Grand Strand Juniors ready to play host to Winter Bump

Just as the Grand Strand Juniors volleyball club has grown dramatically in recent years, so has the club’s Winter Bump Volleyball Classic.

What started as a small regional volleyball tournament five years ago has now blossomed into the largest single weekend indoor volleyball tournament in the state with over 240 teams in action.

Teams from throughout the Mid-Atlantic and a few from Michigan will converge on Myrtle Beach and North Charleston for the three-day tournament, which gets under way Saturday and runs through Monday. The Winter Bump is sanctioned by USA Volleyball and features girls teams ages 12-18.

After making room for the Republican Presidential Debate in 2012, the tournament will once again be back in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and will host additional teams in the North Charleston Convention Center.

The event is sports tourism at its best. The event has already sold over 2,300 room nights and is estimated to bring in 7,000 people, many of whom will dine at local restaurants, visit local attractions and shop at local stores.

“The event is expected to add over $2 million to the South Carolina economy,” said tournament director Alex Sing, “much of that right here in Myrtle Beach.”

In addition to players and their families, college coaches will come to recruit players for their programs. Over 98 percent of college players are recruited through club volleyball. These events allow coaches to watch hundreds of players over the weekend.

“Our event will have as many as 16 matches playing at the same time in one location,” Sing said. “The atmosphere is exciting. It looks like popcorn popping when the balls are flying in the air.”

Tickets to the Winter Bump are $7 per dayor $15 for three-day pass. Tickets may be purchased at the door at MBCC.

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