The Melbourne Spikers conduct two volleyball tournaments each year. They are part of the sister-club circuit between Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Sydney replies with a Mardi Gras event and a spring tournament, and Adelaide’s Feast celebration would be incomplete without the Adelaide Spikers tournament and wine tour.

Getting a team together is always difficult. All the pressures of adult sport converge to keep people away rather than going to tournaments. Work, family, social lives, pets, parents and promises try to prevent us committing to playing together for a day of great competitive, social fun.

The Golden Rule of these events — what goes on tour, and what goes on on tour, stays on tour — is made to be broken.

A team or two from the north are determined to come down and play at Kew High School on Saturday. The volume and pitch on the court, the pretence at being as butch as a lesbian truck welder fails miserably, but the quality on court at all levels allows players to give it their all in the searing Melbourne heat.

The northerners acquit themselves admirably. They achieve a bronze in the A Division, and they enjoy the event immensely.

To the onlooker, the drama of the weeks preceding, the personality clashes and the difficulties training as a team are forgotten. They are the epitome of a screaming bunch of queens playing sport.

Gold and silvers medals in other divisions are collected by other club and teams.
The event is always followed by presentation night at the Fox Hotel. Having played all day these demure events are shattered by a second wind on the dancefloor. The psychological strains are released as skimpy shirts are flung to the heavens and volleyballers become gyrating attention-seekers.

Two drinks after 3am sees things slowly winding down, players keenly aware that planes don’t wait for hungover sportspeople.

The event should have ended here, except that one northerner missed the aforementioned plane. He was seen heading out for a little take-home pack in the early hours, but these are merely unconfirmed rumours. So from the northerners who enjoyed the event so much, and for those still enjoying a little Melburnian two days later — thank you for a sensational event, Melbourne Spikers.

If this all sounds foreign, get on a court by joining a team from one of the many on offer at the Queer Sports Alliance Melbourne: www.queersportsmelbourne.org

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