A group of Long Island residents is kindly requesting that doubles volleyball is included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s list of permitted recreational activities when Long Island beaches reopen this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.
When announcing his decision to reopen Long Island beaches last week, Cuomo stated that no group activities will be permitted, specifically naming volleyball and football as examples.
However, Chenoa Ludwig–a social worker and Sayville resident–started the petition on Change.org. She wants to bring back doubles volleyball as a much needed mental and physical outlet for her tightknit group of players and other local volleyballers as a way to help combat the COVID-19 quarantine.
“I tend to be a very vocal person, but I didn’t want to be the person who’d start a petition,” said Ludwig, who’s an avid recreational beach and grass volleyballer. “But volleyball is like a family, like a community. We started finding people who were starting to get depressed. They started to reach out and ask about playing volleyball. They were tired of exercising alone. They have reached out and thanked me for starting the position.”
As of early evening today, 547 people have signed the petition. Ludwig said she wants at least 1,000 signatures to grace the petition, but she believes the more autographs it has, the better the odds of success.
As far as precautions, the petition states “doubles volleyball is a non-contact sport, so the only contact made would be via a ball.”
Ludwig added: “We are trying to minimize the amount of people playing, so no more than two people on each side of the net, which is doubles volleyball. We’re going to make hand sanitizer readily available and have six balls per net and cleanse them as much as possible.
“There will be seven nets on a long stretch of beach,” she continued. “But that varies according to locations. Also, not putting your hands in your mouth, and carrying your own towel to wipe your own sweat.”
It’s important to note that exercising with a mask can cause an excess buildup of carbon dioxide. But it depends on the type of mask, as in an N95 mask, for an extended period of time.
Otherwise, it might be uncomfortable to wear and could cause a build-up of bacteria with continued use, sans washing. However, consult a qualified medical professional for more advice.
As for Ludwig’s own state of mind, she said it will be invaluable for her to get on the sand again, not to mention for others who desperately need the action and the comradery the game affords all.
“Whenever I get a chance, I go volleyball,” she said. “I don’t like to sit home and watch Netflix all night. With all that is going on right now, this is a huge destresser. In the end, we want to come out stronger than ever.”
As for the timing, Ludwig said, “We have to consider taking small caution steps while protecting our most vulnerable–the elderly and people with medical conditions. I’m sure getting back all activities for people will be healthy for everybody, emotionally and physically. This could be a starting point.”
Residents of New Jersey have followed suit, circulating a petition asking that outdoor volleyball is noted on New Jersey’s list of permitted recreational activities. The petition has received more than 2311 signatures thus far.
–Jerry Del Priore