Playoffs Start This Sunday

March 31st, 2023

We've come to the end of the regular season and are starting the playoffs this Sunday. As mentioned herein, because of the number of teams in the League, we have to spread the first-round games over two Sundays. And, because Easter falls on the Sunday in between, it will basically take us three weeks to get through the first round.

Here's an odd fact for you, one that will allow you (for a brief time, anyway) to be the smartest person in the room. As you probably know, Easter falls on a different date every year. But how is that date determined? Back in the early days of the Catholic Church, they used the Julian Calendar (named for Julius Caesar). A problem arose when they realized that under their system, Easter would eventually keep getting later and later, almost heading into summer. So, a Pope got some scientists and mathematicians together and they came up with a new system. Stay with me here. Easter lands on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere).

This year, the first day of Spring was Monday, March 20th. The first full moon of Spring will be next Thursday, April 6th, so Easter will be on Sunday, April 9th. Next year, Easter will be early, March 31st. In 1818, Easter fell on March 22nd, the earliest possible date it could happen (that won't happen again until the year 2285). In 1943, it landed on April 25th, the latest possible date. (In your lifetime, in 2011, it landed on April 24th, which is very late.)

Anyway, this regular season has been great. We've had a ton of close games. Just last week, I was reffing a morning game. I looked at the score and with two minutes left, it was 68-68. I looked over the curtain at the score of the game on Skippy's court and it was 72-71. I thought, "How cool is this?!"

Of course, we still have blowouts every now and then, either as a function of bad scheduling or one team just having an amazing (or amazingly bad) night. 

One thing that we are going to have to address is the number of byes. Next Sunday is Easter; the facility is closed. I know it will feel like a bye, but it's not. We can't have games if we can't get in the building. However, teams did have multiple byes this season because of club volleyball eating up a lot of court hours. We need to find a solution.

Of course, one solution would be to cut down the number of teams in the League. But how would we do that? My son is a computer wizard. He once hacked the computer on which I write. Every couple of hours, the screen would go black and then this message would appear: LEARN HOW TO SAY NO! But I don't want to turn people away. I remember how badly I wanted to play ball back in the day, well into my Fifties. 

I read a sci-fi book on an airplane once. It was about a time in the not-too-distant future when the Earth's population had exploded, leading to widespread famine and drought, as well as wars over the dwindling resources. The macabre solution they came up with was that everyone on Earth would take a pill provided by the government. Half of the pills would cause instant death, the other half were harmless. Overnight, the Earth's living population would be cut in half, perhaps giving humanity a chance to reset and perhaps solve some of the problems. Unfortunately, as it turned out, they had to quickly burn all the dead bodies to prevent the spread of disease and the smoke from the worldwide fires blocked out the sun like when the asteroid hit the Yucatan and killed off the dinosaurs. So those who were still alive faced an Ice Age. The book kinda' sucked. That's why I read non-fiction. 

Anyway, this coming season, Summer 2023, will have fewer byes because club volleyball will be going away. It's going to be great. Good luck in the playoffs.