After the last game of the night on March 25th (a contest on Court 2 between Elite and Alorica Royals), somebody walked off with the game ball. Being the trusting soul that I am, I assume that it was an inadvertent act. (A couple kids had been playing with it.) This would usually be a shrug moment for me, but it is the first time in 30 years(!) that we are missing a game ball. That bothers me. Mike and Paula, who were reffing the game, should have secured the game ball, but in their defense, this has never happened before, it's understandable that they didn't make it a priority. I've been waiting patiently for somebody to contact me and tell me that their kid accidentally walked off with the ball. I'm still waiting.
This has been so weird. I never realized how much I used the Internet until I had to go several days with spotty and intermittent service. They're no longer digging up our neighborhood and the World Wide Web is back--at least for now. Some of you may know that my formal education was in one of the more rigorous sciences, but unlike a lot of people these days, I am not enamored with (or controlled by) technology. For many years, I didn't even have a phone, but my kids finally got me one a couple Christmases ago. Still, I would say that, when I leave the house, I forget to take it with me about 70% of the time.
Now, Rob, on the other hand, is thoroughly modern and tech savvy, befitting his status as a businessman, entrepreneur and consumer of copious amounts of protein. I can (and should) learn from him.
This season completes 30 years of the Tucson Basketball League (we'll be starting our 31st year in May). It has been a challenging season, mostly due to our inability to get sufficient court space and time. Due to the aforementioned (in previous posts) MLK Holiday, the Super Bowl, Easter, and numerous youth tournaments, a couple teams actually ended up playing only every other weekend. That's not acceptable. In our defense, what a lot of people don't know is that a team will contact us and say, "We're going to the Pac-12 Tournament in Vegas so we can't play this week." Or "one of our guys is getting married on Saturday, so we can't play on Sunday." (That one I don't really understand; you don't have to drink THAT much!) So those teams have irregular schedules, but it's on them.
We have limited options available to us, but please know that when the Winter 2019 season rolls around next January, we will not have the same situation as this year. Certainly, part of the problem is that we have lots of teams. Yogi Berra, when talking about one of his favorite restaurants, once said, "Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded." In a bizarre way, that makes perfect sense. But the fact that lots of people enjoy playing in the league should not be an impediment. We're working on it.
Now, a couple other things:
--Due to the tightness of the schedule, this Sunday marks the end of the regular season. We have to get the playoffs completed by the end of April so that we can start the next season in early May. We will be handing out a sheet to each team this Sunday and next Sunday, explaining several items. We appreciate your consideration.
--The single-elimination playoffs begin Sunday, April 15th, with semis on the 22nd and championship games on the 29th. We will be breaking the current six divisions into eight smaller divisions to maximize competitive levels. A byproduct of this is that we will have more teams make the finals and have more champions.
--Rob and I agree on almost everything, but one thing we have gone back and forth on is allowing players to play on multiple teams. I don't see it as that big a deal, while Rob is more level-headed than I. What happens is, when it comes time for the playoffs, if a guy is playing on two teams, I just schedule those two teams to play against each other, so he has to choose. And if the team he chose to play with loses, he CANNOT play with the other team the following week. In the immortal words of Denis Leary, life is hard; get a helmet.
Because we (I) have let things slide, we have multiple players who play on multiple teams each. I will do all that I can to see to it that, as I mentioned, two of those teams will play each other. But, for this season of playoffs, you can play on two teams. You'll have to tell me which two teams in advance of the playoffs. Yes, Jamill, only two teams.) And if one or both of those teams lose in the first round, you cannot go play on another one.
That's all for now. I'll write some more on Friday, after you've had the opportunity to absorb all this information.