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday.
The featured finals will be held at 4 and 5 p.m.
For more information, visit motherlode volleyball.com.