It's time to gather friends and family and head to the beach.
The annual Beach Water Polo Cup is happening this weekend, and around 100 teams are signed up and ready to compete in Alamitos Bay.
“This is really the funnest event I get to help organize," Nick Baba, event organizer, said. "The kids are out there playing, parents go out and sit on the beach and relax and people get to enjoy a game without stress."
Unlike other water polo competitions Baba hosts that involve winners and losers, this particular event is more laid back and meant for one thing — having fun.
"Water polo gets real competitive, so after all the intensity of the season begins for the high school," he said, "this is a breathe of fresh air for the sport."
The event was founded in 2007 as a break between summer water polo competitions and when students head back to class for the new school year. At first, there were about 10 teams participating, Baba said, but it kept growing.
Today, the event accommodates around 100 teams, with age ranges from younger than 12 years of age to masters with teams of 60- and 70-year-olds. Even the Long Beach Fire and Police departments get involved with an annual competition for bragging rights. Last year, LBFD took home the win.
"It's all for fun, but it's really great that the the Fire and Police departments join in," he said. "It's a fun rivalry."
That face-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Aside from playing the game, players and spectators alike will have plenty of time to play in the water, soak in the sun and enjoy the Long Beach weather.
"Long Beach is a great location and you really can't beat being in the ocean," he said. "We might event have future Olympians among us, but for now, the weekend is meant to be relaxing and fun."
Bay Shore Avenue between Ocean Boulevard and 54th Street will be closed to vehicles, so guests are encouraged to use a ride service or carpool as parking is expected to be scarce.
Additionally, alcohol is not permitted on the beach, but paddle boards, pool noodles and inflatable floating devices are encouraged.
The Beach Water Polo Cup is happening on Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, along Bayshore Beach in Alamitos Bay. The first game begins at 10 a.m., but beach goers are encouraged to get to the site early to secure a spot on the sand.
The event is free to attend for spectators.
For more information, go to beachwaterpolocup.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.