Last month, Dale Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL), received an award to honor his role in the formation of the league, which began in 1997. Dale had been a long-time proponent of youth volleyball prior to his meetings with co-founder Randy Sapoznik, who remains in place to this day as the executive director. In the league’s 15 years, well over 100,000 children learned volleyball, teamwork and self-esteem building skills through the USYVL.
When Randy Sapoznik approached Dale with the original concept, Dale, having been involved in beach volleyball and youth programs for several years as well as having well-established contacts and operational expertise needed to form the league, was excited by the prospect of what it could be.
“There are several volleyball-related accomplishments of which I’m quite proud,” Dale said recently. “Working with John Kessel on the Junior Olympics beach events is one, assisting the CBVA in the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame is another. However, it is thinking back to sitting in my office with Randy Sapoznik talking about the USYVL with only Randy’s idea and passion and my desire to help make it happen – to see where the USVYL is over 15 years later is amazing!”
Dale was serving as president of the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA), and was involved with the U.S. Junior Olympic Beach Volleyball Championships and U.S. Beach Volleyball Championships in the 1990s, as well as holding a vice president role with USA Volleyball’s Beach Division.
His cooperative effort with Randy Sapoznik took a concept to full-fledged league in a matter of months. “We have many people to thanks for the success of the USYVL,” said Randy Sapoznik. “However, it’s a fact that without Dale, the league would have never gotten off the ground.”
Dale’s affiliation with volleyball and youth programs is, indeed, impressive. In 1994, Dale was listed as one of the “People of the Year” in Volleyball Magazine for his efforts, along with those of John Kessel at USA Volleyball and Gino Grajeda at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), to establish a youth beach volleyball championship. Dale was also president of his company, Recreaction International, Inc. where he was responsible for managing Ventura County’s Friday Night Live, a tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse prevention program for teens. He also served as president of the California Beach Volleyball Association, the world’s oldest beach volleyball organization. In 1994, Dale co-founded the U.S. Junior Olympics Beach Volleyball Championships with John Kessel in Capistrano Beach. Later, in 1997 Randy Sapoznik and Dale co-founded the United States Youth Volleyball League, which provided children ages 8 to 14 the opportunity to learn the sport of volleyball in an organized, fun environment.
However, Dale is more than a leader, great coach and program developer for the sport of volleyball. He has impressive athletic achievements in his past. Personal accomplishments include winning a gold medal in beach volleyball at the 1994 World Masters Games in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia and riding his bike across the USA in 1998 as part of an American Lung Association fundraising effort.
These days, Dale, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Education, serves in a management role for Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska. He lives in Alaska, home to the midnight sun. In his free time, along with traveling and cycling, he continues to enjoy playing volleyball. Many thanks to Dale!