Our View: The splash bash

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There's nothing quite like splashing around in cool mud on a warm, sunny summer morning.

It's even better when you're doing it to raise money for a good cause.

That's what makes Mud Splash volleyball tournament such a great community event.

Saturday's tournament, sponsored by the Craig Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, will help fund community beautification projects this year.

We think that's great.

What's not so great is the way in which the event is run.

This year's event started late and was disorganized. Referees set rules at their own discretion, and players seemed to think games were a free-for-all, shouting obscenities and threatening others.

We're not saying an activity such as mud volleyball should be on a strict itinerary with a book of guidelines. Then it just wouldn't be fun.

But a little bit of planning and direction would have gone a long way.

The bathrooms were a disaster after drones of dripping volleyball players made their way to the Loudy-Simpson Park facility. And the county made an error in scheduling the tournament for the same day as a company picnic across the park.

The two events shared the restroom facility.

Moffat County crews did graciously clean the bathrooms after the event was over, which Chamber Director Christina Currie said is much appreciated.

Of course, messy bathrooms become a mute point when you consider our real concern -- child safety.

Alcohol is in abundance at Mud Splash, as adults take coolers of alcohol to enjoy between games.

Adults also take their children, children who are often unsupervised while Mom and Dad are rolling around in the mud. Coolers are in the back seats of cars or sitting near the edge of the pits. Some adults seemed to pay no attention to whether youths were sneaking a beer or a Jell-O shot while their parents were more occupied with getting the ball over the net.

Likewise, children were invited to dive into the mud pits between games. Again, some were unsupervised as they swam around.

Now, it's one thing for a parent to tell an older child they may splash around for a short while. But some of the youths in the pits were quite young and could potentially drown in the knee-high water.

We understand this might sound extreme, and we hope it never happens. What we're concerned with is making sure it never does.

We also understand the Chamber of Commerce does not provide or sell alcohol to participants, and that Moffat County parks allow alcohol on the premises.

No one's breaking the rules.

But that doesn't mean the danger doesn't exist.

Currie describes the event as a casual, backyard party atmosphere. She said everyone is responsible for policing themselves.

While that may sound good in theory, we hope she and other Chamber board members understand that they run a community organization hosting a community event, and that they will most certainly hear from the community should anything illegal or tragic happen at their "backyard party."

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