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Fort Macleod prepares for STARS volleyball

Volleyball players once again have STARS in their eyes.
Planning is under way for the 16th annual STARS volleyball tournament April 6-8 in Fort Macleod.
Last year the tournament reached new heights with 46 teams and $12,372 raised to fund two missions by the air ambulance.
“I could never have imagined that it would become as popular as it is,” said Mike Bourassa, who founded the tournament.
Over 15 years the tournament has raised more than $70,000 for STARS.
The tournament has grown from struggling to have enough teams to having 11 on a waiting list last year.
Nine teams have already paid their registration fee, including some of those that waited and found themselves on last year’s waiting list.
“The main reason we have so many teams is they have fun,” Bourassa said of the tournament’s popularity. “They have fun, and it’s good ball.”
The competitive division attracts teams of college and university calibre, but there are divisions for intermediate and recreational teams as well.
The top payout is $500 but money is not the motivating factor when it comes to the STARS tournament.
“Lots of teams donate the money back,” Bourassa said. “They don’t even care about it.”
The competitive division is for players aged 18 years and over, or at least turning 18 in 2018.
The intermediate division is for players aged 20 years and over, who are not playing college or university volleyball.
The recreational division is reserved for players 25 years and over who are not playing college or university volleyball.
Teams are made up of up to eight players, including a minimum of three women.
Registration is $350 a team, but organizers this year added a $100 deposit that will be refunded if the team shows up for all its games.
Bourassa said the deposit is necessary due to a trend of teams blowing off Sunday morning games, inconveniencing opponents, officials, volunteers and organizers.
The entire tournament, including the beer garden, will be held at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre, with games played on four portable courts.
Registration will be capped at 40 teams so organizers do not have to use one of the school gymnasiums.
A dinner and dance will be held on the Saturday evening at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
The organizing committee is recruiting sponsors at five levels: platinum, $250 and over; gold, $100-$249; silver, $50-$99; bronze, up to $49; and door prize. Tax receipts will be issued for donations at the bronze to platinum levels.
Last year tournament organizers spent $9,461 at local businesses for supplies, and awarded $7,687 to local organizations that provided services.
The organizing committee also includes Candace Dawson, Brooklyn Bourassa, Brayden Van Driesten, Leanne Neels, and Lauren Roelofsen.
Entries should be mailed to Mike Bourassa at P.O. Box 1083, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0 or e-transfer to
For information contact Mike Bourassa at 403-553-2025, 403-330-3546 or, or on Facebook at Fort Macleod Co-ed Volleyball.

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