Vol-B-Que is an American volleyball fan festival that unites enthusiasts in support of our Indoor National Teams. The USA has a ton of volleyball players but—with no indoor pro leagues and limited TV coverage—not many spectators & fans. The VBQ is a game changer—instead of choosing between playing and watching, volleyball fans can have it all!
Long Beach resident Matt Garthoff invented the Vol-B-Que in 2011. Responding to a rant about fan apathy by 2x Olympian Kevin Barnett, Garthoff organized a tailgate party for his friends before a USA Men’s World League match. When he combined his favorite aspects of college football tailgating with his knowledge and passion for volleyball, the Vol-B-Que was born. Garthoff built on the concept each year and grew it from a few dozen locals to nearly 1,000 fans!
One reason: it’s FUN! We play grass court games, dance to great DJs, eat amazing food, dress up in costumes, win prizes, get our faces painted and much more. Then we all sit together in the Pyramid “Fan Zone” and cheer Team USA on to victory. It’s an afternoon and evening you can’t get anywhere else for a price that’s hard to believe.
Yes! We have several kids and adults grass courts set up for open play. We’ll have balls, lines and monitors out to make sure you have a great time. We also host an adult/child pepper marathon. The Vol-B-Que is not a tournament; we like to keep things light and fun. It’s a party!
No. The only team playing a tournament at Vol-B-Que is the USA National Team. VBQ guests can play pick-up games on the grass courts we set up but it’s a fun day of volleyball, not a competition.
Yes. The Vol-B-Que has hosted some of the biggest names in the sport. We’ve had beach legend, Olympian and Hall of Famer Sinjin Smith join us. We’ve had 3x Olympian Tom Hoff bring his gold medal for our guests to see. We brought USA asst. coach and reigning Manhattan Beach Open Champion Matt Fuerbringer to the party. And that’s just the beginning. Olympians Bev and Elaina Oden, 2x Olympian Kevin Barnett, USA MVP Clay Stanley, current USA player Cassidy Lichtman, USA Beach athletes Emily Day and Angie Akers, USC head coach Jeff Nygaard, USA player Jeff Menzel and more!
After the tailgate party, we all file into the Pyramid and form the greatest volleyball cheering section in the USA. It’s called the VBQ Fan Zone and it’s on the service line—the BEST view for volleyball fans (and coaches) in the know. Don’t be fooled by other sports like football and basketball…true volleyball fans know the baseline is the place to be for both rowdiness and the most advantageous viewing angle.
Parking is available at the Pyramid for $5. Take Atherton Blvd. to Merriam Way and park in lots 13, 14, 15 or in the structure closest to the Pyramid. There is limited free street parking on and near Atherton but please check the signs as many of them have 1 and 2 hour limits. Click here for a map.
We need our guests to buy their tickets early so we can plan the event properly. Estimating quantities of match tickets, T-shirts, goody bags and food is no easy task when people wait until the last minute, so, we incentivize earlier purchases with price breaks.
Yes. For the matches, you’ll keep your ticket stub and get your hand stamped at the door for re-entry. For the Vol-B-Que, you’ll wear the wristband you receive at check-in. As long as you have that on, you’re cool to be at the VBQ. If you don’t, our friendly security guards will ask you to produce one or leave the party.
No. Vol-B-Que has one ticket for adults and kids 4 and over. Everyone gets a match ticket, T-shirt (Youth size available,) goody bag and VBQ party access. Food is sold separately. Kids 3 and under are free to attend VBQ and the match.
Yes. All ticket sales are done through longbeachstate.com. Click here to go to the ticket purchase page.
TBD. We’ll announce our 2016 Grand Marshal on our social media accounts, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Past VBQ Grand Marshals include:
VBQ2 – Sinjin Smith
VBQ3 – Matt Fuerbringer
VBQ4 – Tom Hoff
Yes. No open flames or grills are allowed, but coolers, snacks, food, desserts are all okay to bring in. Our permit does not allow us to serve alcohol. Several food trucks will be available all day for purchase. Food is NOT included in your ticket price. We get really good food trucks, so we recommend you save room.
The Aug. 17-19 matches in Long Beach are part of FIVB World Grand Prix. It’s one of the most prestigious tournaments on the international stage. This year, the tournament will be second in importance only to the Olympic Games in Rio. The USA Women qualified for the Olympics in Lincoln, Nebraska at the NORCECA (regional) tournament, so qualification is not at stake, however, World Grand Prix is Team USA’s final opportunity to play against the world’s best teams at home this year.
Team USA is crazy talented and deep at every position. And Coach Kiraly’s philosophy emphasizes team goals and culture over individual achievements. But if you’re new to elite volleyball and need just one or two people to focus on, we’d suggest Jordan Larson-Burbach and Alisha Glass. Jordan was the 2015 USA Volleyball Player of the Year and was every bit as successful on the international professional club circuit as she was on the National Team. And Alisha took home Player of the Year honors in both 2013 and 2014 as well as a “best setter” title at the 2014 World Championships. They’re two of the very best in an all-star lineup.
The simple answer is, “the G.O.A.T.” Head coach Karch Kiraly is widely considered the Greatest Player of All Time. As an indoor USA National Team member, he won gold medals in 1984 and 1988. As a beach player, he won gold in the sport’s first Olympic year, 1996. His pro career is unparalleled and earned him induction into two volleyball Halls of Fame. This year, he’s looking for his fourth gold medal—his first opportunity as a head coach. He is ably assisted by Jamie Morrison and Tom Black. The team’s technical coordinator is Joe Trinsey and their trainer is Jill Wosmek.
There will be two matches per day. Each team will play one match each day in a round robin format. Team USA will always be in the later match time slot.
Friday: 5:00 Japan v Turkey / 7:00 USA v Germany
Saturday: 5:00 Germany v Turkey / 7:00 USA v Japan
Sunday: 3:00 Germany v Japan / 5:00 USA v Turkey
Right here. We’ve got profiles up on many of the players and are adding more all the time. Click here and start studying!
Lots of reasons. It features the #1 and #5 teams in the world. It takes place just weeks before the Olympic Games. And the teams have very different playing styles. The Japanese are world renowned for their technical skill and team defense. The Americans are World Champions who rely on speed, power and physicality to win. It’s always a battle royal when these two meet!