Podium Placers at the Craig Chamber of Commerce Mud Splash mud volleyball tournament:
2nd: Jack’s Bumpers
3rd: Cook Chevrolet
“It’s a really laid back event. People are just out here to have a good time, so you add a little bit of structure to keep it moving and it pretty much happens by itself.”
—Christina Oxley, Executive Director for Craig Chamber of Commerce and Moffat County Visitor Center, about running the Mud Splash tournament.
With the summer Olympics in London underway, beach volleyball will be on televisions across the world over the next few weeks.
Saturday in Craig, a crowd came out to play a very different form of outdoor volleyball. Around 100 residents showed up to play in mud pits during the Craig Chamber of Commerce’s Mud Splash mud volleyball tournament.
The double elimination tournament, hosted at Loudy-Simpson Park west of the soccer fields, consisted of ten teams, many of which had been to past Mud Splash tournaments, according to Christina Oxley, Executive Director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Moffat County Visitor Center.
“Most of these teams have been here year after year,” Oxley said. “We get some real die-hards so they know how it goes. You see everybody has their feet taped and brought coolers and the tents. They know the drill. You can’t go wrong.”
In the end, though, it was a group of newcomers that took home the first place trophy. Team Culebras, a group of young Craig residents, won by going undefeated for the tournament, and beating the team from Jack’s Bumpers in the championship.
Culebras members said they had fun at the tournament, which they hadn’t even heard about until near the signup deadline, July 20.
“We never heard of this, we usually play at city park,” team member Oscar Ramos said. “These guys showed up and told us they were having a tournament Saturday and said we should do it. We talked about it and decided to do it. We ended up winning.”
For many teams, faring well at the tournament was a secondary goal to having fun, getting dirty and making sure teammates got dirty as well. After most matches concluded, teammates could often be seen attempting to pull their friends into the mud pit.
That’s all a part of the event, according to Oxley, who said this year’s tournament went well.
“It’s been really good,” she said. “This is kind of what it usually is. It’s a really laid back event. People are just out here to have a good time, so you add a little bit of structure to keep it moving and it pretty much happens by itself.”
Ramos and the Culebras said they were having a blast long before they raised the championship trophy.
“It was awesome, I loved it,” Ramos said. “(Playing in mud) is a lot different, but a lot more fun.”
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