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The top eight teams went to the championship round, with the title not determined until 10:30 p.m. (Courtesy photo)
What could be more fun than playing in the mud?
Community Connection rounded up its second annual Muddy for a Mission Mud Volleyball Tournament held Aug. 24 at the Elgin Stampede Grounds and raised close to $4,000.
This event helps Community Connection provide additional food to food banks in Union, Wallowa, Baker and Grant counties.
Seventeen teams competed in round-robin play, with the top eight teams going to the championship round.
“The tournament went much longer than we had expected,” said Carmen Gentry of Community Connection, the food bank manager for the four-county service area. “We are pretty sure the reason was teams came to the event really prepared for competition. The games were within one or two points of each other, making round-robin play go longer than we expected. We wanted to be sure that everyone felt like they got their money’s worth, and I am pretty sure they did. Many were calling for mercy by the end of the tournament at 10:30 p.m.”
Next year, the tournament will include two or three pools, which will cut down the time it takes to get to the championship bracket.
The winning team this year was Norfolk and Chance. Second place was Paid to Play Sandwich Smashers from La Grande Subway. Third place was RB Sharks. Each team received a trophy and medals for its efforts.
The champions will get free admission into next year’s event.
“There was a lot of dirty playing, some smack talking and some down and dirty fun had by all,” Gentry said. “This is something fun and unique to this area, so I think people want to be involved with it.”
Spectators were able to attend the event for just a can of food donation.
“I am very pleased with how everyone helped out,” Gentry said.
Twila Ivins served as the announcer, and there were volunteer referees.
All event photos are on a Facebook page at Muddy for a Mission. People who played in the tournament are asked to tag their photos.
They can also pre-sign a team for next year’s event on Aug. 9.
“With the word spreading, the tournament will fill up quickly,” Gentry said. “We are also looking for a pool of volunteers, vendors and referees to help at the event. If interested, please call or email me today.”