Letter: Let’s find a solution 


Heavily restricted access to the Main Beach volleyball courts is not one of the world’s biggest problems. On the other hand, it’s a problem that doesn’t need to exist. A wide range of possible solutions could convert this problem into a community-wide benefit. 

First, the background. The Laguna Beach Recreation Department offers a wide variety of beach volleyball camps and courses throughout the summer. As a result, very little court time remains for recreational use by ordinary residents. During some weeks, for example, volleyball classes operate continuously throughout the day from 8 a.m. until 5:45 p.m., leaving no time whatsoever for tax-paying residents. 

Obviously, the recreation department intends no harm; it is simply trying to offer a range of opportunities to our youth. Because of that intent, finding a solution should not be challenging. But before proposing possible solutions, I’d like to suggest “walking in our flip flops” for a moment. 

Over the last few years, the number of high school and city programs using the Main Beach volleyball courts has grown dramatically. This growing demand has caused a kind of “habitat destruction” that has forced recreational volleyball-playing residents into narrower and narrower time slots. 

Not surprisingly, the competition for courts has become intense. But even when we recreational players use the courts, we cannot control them for our exclusive use like the high school and city classes do. Instead, we operate a “challenge system,” by which anyone may request an opportunity to play on the court. 

Here are two possible solutions to the problem: 

Share the wealth! Main Beach is not the only beach in Laguna with volleyball courts and/or additional court space. A short list of additional beaches would include Emerald Bay, Victoria Beach and 10th Street. Perhaps one or more of these beaches would appreciate the opportunity to support our youth by hosting some portion of our beach volleyball programs. 

Install seasonal courts. During the summer months, ample room exists at the north end of Main Beach to install two seasonal courts. This simple solution, all by itself, would provide immediate and equitable access to beach courts for both city-sponsored classes and recreational play. 

After all, the spirit of Laguna Beach is not to gain an advantage at the expense of another; it is to share this town’s unique and magical qualities as completely and broadly as possible throughout the community. 

Eric Fry, Laguna Beach

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