About Open Play

Gotham Volleyball Open Plays

Gotham offers Open Plays at various levels of play open to those who play in Gotham and those who just love volleyball. Open Plays offer a casual environment of friendly competition, with game scores but no standings. Our Open Plays have firm eligibility guidelines for each level to help ensure court safety and maintain the level of play. Because we put the teams together for you, Open Plays are a great opportunity for people who just want to come by to play some volleyball with others in a relaxed environment. Teams are assigned randomly by the Gotham Leader running the event, with the aim of distributing skill sets as evenly as possible across all teams.

Open Play is primarily designed for individual registration and participation.  It is not a team-based program.  We try to assign Gotham teammates who want to play together to the same teams, but cannot make any guarantees.  Gotham Friendship Tournaments are a much better format for those wishing to practice and participate together as a team.

Once a month, in lieu of regular open Open Plays, we mix the levels up a bit and hold “Scramble,” or mixed Open Plays, giving players who don’t normally play together a chance to mix, mingle, and volley. During the weeks that we have Mixed Open Plays, we are excited to introduce a new weeknight Advanced Level (Red) Open Play! See the Gotham Volleyball Calendar and each Open Play’s specific web page for dates.

IMPORTANT: If you haven’t done so this season, please read over all of the information on this page before registering.

Spring 2020 Season Locations and Schedule

Throughout the Fall season, we anticipate being able to offer regular weekly Open Plays for all levels, and will rotate nights to give players opportunities to attend who may have various schedule conflicts. Please refer to each Open Play’s webpage for schedule and location details.


  • Current Gotham players may participate in any Open Play that matches their current Division, Power class, or NAGVA rating (applicable to those who are rated BB)
  • Previous Gotham players (past three seasons) should base eligibility on their most recent Division or Power status
  • NAGVA BB or higher players who do not meet the above requirements must attend only Advanced Open Plays
  • Players who do not meet the above requirements are permitted to attend their first Open Play at the level they see fit. At its completion, the Gotham Leader on Duty (GLOD) may suggest a more appropriate level for future Open Plays. This will be recorded in the GLOD report to determine eligibility for that season
  • For any questions regarding eligibility, please contact [email protected] use these eligibility rules in order to keep spots available to players for whom the event was designed, and to maintain the level of play. If you register for an open play for which you are not eligible, then your registration will be canceled and refunded.

    Registration & Key Information

    • NEW! Green and Violet Open Plays will have two sessions. This configuration is explained on those corresponding pages.
    • Registration begins each Friday at 12:00 noon (preceding Tuesdays for Open Plays that take place on Mondays) for open plays taking place during the following week only.
    • The fee to register is $15 per player, payable via Paypal.
    • Registration remains open until each event sells out. If you receive the “sold out” message from Paypal, you will be directed to a form to join the wait list.
    • Our open plays sometimes sell out as quickly as 10 minutes, so please try to register as early as possible.
    • Registrations are valid only for the particular session for which you registered. We cannot defer your registration to a future open play.
    • To ensure equal access, each individual may purchase only one spot per open play. For exceptions to this rule, see below the section on Limit of One Registration Per Person.
    • To register, go to the Open Play drop-down menu in the red banner above and select your session based on your Gotham Division or, if not in Gotham, your estimated skill level.
    • Gotham provides only one game ball per court. If you wish to practice prior to the start of play, please bring your own practice ball.  Important note for using personal balls at Open Plays:  Balls occasionally get trapped in the difficult to reach areas (such as ventilation ducts in the gym ceiling or under bleachers). If you warm up or play with your personal volleyball it is at your own risk.  If it gets stuck, Gotham has no means or authority to arrange retrieval of lost balls, and nor can Gotham reimburse players’ lost balls or other personal property.


    • Open Plays are formatted as round-robin pool play.
    • Open Play gyms may have up to 4 teams in each gym.
    • Teams may have up to 8 players each unless all members of the participating team choose to add a 9th player.
    • Each team will get to play and referee games.  Each team will play approximately 6 games.
    • When there is a full 4 teams, games are timed at 12 minutes with a 2-minute break between each game. With fewer teams, games may be capped by points instead of time, at the discretion of the Gotham Leader in charge.
    • There is no break between games — one game begins immediately after the previous game ends.  Teams should be ready to take the court and begin play immediately upon the conclusion of the previous game.
    • Teams are assigned randomly in advance with the aim of distributing skill sets and preferred positions as evenly as possible across all teams, while also trying to accommodate team and other reasonable special requests.

    Rules & Procedures

    Limit of One Registration Per Person
    Open Plays often sell out quickly. To ensure fairness and equal access to our events, you may register only yourself. If you use the same Paypal account to purchase more than one registration for the same open play and that open play sells out, then your additional registration(s) will be canceled and offered to wait-listed players. If there is a legitimate reason why you must register and pay for another player, you must e-mail [email protected] before you register that player, to explain the reason and circumstances. The other player must also email [email protected] before you register him or her, to request the registration and explain the reason. If we don’t receive that e-mail from you and the other player by the time the open play sells out, we will give the spot to the next person on the wait list.

    No Deferrals
    Players may register only for open plays taking place during the week following registration. To ensure fairness and equal access to all events, and to keep our accounting and attendance records clear and simple, registrations cannot be deferred and fees cannot be applied to future open play events.

    “No Pay, No Play”
    If you get a spot of the waitlist or after walking in to see if there are openings, must pay the full registration fee first, before stepping on the court to play. The fee can be paid either electronically using your smartphone through the Gotham website or in cash to the Gotham Leader running the open play.

    Cancellations and Refunds
    If you cannot attend Open Play, please notify us at [email protected], so we can try to re-assign your spot. If you let us know before 3:00 PM on the date of the Open Play and we are able to arrange another player to purchase your spot, then we will refund your registration fee via Paypal.  We cannot issue refunds for cancellations after 3:00 PM on the day of the open play.

    Late Arrivals
    If you aren’t on the court by the start of your team’s second game (~25 minutes after the start of play), and if the Open Play is sold out, then your registration may be canceled and your spot reassigned to a wait-listed or “walk-in” player. If requested prior to 6:45 p.m. to [email protected], we will hold your spot until the start of your team’s third game (~55 minutes after the start of play).

    Sell-Outs & Wait Lists
    If you see a message from Paypal that the event is sold out, then PayPal will forward you to the wait list request form.  You can fill out the form and click “submit” to join the waitlist. The request to join the list must come directly from the player who wishes to join it. Players are added to the wait list in the order we receive requests, so please contact us promptly after receiving the “sold out” message. We start to keep wait lists only after the event sells out. Please do not ask to join a wait list unless you already tried to register and got the “Sold Out” message.

    Occasional Delays or Changes in School Permits
    Our entry into the gym may occasionally be delayed by school officials. Our permits with the Department of Education are subject to cancellation at any time and for any reason. For Gotham to play in NYC schools is a privilege, not a right, and to maintain our privileges, we must do all we can to protect and nurture our relationships with school custodians, security guards, administrators and faculty, by showing absolute deference and respect at all times, for them and for school property. To that end, we thank you in advance for your understanding and your cooperation in cleaning up after yourselves and removing all trash and personal items from the venues where we play!

    Register by hovering on OPEN PLAY in the red banner above and selecting the appropriate Open Play in the drop-down menu.

    Gotham Volleyball Open Plays are run by Gotham’s Tournaments and Open Play Leadership Group.  If you have any questions about Open Plays, e-mail [email protected]


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