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CLOSE-UP : Volleyballs Wash Up in Burbank

November 01, 1986|JERRY CROWE

The All-American Sports Club couldn't figure out a way to bring Burbank to the beach, so it brought the beach to Burbank.

As part of its grand opening, the sporting goods store at 1000 N. San Fernando Road has created a beach volleyball court in its parking lot by dumping 150 tons of washed plaster sand onto the asphalt.

With a foot of sand under them, four two-man teams--including the No. 1 money winner on this year's pro beach tour, Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos--will compete this morning in the first of four tournaments that is being billed as "The Sand Lot Challenge."

Other "beach" tournaments are scheduled for Torrance, Sacramento and San Bernardino.

"We're starting in California, so it made a lot of sense to hook up with a progressive program like beach volleyball," said Richard Maertz, a marketing consultant for the company, which expects to open 18 stores in the next year. "This will set us off from whatever competition we may have."

The All-American Sports Club paid $2,200 to have six truckloads of sand brought in from Irwindale.

The players are being paid appearance money, and the winners of each tournament will be awarded merchandise. A week-long ski trip for two to Crested Butte, Colo., goes to the overall series winners.

Maertz said the winners' share could be worth about $12,000.

He said the players are interested because the company is talking about being a major sponsor for next summer's tour and because the event itself is unique.

"They're kind of jazzed about it," he said. "Getting the players was easier than getting the sand."

Why volleyball?

"It creates traffic," Maertz said, "and it gets us hooked up with the California scene. Our president wants to make sure we create an event and have some fun."

As they say along the coast--and now in Burbank, at least for one weekend--life's a beach.

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