Youth Beach Volleyball

April 18th, 2020 by

With the major growth of our indoor youth volleyball development program in the Niagara Region this past winter, we at Niagara Sport & Social have decided to extend the program into the beach season. Children and youth learned and developed numerous skills throughout the winter season through their club season, development programs, workouts, etc. However, when the summer comes, most of these children and youth stop playing volleyball and therefore tend to lose a lot of these skills. In this brief article, we will highlight the importance of continuing volleyball through the summer season and what benefits it can have on children and youth for more competitive youth volleyball players and for our younger youth players looking to simply development skills, coordination, meet new people, have fun, etc.

There is no doubt that youth volleyball players in Niagara come back into their club seasons ‘rusty’ and unprepared for competitive play. This puts a lot of players behind and causes them a need to catch up to get back to competitive form. During this ‘catch up’ phase, instead of learning and developing new skills, these players are re-learning skills they spent time learning and developing the previous season ultimately putting them behind other players. One of the goals of our Niagara youth beach volleyball development program is to get rid of this ‘catch-up’ phase, allowing these players to continually further develop skills and get ahead of the competition ultimately better preparing them for the next level.

The program will include a mixture of both skill development and gameplay on the beach courts. We will focus on a wide variety of skills while giving practice time to use these skills in game-like scenarios. This will allow them to not only develop these skills, but learn how to properly utilize them in games. The youth in our program will also learn many sport-specific skills such as discipline, integrity, teamwork, confidence, and much more that will help them succeed in not only volleyball, but other sports and areas of their lives such as school.

Beach volleyball is similar to court volleyball in some ways, but also differs in many others. Firstly, beach volleyball is an overall different experience than court volleyball and therefore gives youth an excitement of trying something new. Being played on sand and barefooted, the game requires youth to really focus on their footwork to ensure they are moving properly. The sand also adds extra resistance when compared to playing on a gym floor. This helps build muscle and further emphasizes the importance of proper footwork (both key factors to becoming a successful volleyball player). In beach volleyball, the game is also directly influenced by the weather. This means youth will have to anticipate the ball a lot more and be ready to improve on their coordination and reaction times to keep up with the conditions.

As you can see, there are many differences between beach volleyball and court volleyball. The best part, however, is that all of these differences playing on the sand are transferable to the court. This means that as youth get better and learn how to play on the sand, they are going to be constantly improving their level of indoor volleyball and bringing all of these new skills with them. Along with the importance of eliminating the ‘catch up’ phase we talked about, and the numerous skills players will develop on the sand, there is no doubt that our Niagara outdoor beach volleyball program will help improve your child’s abilities. Whether that’s just specifically for volleyball, or for other sports and areas of their lives, our program is perfect for your child. We hope to see you on the court!  Register for our Youth Beach Volleyball Training Here!

Youth Beach Volleyball

Youth Volleyball

April 18th, 2020 by

At Niagara Sport & Social Club we offer a few different options for youth volleyball programs. We love running volleyball programs for kids in Niagara, and the surrounding area. This past fall we launched our indoor youth volleyball academy. We were proud to have gone from 8-50 kids within a few short weeks! Our program’s quick growth was a testament to the fantastic coaches we have brought in. Our coaches are fun, energetic, and full of volleyball knowledge!

The Niagara Sport & Social Club Indoor Youth Volleyball Academy is a 2 hour program. The program is a monthly payment of $150 and this includes a month of one- two hour session per week. Sessions take place on Sundays at our indoor facility at 8 Gale Cres. in St. Catharines. At our facility we provide all equipment needed to play, players are encouraged to wear athletic footwear and clothing, along with knee pads.
In each session players are split up into courts based on their level of play. We start with the basics, and break down the sport to ensure that all players have the necessary fundamentals before we begin any game play. The players who progress to the advanced groups get to spend the end of the session in a simulated game-like scrimmage.
Our goal is to always teach players all the basics starting with forearm passing (bumping), setting (volley), and serving. Then we move on to attacking (spiking), and jump serving, formation, defence, court awareness, and even offensive plays. Players can start the youth volleyball program as young as 10 years old, and can continue with the youth volleyball program through 16 years old.
In addition to this fantastic indoor program we are now offering a youth beach volleyball program. This program will be similar to our indoor youth volleyball program. It is 1 hour and is broken down by age group. Younger age groups focus mainly on skill development and learning the basics and the sport, the older players start with some skill development and transition half way through the session to games.
If you are interested in volleyball training for your child in Niagara, St. Catharines, Lincoln, Welland, Fort Erie, and beyond, look no further! We have plenty of options to choose from! Register for our here: Youth Volleyball Training programs.  You can also email us at any point if you have any other questions regarding any of our youth programs!
Youth Volleyball

Summer Volleyball Leagues Near Me

April 7th, 2020 by

Niagara Sport & Social has become the leader in recreational volleyball leagues in the Niagara Region. We supply quality equipment such as nets, lines, balls, and even sand/court! We are always organized, and we choose our locations carefully. Referees are provided and also score-keep games. We do our best to tailor to all skill levels. We run numerous tournaments and play out of some of the best facilities offered around the area! If you’re looking for ‘Summer Volleyball Leagues Near Me’, look no further than Niagara Sport & Social. The Niagara Region is a great location and the summers here are superb! We have players from Hamilton, Grimsby, Fort Erie, and even Toronto that make the drive to play in our leagues. With our numerous locations and leagues throughout the Niagara Region, we have a spot for you!

Running leagues out of the Niagara Region has many perks. In the summer, the region is filled with things to do. From wineries, to vendor fairs, festivals, and more, summer evenings in the Niagara Region are awesome! This is one of the reasons we have grown in popularity and continue to grow. On top of that, we at Niagara Sport & Social have expanded our staff team and are constantly looking for ways to improve our leagues and make them more enjoyable for the players! This is why when people search for summer volleyball leagues near me, Niagara Sport & Social is the best option! Whether you are from the Niagara Region, or make the drive in from surrounding areas such as Hamilton, Burlington, Grimsby, Mississauga, Fort Erie, Toronto, or wherever you are from, our leagues are worth it.

Click here if you are looking for More Information On Our Leagues,  you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you on the volleyball court!

Summer Volleyball Leagues Near Me


Spikeball League

April 7th, 2020 by

The newest league addition to Niagara Sport & Social is Spikeball. Spikeball is a fairly new sport and has really ‘spiked’ in popularity over the last few years. With a demand for a Spikeball league in the Niagara Region, we put our thinking caps on and created one specifically for you. We have all new equipment, and games will be played on a comfortable grass field. The league will be run out of Princess park right beside our downtown beach volleyball location in St. Catharines directly off the 406. This location is right beside The Bar Upstairs, which has a bar with great food, drinks, and amazing staff. These are just some of the main reasons we run multiple leagues out of this location!

Spikeball is a very fun and exciting sport. Similar to volleyball, a team has a maximum of three touches before they must play the ball off of the trampoline-like net. Then the opponent must try to defend and attack back. With the possibility of long rallies and great plays, the sport is not only exciting to play, but also exciting to watch! The game is played 2-vs-2 and requires teamwork between partners to succeed. Spikeball is also played with no boundaries which is one of the things that makes it so unique. For example: A ball could be hit off the net and sent flying seemingly out of play. However, with determination and effort the ball can be retrieved and kept off the ground and in play. With the game being played 2-vs-2, Spikeball is a great social activity and is very easy to meet new people in! Spikeball can be played by all skill levels and can be modified to suit all needs.

A staff member will be there to setup the nets, prepare scoresheets, and ensure teams are on the correct court. We are very excited to have a  Spikeball league added to Niagara Sport & Social and look forward to seeing how far we can go with it!

Click Here To Start Playing! If you need to get more information and contact us with any questions you may have.

We hope to see you out on the field!

Spikeball League

Drop In Volleyball Fridays

April 5th, 2020 by

Drop In Volleyball takes place Friday evenings at Niagara Sport and Social Club’s 4-court indoor volleyball complex from 6pm – 11pm.   Cost is only $8 to play!  Arrive early as the place fills up with a wide range of volleyball talent!  These volleyball players skills and abilities range from the beginner recreational level player that is new to the sport of volleyball and all the way to top competitive players.  It all really depends on who is available to play that day and wants to come out and have some fun while meeting lots of new people!

When you arrive at the Rex Stimers Arena located inside the Garden City Complex.  Come into the building and walk down the hallway and turn left toward “The Rex”!  Change-rooms are located in this hallway for you to use.  Don’t leave your belongings in the change-room, please bring them with you into the playing area so you can keep an eye on them while you are playing.  As you walk-in you will meet the league organizer at the door.   Save yourself some time and register ahead of schedule to this event by clicking here at: Drop In Volleyball

Once you step onto the court you will notice why volleyball players travel from across Ontario to play at Niagara Sport & Social Club!  The 4 large volleyball specific courts are amazing!  Top-level equipment and a well organized system to play!   If a court is empty when you arrive, hop and and start warming up quickly.  Players will join you on the court as soon as they arrive!  There is one ball allocated per court so as soon as you have 6 players on your side and 6 on the other side ask the other team if they are ready to play and get the night started!  Games will be approximately 10 minutes in length with a horn at the end of that time to signal rotation.  Each team will rotate around clockwise to play a new team every 10 minutes!  It’s like a mini drop in volleyball tournament every Friday night!  Teams that aren’t on the court will await on the lines of court 1 and court 4 like an on deck area in baseball.  Teams on the team bench will be the next ones to rotate back onto the court.  It’s important to keep your team together and maintaining your on-deck position so theres no confusion as to who will be the next in line to play.  Players come from Guelph, Cambridge, Scottland, Dundas, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Stoney Creek, Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Welland, Thorold, Wainfleet, Port Colborne and Cayuga to play!  It’s a great way to play and meet new people!  Come on our to your Friday Night Drop In Volleyball to experience what Drop In Volleyball should be!

Drop In Volleyball

Volleyball Hitting Positions

April 5th, 2020 by

Volleyball hitting positions and stereotypical player characteristics needed to play them. For those who are getting into the swing of volleyball – learning how to bump, set and spike – it might be helpful to learn each of the positions! Volleyball is a skillful and technically dense sport, and each position is usually better at one of the techniques than the other. This can be helpful if you’re worse at, say, setting, but would love to spike the ball. Don’t get too excited – you’ll have to do all three eventually!

Alright, so, when it comes to a game, one of the first thing’s you’ll have to do is serve the ball. That isn’t actually a position – everyone gets a chance to serve the ball unless you’re subbed out. But that serve is headed right towards someone who is prepared to pass or bump the ball.

When a ball is served, the people who are prepared to pass the ball will be on “serve receive.” Usually, this looks like a row of three people. The best passer out of the three people standing there will typically be the defensive specialist, or “D.S.” This means they might get subbed into the back row and only play in the back of the court. Don’t get this position confused with the “defenders” though. Because anyone in the back half of the court is a defender.

Now, there is one passer out there who might be better than a D.S., and that’s the libero (lee-buh-row). We’re a name, right? Don’t worry; this player is hard to miss. The libero is the player who wears a jersey that is the opposite colour than the rest of the time (so if the team is blue, the libero will wear white). The libero does not count as a sub, but they cannot rotate into the front row or jump and attack a ball. They usually run into the backcourt once of the taller middler blockers (I’ll get to them later) is heading into the back.

Okay, so whoever passes the ball will hopefully put it right on “target” – this is actually a labelled spot when it comes to vball. This is generally at the net towards the right side player. There the setter will be waiting, excitedly, for the perfect pass. The setter is the one who greets the ball when it’s over their head with two hands. And they are usually the ones who dish out “dime” sets – or exactly what the hitter wants. The setter is usually the player who has to work the hardest, especially if the passers aren’t doing their job, and that’s because the setter almost always wants to get the second touch on the court (to dish!).

And, well, now we’ve made it to the volleyball hitters positions. The setter can set to the ball to three or four players: the outside or power hitter, the middle hitter, the right side or back hitter, and the back row players.

The power hitter is usually the strongest of all the volleyball hitting positions (hence the name) and will hit from the far left side of the court. They usually hit off of a nice high, arching set (called a “4”, or “40”, “high ball,” “outside”) and love to bring the head.

The middle hitter is also strong but loves a quick set, one that will mess up the other time. Those sets include “1”, “2”, “3”, shoot, or any other variations, depending on the team. The middle hitter is usually the very tallest on the team because they can outshoot the other team’s blockers.

And lastly, we have the right-side hitter. Sometimes this person is left-handed – not like it’s required – but it makes it easier than having a lefty outside or middle. To set this ball, the setter will attempt to face the left side of the net (towards the power) and lift the ball high and behind. It looks almost straight up and down sometimes, but, if the setter can trick the other time, the right side can really bring it home!

Now, I know I’ve mentioned tricking the other team, but what does that mean? Well, for the higher calibre (and sometimes taller teams) every person in the front row will try to block the other hitters from hitting the ball as hard as they can. Usually, two people will block one-hitter but it’s not always consistent. The defenders (all the people in the back row) are behind those blockers and will do whatever it takes to keep the ball off the floor).

Now that you’ve learned all the volleyball hitting positions, you should get out there and play! Ask a friend – volleyballers always need a sub and would love to teach you!

Click Here To Register For Our Volleyball Leagues!

Beach Volleyball Tips and Tricks

April 5th, 2020 by

How To Prepare For Volleyball:  Beach Volleyball Tips and Tricks for Preparation, Hydration and Stretching.
Beach Volleyball is a more intense sport than most people give it credit for, so this post is a quick guide to preparing for beach volleyball, whether you mean to go to a team practice, casually play on the beach with friends, or play a serious game on the court. Some of the most important ways of preparing for a day of volleyball include making sure you have the right equipment, being properly hydrated and nourished, and stretching before and after practicing or playing.

One aspect of volleyball many people discount is the need for proper personal equipment – while it doesn’t require the same intensity of gear as something like hockey or football, there are some tips to follow. If you’re playing on a court, it’s essential to ensure you have the right footwear (which may vary a bit based on the individual). Typically, it’s best to wear shoes with plenty of support and maneuverability. It’s also important to wear breathable clothes that won’t malfunction in the middle of a match, such as the shorts and shirts many wear to play soccer. Outdoors, these also protect against UV.

Another crucial element to volleyball and any intensive sport for that matter is staying properly hydrated and nourished. The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking small amounts of water often, such as 200-300ml over the course of each hour on a hot day. By the time you notice dehydration – such as clamminess and lack of sweating, a headache, or lack of saliva in your mouth – your performance is already compromised, and your health is at risk. To ensure your body retains water, you can bring electrolyte additive powder and mix it with your water; however, most Western diets already get plenty of salt.

To retain your energy throughout the day and keep enjoying volleyball, nutrition is also quite important. For any intensive sport, your body needs accessible energy, such as simple carbohydrates (whole grains, honey, colourful vegetables, etc.) throughout the day to keep your mood up and keep your body going hard. You should start your day off with a protein and fat-heavy meal, which will provide all the long-term energy you need to avoid dips during the day while you’re playing.  This is probably the best beach volleyball tips and tricks the can save you on a hot summer’s tournament day!

Once you’ve done your pre-court prep, including having the proper equipment, nutrition, and hydration, it’s time to stretch. Volleyball, at some point or another, uses just about every muscle in the human body, so it’s necessary to ensure you do a full body stretch. Focus initially on muscles below your waistline; hip flexors are a great way to start (similar to lunges) but follow by stretching your quads by laying on your side and pulling your heel toward your glutes. Also, be sure to flex your hamstrings by sitting down and isolating it through touching your toes – take the opportunity to stretch your glutes as well by pulling your heels toward your groin. Volleyball players use their calves constantly, so throw some calf raises in there.

While lower body is important, a volleyball players core holds everything together, and back injuries are frequent among players who don’t develop it properly (and even among those who do!). To warm up your back, loosen it, and keep it strong, try to regularly use Yoga’s ‘Cat and Dog’ and ‘Prayer Squat Pose.’ YouTube is littered with demonstrations. Finally, ensure you properly stretch your shoulders and chest. One great way to do this is to stand and find a wall or post, then rest your palm against it and lean forward until your arm extends and you feel the stretch over the course of several seconds; then, reverse the position. This will stretch out your shoulders, arms, and chest.

While some of this may seem overwhelming, the benefit here is that many of these tips for preparing for playing volleyball are great for assisting you in preparing for all kinds of sports and intensive activities – the main thing is to have a great time without risking your physical health. Proper equipment, nutrition/hydration, and warm-ups are the best way to do that!

Now that your know how the some beach volleyball tips and tricks to help you best prepare for the upcoming beach volleyball season!  Make sure your click here to register for our beach volleyball leagues!


Beach Volleyball Tips and Tricks

Beach Volleyball Scoring System

April 5th, 2020 by

Here is a brief breakdown on indoor & beach volleyball scoring system so you know how to win points and games!  It’s your first volleyball match. You got your spiffy jersey on, maybe some kneepads (turtle shell, of course) and sick Asics. Because you’re awesome, Coach puts you in the starting line up! Whoa! Don’t panic. Luckily, you aren’t serving first. No sweat. The refs approach their positions, and the score lights up. “0-0”, it reads. Wait a minute… we didn’t go over scoring in my AllStar VBPro Clinic.

I’m here to help! The scoring system in volleyball is probably one of the simpler scoring systems when it comes to competitive sports. Unlike football (+6) or basketball (+2), in volleyball, you get 1 point whenever you win a rally. What’s a rally, you say?

Here’s a scenario for you: Your teammate serves the ball (a nice volley) to the other team. They pass, set, and spike it…. but it soars way over your head and out of bounds! Your team won the rally!

Basically, a rally is the duration of play from serving to ending, until someone has to serve again. During a rally, you want to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. Whichever team lets the ball land on their own side, or if a team cannot hit the ball within the 30×30’ square of the other team’s court, then the rally is over. You want to keep the ball off of your own side of the court and put it down on the other team’s court.

Winning a rally also occurs when a player from the other team touches the ball, and they aren’t able to send the ball back over. So, the ball doesn’t necessarily have to touch the ground. Remember, each team only gets three touches to get the ball back over (And, one player can’t hit it twice back to back. They can hit it twice in the same three-touch play, though).

Every time you win a rally, you get a point. This style of scoring is called rally scoring (cough cough). There is another style that used to be implemented in volleyball, and that is called sideout scoring. If you ever hear a team chanting “S-I-S-I-D-S-I-D-E-O-U-T, SIDEOUT” that’s what it’s from. In that style, you had to serve the ball to earn the point. Back then games were a lotttt slower, and there were many “donuts” (This is not the tasty donut, but rather when the score never gets passed 0-0! Can you imagine?! I can. I played that style and it was brutal.)

Luckily rally scoring is the norm. Most games these days play until 25 points in indoor volleyball and 21 points in outdoor beach volleyball.  If you reach 25 first, you win. However, there is a caveat! If you reach 25, but the other team has 24, you don’t win right away! In fact, you have to score again to get 26, so you can win by two points. Don’t ask me why it is, but this is the way it is. Teams can go back and forth until someone wins by two, or unless the game is capped by the referee (this means that the score can only go to, say, 30. So, after 25, you try to win by two or get to 30 first).

And that’s it for game one. Yes, most matches consist of at least three sets or games and play best out of three. If you win the first two games, then you don’t have to play a third. If each team wins one game, then you play a third game. The third game is the wild card!

In game three, the scoring system is still rally (1+ per rally), but you only play to 15. Before the game starts, captains go up to flip a coin for side or receive, so the teams will reset who has which side and who serves first (this may be different than when established at the start of a match). At point 8, the teams switch sides. Gotta make it even!. The third game is also won by two, so don’t relax once you hit 14!

Well, that’s about it for the indoor & beach volleyball scoring system. Have fun and good luck!  Click here to register for our beach volleyball leagues!

Indoor & Beach Volleyball Scoring System


Mens Volleyball League – Competitive

April 5th, 2020 by

The Niagara Sport & Social Club Mens Volleyball League is one of our most competitive, and popular leagues. The league consists of games that are best 3/5 on a weekly basis on Thursday evenings.

The mens volleyball league offers two different divisions, there is a a range of skill levels which allows competitive volleyball players from different backgrounds to thrive in their respective divisions.The range goes from semi-competitive volleyball players, up to former college and university players.

Every 7 weeks a re-pooling is done bringing the top 2 teams up from the silver division to the gold division, and the bottom 2 teams down from the gold division to the silver division. Running the mens volleyball league this was and re-pooling helps teams to play in the division that most fits their skill level. At the end of the season, a playoff tournament, takes place with team’s league records depicting their seeds in the tournament (every team makes the playoff tournament and has a chance to win it all). The tournament itself is also split into a silver and gold division with a prize given to the winning team in each division.

The competitive mens volleyball league runs out of our downtown St Catharines location at the Rex Stimers arena at 8 Gale Crescent (see our post about the Rex Stimers arena to learn more about this location). Although it is competitive volleyball, we encourage players to remember that these games are meant to be fun! Players tend to go out for food and drinks after games, usually to our sponsor bar, Kully’s Sports Bar! We at Niagara Sport & Social Club try our best to emphasize the social aspect of volleyball and encourage all players in our leagues to interact and meet new people. The players and referees help to create a friendly environment. If you’re a competitive men’s volleyball player, we would love to have you out, whether you register your own team, or are looking to join a team by yourself, contact us and we can help to find a spot for you!

Click Mens Volleyball to register your team

Mens Volleyball

Indoor Cornhole League – St. Catharines

April 5th, 2020 by

The indoor cornhole league is one of our newest leagues that we have introduced at Niagara Sport & Social Club. With our outdoor cornhole league success and with a lot of positive feedback, we decided to add a winter indoor cornhole league. With the introduction in the Fall of 2019, our indoor cornhole league is located at Club Roma in St. Catharines. The first season of indoor cornhole quickly filled up completely and became one of our most popular leagues. Club Roma is the perfect spot to run our indoor cornhole league. With a bar directly beside the playing area, getting drinks before, after, or even during games has never been easier. Not to mention, the playing area itself is licensed, which means you can bring your drinks right onto the lanes.

The playing area itself is perfect. Each lane is separated by raised platforms and are the perfect size for cornhole games. There is more than enough room for the boards to be separated by 27 feet (proper cornhole regulations), while still allowing plenty of room behind the boards to give space for the opposing team. We at Niagara Sport and Social will supply all equipment necessary including quality cornhole boards, bags, and scoreboards, which we regularly maintain and ensure are in top shape for games. Our staff at Niagara Sport & Social will always be there before games begin to ensure setup is done correctly. This includes boards at the proper distance apart from each other (27 feet), score cards updated with the right teams on their respective courts, and the bags and scoreboards ready.

There is no doubt to why our indoor cornhole league has become one of our most popular leagues. Cornhole allows you to be active, have tons of fun, and meet new people all at the same time. With a bar directly beside the playing area, even bad games can become good ones. We highly recommend you try cornhole and there is no better place in the Niagara Region to do so than with us at Niagara Sport & Social. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to learn more about the cornhole games please visit our rules page. Click here to register for Indoor Cornhole League.

Indoor Cornhole League

Cornhole League – Outdoors – St. Catharines

April 4th, 2020 by

Cornhole is one of the new sports that we recently added to Niagara Sport & Social Club.  Our cornhole league is the perfect social activity and lets you be active while meeting new people and having a ton of fun. Our outdoor cornhole league runs in the summer and is played outside of Mr. Mikes in St Catharines right on Fourth Avenue. With a bar and a viewable licensed patio within feet from the playing area, Mr. Mikes has become the perfect spot to run our outdoor cornhole league. With cornhole being such a great social activity, having the option to go for food and drinks before and after games makes for an amazing evening with friends and/or family on a weekly basis.

In our outdoor cornhole league, we supply all equipment necessary. We have high quality cornhole boards, bags, and scoreboards, which we regularly maintain and ensure are in top shape for your games. One of our staff at Niagara Sport and Social will always be there before games begin to ensure setup is done correctly with boards at the proper distance apart from each other (27 feet), score cards updated with the right teams on their respective courts, and the bags and scoreboards ready to go.

This winter, cornhole quickly became one of our most popular sports and is continuing to grow. We are committed to continuing to make our leagues better and cornhole is no exception. This is one of the reasons we moved our summer outdoor cornhole league location to Mr. Mikes. This move allows us to further exaggerate our emphasis of the social aspect of the sport, while still maintaining a high-quality playing area for the games themselves. Cornhole is a great sport and we highly recommend you giving it a try. Allowing you to be active, have fun, and meet new people all at the same time creates for a perfect summer-time activity. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can register for outdoor Cornhole League here!

Cornhole League