Dallas Volleyball Center
One of the highlights of the 1980s (in addition to big hair mullets and Tainted Love by Sofcell) was playing volleyball with a good group of people. We played whenever we could - day and night. One of our players, Phil, even had a complete net setup. We entered tournaments (Phil and I won a B level tournament). We could always set up the net in a park - we found parks or grassy areas that were lit so we could play at night. But, we were always on the lookout for a good place to play indoors. We entered leagues at city-sponsored Recreation Centers (one was in my former elementary school) and tournaments and learned which Rec Centers had open times. Still not enough. So, I started thinking about the need for a place that was dedicated just to volleyball. Like a tennis club, golf/country club, etc.

Volleyball is often played in recreation centers, churches, YMCAs, and schools, but receives second-rate attention - little time allotted and a low priority on funding. There may be a need for a first-rate volleyball facility to overcome these issues:
Mixed level of expertise
Crowds and wait times
Faulty equipment
Restricted hours
Cramped courts, interruptions
Glaring lights
Lack of quality instruction and classes
No community-wide network

Design and production
I had seen indoor tennis centers and similar large open structures. These could easily accommodate volleyball. Volleyball is a good game since the learning curve is quite short, one can improve to move up to higher levels, and both men and women can play. The Volleyball Center would consist of courts, warm-up area, a restaurant and bar, locker rooms, a sauna or hot tub, a kids area, and possibly an outdoor area with sand courts. To attract members and players, a variety of services would be offered: a court dedicated to open play, lessons offered at all levels of play, tournaments with prizes, leagues in different divisions, and a resource area with books and magazines.

The structure
To keep costs low, I proposed using a simple warehouse-like metal shed structure. The front would be lower with some detailing to create a more human scale. The theme throughout the floor plan is a 45 degree angle that cuts off 90 degree corners. The front of the building and the entry would have these 'cut-off corners' to give the stock warehouse more custom look. All the plumbing would be clustered in the front section.

Floor plans

Section renderings


Total square feet
      38,000 - Building
      26,000 - Parking
      64,000 - Site (1.47 acres)
Areas and dimensions
      Playing court - 29.5' x 59'  (9m x 18m)
      Netted boundary - 49' x 78.5'  (15m x 65m)
      Bar/restaurant area - 2,813 sq ft
      Bar/restaurant seating - 170
      Kitchen/back bar area - 677 sq ft
      Multi-purpose room - 425.5 sq ft
      Parking - 140 cars
Exterior materials
      Steel sided steel structure
      Decorative grid concrete block
      Metal eaves and soffit
Interior materials
      6' high pads around courts and columns
      Hardwood floors in public areas
      Wood paneled walls in bar/restaurant
      Ceramic tile throughout locker rooms

The volleyball center
The center was more than just a place to play volleyball. There would be clinics and classes offered, and league play most nights of the week. Some courts and some times would be set aside for open recreational play. At the front of the center is a restaurant and bar. Players and spectators could eat and drink after a game or stop by just for a meal and the chance to watch some volleyball action.

Excellent court facilities
      Strong nets with antennas
      Professional quality balls
      Glare-free lights
      Cushioned vinyl floor
      large netted courts
      Padded walls and columns
      Electric scoreboards
Controlled play
      Court play by categories:  Beg  B  BB  A  AA
      Open early and late
      League play
      Tournaments at all levels
      National team sponsor
Training and instruction
      Free beginner classes
      Specific skill clinics, level classes
      Special training court
      Video taping/replay
      Seminar classroom with media capabilities
      Exhibitions and guest instructors
Player facilities
      Locker rooms with showers18images/dvc6.jpg
      Spa and sauna with view of courts
      Bar and restaurant with big-screen TVs
      Pro shop
      Playroom for children
      Information center for community
      Mailing list, social media network
      Library and media resources
      Multi-purpose room: seminars, workroom
      Vending machines
Spectator facilities
      Large viewing areas
      Special gallery court
      Bar and restaurant

Samples of the building



Design and rendering: March 1985 - 1986

30 years later, facilities are getting close

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