Rare Sunday Off; Playoffs Begin

November 25th, 2022

I'm sorry that this is late. I not only coach a high-school girls basketball team, this past week we hosted a tournament (which I run). I had to coach my team, run the scoreboard for six or seven games a day, order the trophies, and sweep up at night. It was three straight 14-hour days in the gym. Grueling, but fun. 

Each calendar year, the Tucson Basketball League has just a few Sundays off. We take off the two Sundays during the holidays (this year, both Christmas and New Year's Day land on Sunday, so that works out particularly well). We always take Mother's Day off. This year, we also took Father's Day off, but I don't think we'll be doing that again. It felt strange. We usually take Easter Sunday off, but not always. And we're taking this Sunday (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) off. We're into the playoffs and it's just not fair to have teams play all season and then have incomplete squads for the playoffs. Before the pandemic, lots of people would travel this weekend or they would be hosting guests from out of town. So, we decided that it would be best not to have games on this Sunday.

We did start the playoffs last Sunday. Because of the number of teams in the League and the limited number of court-hours due to the start of club volleyball, we had to split the first round into two weeks. The second part of the first round will be on Sunday, December 4th. The semifinals will be December 11th and the championships will be on December 18th.

It was a strange day. We had a few games that weren't really close sprinkled in with the typical playoff games that went right down to the wire. We also had four games that were makeup games for teams that had been forfeited to during the regular season.

Among the winners advancing to the semifinals are: Mad Middle-Aged Men, That One Team, Slime Time, Los Chivos, Mansfield Ballers, Los Leones, Tucson Cyclones, Injured Reserves, STRAPS, Fleet, AVM Bordertown Ballers, Icy Hots, Sleeper Squad, Rainbow Drillers, Ballers, Soul Snatchers, and Hounds. 

While we're happy to have strong interest in being part of the League, there are a couple downsides to it. One is that we don't get to know everybody like we used to. I actually like to get to know everybody. Another is that we can't keep track of everybody. We've always been very casual about letting people come and go on teams during the regular season. But we have strict rules about the playoffs. In order to participate in the playoffs, a player had to have played more than one game for that team in the regular season.

This actually dates back to the first-ever season of the Tucson Basketball League, back in 1988. The League was staged at the old (REALLY OLD) YMCA that used to exist on the corner of Sixth Street and Fifth Avenue. We had eight teams that first season. One team played the regulars season with a roster of guys who all looked like Woody Allen. But then they showed up for the playoffs with five guys who looked like Donovan Mitchell. I said, "Um...no."

I'm mentioning this because I saw that we had a result last Sunday that raised a few eyebrows. I am going to ref that team's game on December 11th to make sure that they didn't grab somebody off of waivers when nobody was looking. I honestly don't know if anything sinister is going on. Maybe they just had a really good shooting day. We'll see.