More than 900 girls’ volleyball teams compete in the ninth annual Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic.
By Erica Moody
A record-breaking 35,000-plus female volleyball players and fans descended on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this President’s Day weekend for the ninth annual Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic, a tournament that encourages young women to pursue their volleyball dreams.
The convention center was transformed into sports central, with 119 volleyball courts set up and vendors passing out PowerBars and Gatorade. Over 900 teams from mid-Atlantic volleyball clubs for young women ages 10-18 made it out, with parents and coaches in tow. In 2014, the tournament had an estimated economic impact on D.C. of more than $14 million in one weekend. This year’s impact is expected to reach $18.9 million.
“This tournament has become an economic boost during a typically slow holiday weekend in the District – and in just nine years, it has grown from one exhibit hall to all exhibit halls in our convention center, becoming one of the top tournaments in the nation,” said Gregory O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC.
Volleyball players wishing to continue their sport beyond high school benefited from collegiate scouting opportunities throughout the weekend, with 200 college coaches available on site. Destination DC provided discounts to attendees to nearly 50 restaurants and attractions with the “Show Your Badge” program. And the Side-Out Foundation raised awareness of breast cancer by encouraging teams to wear pink on Sunday.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Events DC, Destination DC and the Metro American Volleyball Club, who really got the ball rolling, this one-of-a-kind weekend is only growing (or shall we say, spiking?) in popularity each year.