Open Play FAQs

If I’m new to Gotham, how do I know what session to join?  The majority of Open Plays are designed for a specific level of volleyball to be achieved.  This is to ensure appropriate competition and safety for all players.  We encourage new players to use the skill level guidelines found on the TryOuts – Levels of Play page.  We 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. For any further questions regarding eligibility, please contact [email protected].

Where are these events normally held?  Open Plays normally take place in the three gymnasiums Gotham is permitted to use (Elias Howe on W44th, Bayard Rustin on W18th, and NYC Lab School on W17th).

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. We do this by always showing absolute deference and respect 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!

How do I secure a spot in an Open Play?  Registration begins each Friday at 12:00 noon (preceding Tuesdays for Open Plays that take place on Monday nights) for open plays taking place during the following week only. The fee to register is $15 per player, payable via LeagueApps. Registration remains open until each event sells out. If an event is “Sold Out”, 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.  Please note that Gotham has a strict “No Pay, No Play” policy.

How does play run? How does it work?  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 also referee games.  Each team will play approximately 6 games. When there are a full 4 teams, games are timed at 15 minutes. 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.

What if I cannot make the session I signed up for?  If you cannot attend Open Play, please notify us at [email protected] as soon as possible so we can try to re-assign your spot. Cancellation within 24 hours prior to the start of the Open Play will not be eligible for refund or credit.

“No Show” Policy – Please be aware that Gotham has many active members who are hoping to play volleyball.  If you do not notify Gotham that you cannot attend and are considered a “no show” for your Open Play, this will result in loss of registration fee, a potential suspension of future Open Plays, and ultimately takes the spot of a fellow Gotham member who wished to play.

I didn’t get in and I’m on the Waitlist, what happens next?  If you see a message from LeagueApp that the event is sold out, then you will be placd on 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 through LeagueApp. We start to keep wait lists only after the event sells out.  Once a spot opens up, you will be contacted (phone/email) immediately to confirm if you are still interested in playing.  If you confirm you wish to play, you will be able to submit your payment through LeagueApp to secure your spot.

What happens if I’m not in the appropriate level of play?  There may be cases where a new player is above/below the average pace of play.  We encourage those new to Gotham to view TryOuts – Levels of Play page.   Players who do not meet the 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.

What should I bring to Open Play?  Players should come in their comfortable athletic attire, indoor appropriate shoes, knee pads, and any personal items they may need.  Feel free to bring water (our facilities do have drinking fountains available).  Please note that food and other non-water beverages are not allowed in the gymnasiums.

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.

What if I know I’m going to be late to Open Play?  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 spot may be reassigned to a wait-listed or “walk-in” player. If notified through [email protected] 15 minutes prior to the OP start time, we will hold your spot until the start of your team’s third game (~55 minutes after the start of play).

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