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You’ve been eyeing up grass volleyball for a while and now you’ve made the great decision to register for one of these must-play volleyball tournaments, eh? Welcome to the wonderful world of grass volleyball! As your excitement builds and the tournament day approaches, you might be wondering what to pack for it, right? Below is my printable checklist that will make sure you’re prepared for a full day (or weekend) of volleyball!
Below are some specifics on the brands that I use and recommend. The good thing about the volleyball community is that you won’t necessarily need to buy all these things yourself – just coordinate with your friends and teammates to make sure at least someone in your group will have things on hand like a pump, canopy, mallet, cooler, etc.
- Volleyball – The AVP currently uses this one. Always label your ball in permanent marker with your name and/or phone number so it can be easily identified. I like drawing bright colors on mine as well so it will stand out. When all the balls look the same, it’s so easy to lose track of which one is yours!
- Canopy – It is worth investing in a quality tent with good stakes, as strong wind can easily pull your tent out of the ground if you don’t have it staked in well. Speaking of stakes, it is useful to have a mallet to get your stakes solidly into the ground. Choose a canopy that has a carrier with wheels as they can get quite heavy if you have to park far from the field you’ll be playing on and lug it with you. Some people also use these wagons to transport their equipment.
- Foldable Chair – I like this chair and also this zero gravity chair for relaxing between games.
- Cooler with Wheels – This kind is my favorite. I fill mine with 1-2 bags of ice the morning of the tournament. Some large tournaments have ice for sale or you can find ice bags at almost any grocery store or gas station.
- Ball Pump – This type of pump is small and doesn’t take up much space, but does a good job of getting your ball inflated to the proper level.
- Golf Umbrella – This is always good to throw in your car. It can help keep you out of the sun while reffing and also comes in handy if it starts to rain.
- Backpack – This is what I prefer to use for tournaments as it keeps my hands and arms free to carry other things. If you want to be fancy, this one even has a place to hold your ball.
- Foam Roller/Resistance Bands – Foam rollers can be very handy for warming up your muscles and trigger point release. These bands are good for those with shoulder issues that need specific stretches.
- Reusable Water Container – Rather than buying a ton of single use plastic bottles, invest in a water jug like this that you can refill throughout the day.
Snacks & Drinks
- Electrolytes – You can read about the specific snacks and hydration products I like in this post. Don’t skimp on electrolytes – I like to bring coconut water for replenishing electrolytes since it’s healthier than most sugar-laden drinks like Powerade/Gatorade. You can also buy these electrolyte drops to add to your water.
- Preventing Cramps – I know a lot of people bring pickle juice because it helps them if they start to cramp, but bananas are also a great source of Potassium and Magnesium, which can help prevent muscle cramps as well.
- Biltong is my favorite high protein snack for tournaments. It’s also key to bring some healthy carbs, so I like to have fresh veggies and fruit on hand as well.
- Check the tournament page for details on what food and drink options will be available. Some have plenty of food vendors or offer free drinks/snacks, but some may be more remote where you would want to have plenty of your own provisions on hand.
- Hat – I don’t usually play in a hat, but I like to wear one when I ref games to keep from getting too much sun on my face.
- Sunscreen and Lip SPF – Sunscreen is obvious, but you may not have thought about needing lip protection. I learned this the hard way when I didn’t use any and the next day, my lips swelled up to twice their normal size! I like to use lip protection that has a minimum SPF of 15.
- Change of socks and shoes – If you play in rainy conditions (usually play goes on unless there is thunder/lightning in the area), it will be good to have extra shoes and socks so you’re not walking around soggy all day. Also good to have extras in case of getting blisters or getting a hole in your sock.
- Large towel and sweat towel – A large beach towel is handy for many things including sun protection, and I like to also bring a smaller sweat towel I can leave in the cooler of icy water. It’s so refreshing to have a cold towel to put on your neck and cool off on a hot day.
- Change of clothes – I ripped my leggings in the last tournament I played so now I always bring at least one extra pair of leggings or spandex with me.
- Hoodie, sweatpants, and rain jacket – These can all come in handy depending on the weather you’ll be playing in.
- Sunglasses – I like to bring extra cheap ones along because I’ve broken more than a few pairs while playing.
- Headphones/Portable Speaker – Both are nice to have for warmup and when you want some music while playing or in between games.
- Headband/hair ties – I hate playing with hair blowing in my face, so these are a must for me.
- Deodorant – Besides keeping you smelling fresh, this is also great for putting on areas like inner thighs that are prone to chafing. Nuud is the brand I use, as it’s the only all-natural brand I’ve found that actually lasts all day, even when it’s incredibly hot and humid!
- Flip flops / slides – Believe me, your feet will want to breathe after a long day.
Just In Case
- First Aid Kit – A full medical kit or just a kit containing the below items is good to have with you.
- Athletic Tape
- Pain meds
- Allergy meds
- Band-aids and blister pads
- Biofreeze or IcyHot
- Hand sanitizer/ sanitizing wipes – It’s nice to clean up in between games if there aren’t full bathrooms nearby. I like this non-toxic sanitizing spray.
- Ziploc bag – Good to have on hand to fill with ice in case of injury.
- Blanket/Quilt – In case it’s cold or you want to nap on the ground.
I hope this list is helpful as you prepare for your next tournament. Did I miss something? Let me know your must-haves in the comments.
Thanks for reading!