For many, the dream of playing in international volleyball tournaments ends after youth volleyball. For a select few, they are able to attend and play with a college or university program and are often given the chance to compete against international teams. And for an even more select group, they get to continue to play professional or international.
However there is a group in Ontario that is continuing to compete internationally, and they are looking for people to join them.
Ontario Masters Volleyball Men’s Club is a group of 50+ competitive masters players who practise weekly and predominantly enter competitive Masters level tournaments in both Canada and the US. The club has 50+, 55+, and 60+ players on its membership list.
The club has recently changed from playing under the name Hamilton Steel Cats after expanding the club to include players from all areas in Ontario. The group is looking for other competitive masters level players who would like to join in practises and future tournaments. The men’s club currently practices weekly in Dundas, Ontario. Although they do have outside the region players who they play with when time and schedule permits they find the greatest success and bond with players who are able to practice.
Some of the players have Club and varsity experience in their past, others have started later in life and have developed a love of the game. Although they do have a couple of recreation level players, the focus of the group is to get better and to be competitive at the highest levels of the various Masters Games.
More than just volleyball
The club is made up of like minded players who want to compete competitively in Masters level tournaments, but also believes in the importance of the social interaction off the court at tournaments. As a saying goes, “it is about the people and not the organization.” It is important there is a cohesiveness of the personalities in the group and we try to attract team oriented players as opposed to individual centric players.
A History of Success
Club was started by Gord Taylor and Frank Pinter after 20 years of running the Hamilton A division volleyball men’s league. It became more official after their first masters tournament in Detroit 10+ years ago. Some of the tournaments participated in have been US Nationals in Detroit, Orlando, Minnesota, Columbus. Other Masters tournaments have been numerous Huntsman Games in Utah, US National Senior games in Florida, and next years US National Senior games in Pittsburgh. They have competed in numerous State games in Michigan, NY, and surrounding US states within a few hours drive from Hamilton. Some members have attended the world Masters Championships in Japan and other countries
Currently, the club is sending a team to the National Seniors Games to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 2023. Any interested competitive players can direct themselves to their Private Group Facebook Page called “Ontario Masters Volleyball” and ask for an invitation.
Additionally they have recently started a Women’s side of the Club and information can be found on the Facebook Group page “Ontario Masters Volleyball – Women”.