By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The National Volleyball Open is at the Minneapolis Convention Center this week.

Thousands of players age 18 and up are playing in different divisions.

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Some are more competitive than others, but there is one veteran team from Minnesota that is playing for all the right reasons.

Stop and watch a game at the convention center and you are seeing some of the best in the world.

“Most of these men have played Division One volleyball. They’ve also played on the national team. Many of them play professionally overseas,” said Gary Resnick of the Northern California All-Stars. “So these are true professional volleyball players.”

(credit: CBS)

It’s certainly an economic shot to downtown Minneapolis because there are so many participants.

“We have around 460 teams, a little more than that. They are from all over the country and all over the world,” said B.J. Evans, tournament communications manager.

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What makes this tournament most unique is that there is a category for almost anyone. Age does not apply if you want to play volleyball.

There is even a Minnesota team that plays in the 73-and-over category.

“I love the game,” said player Fran Launstein. “This is a Minnesota-based team.”

It’s a healthy reminder of what can be and what is possible; that life is filled with tingles, regardless of years serves on earth.

“It’s a subculture, it’s a very social thing,” said 76-year-old player Jack Laffe.

That’s what energizes you; you realize we all play for similar reasons.

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“The comradery,” Launstein said. “A lot of great people to play with, and we have a great time.”

Mike Max