Volleyball returns to the Foley Event Center this week with one of the largest events hosted in the USA Volleyball Gulf Coast Region- the Storm Invitational.
The competition began in Mobile many years ago but has been hosted in Foley for the last four, said Tournament Director, Shawn Weaver. It’s a collaboration between Mobile Storm Volleyball and Pleasure Island Storm Volleyball.
Over time the event has grown. This year Weaver said they are expecting 120 teams from around the region. However, due to the COVID protocols, the Invitational will be taking place across two sites, with the main site being Foley Event Center. The director said safety has always been a top priority.
“Storm Invitational has smaller pools of teams playing at any given time to keep the number of players in the building to a minimum,” Weaver explained. “We have designed the format to allow a large break between the morning wave and the afternoon wave.”
The changes in the protocols have not impacted the level of competition or the amount of play Weaver stressed. All teams will receive a minimum of five matches over the course of two days.
Foley Sports Tourism Event Operations Manager Angie Sullivan said this is something the organization has been prepping for.
“We know that the Storm Invitational, along with next weekend’s Gulf Coast Classic are two of the largest volleyball tournaments we see each year,” Sullivan said. “We are absolutely prepared for this. We have learned so much from our previous events and they’ve grown in size over time back up to pre-pandemic numbers. While the numbers grow we continue to find more and more ways to keep people safe and keep teams playing.”
The Storm Invitational runs all day Saturday, February 6, and Sunday, February 7. Due to COVID protocols, the number of spectators is limited. For more information on this or any FST event visit our events page.