A tan, middle-aged man in board shorts dug a sizable hole in the sand on Mission Beach (just north of Toulon Court) on the afternoon of March 28. A tall, wooden 4"X4" post lay in the sand beside him.
“What do you hope to find down there?” I asked local attorney Bo Solis between swings of the shovel.
“We’re erecting volleyball posts," Solis said. "Probably supposed to have a permit, but the City doesn’t maintain the poles...or the fire pits. We’ve been doing this for years. We’re a bunch of guys wanting to play ball. We’ve got a cameraman, a UPS driver, a construction worker, and attorney…we’re diverse.... We’ll let anyone play with us.”
Solis stopped shoveling momentarily, then pointed to a man standing on the deck of a nearby residence. “He doesn’t want us here. He always complains.”
I asked the man on the porch, a 17-year resident, how he felt about the volleyball posts.
“Don’t like them," he said. "It’s illegal. They need a permit. Their ball snapped the antenna on my car last week.”
“Did you ask them to fix it?”
"Did they offer to fix it, or say anything at all?”
“Yes. They said, ‘ball, please.’”
I asked a nearby lifeguard sergeant if there were any regulations pertaining to the installation of permanent volleyball posts on the beach.
“Yeah,” he said, “you need a permit from Parks and Rec. There are plenty of courts in South Mission. It’s just that a lot of people want their own personal court. Not everyone can have their own personal court. Permanent posts erected in zones not designated for courts will eventually be removed. It’s just not our top priority today.”