New Season, New Year Bring Changes

December 23rd, 2023

As we look forward to the Winter 2024 season in this, the 37th year of the Tucson Basketball League, we will be making a few changes. Nothing earth-shattering, but there are a few things that we feel will help keep the TBL experience the best possible for all involved.

--There aren't many people around who remember the beginning of the League. There's me and, well, that's about it. But Rob came along not that much later and he remembers almost everything. A couple months ago, he reminded me that we used to have a strict, no-exceptions rule in the Tucson Basketball League that each player could only play on one team. In the first season (in 1988), we only had eight teams, so someone playing on more than one of those teams would have caused a problem. As the years went by and the number of teams in the League grew, we started making exceptions and eventually, we (I) just said the heck with it.

But now, it has gotten completely out of hand and it is causing a myriad of problems. For one thing, in the old days, I used to spend no more than an hour during the week doing the schedule and a few hours on Sunday running the actual League. Now it's 12 hours every Sunday plus several hours each week doing the schedule, posting results, collating stats, writing the blog, putting notices on the orange space above the schedule...and one other thing. Every week, I get at least a dozen texts asking me to change the schedule. Sometimes, it's guys who are in the National Guard and they have drill that weekend. Okay, fine, happy to oblige. But far more often, it's some guy calling to say, "Hey Tom, you scheduled two of the teams that I play on at the same time on different courts. Can you change one of them?"

Starting now, the answer to that question is NO!!!!! We'll call it the Damu Rule. Rob thinks that we should go back to the old rule of only playing in one team. I'm not there yet. I remember the old days (back in the previous century) when I wanted to play ball all day long. I understand that instinct. But I'm done keeping track. I won't intentionally schedule conflicts, but if it happens, make a choice.

--Also, the Winter season (January-April) is a brutal time for the League. Not only is it generally the most-popular season in which to play, coinciding with the UA, the NBA, and even high-school basketball, it is also the time of year when court space at the venue is the most limited. Club volleyball eats up court space and there is everything from the little kids' basketball academy to (ugh!) indoor soccer. So, we are going to attempt to limit duplicate teams. We'll have a bunch of guys who will say, "When we play in the B League, we're Festering Butt Fudge. But the team we have in the A League is Flaming Flatulence." We're going to work on that. We'll call it the Damu and Cesar Rule. It's probably not going to happen immediately, but we're going to head in that direction.

--Some people might think that we would welcome more and more teams in the League because it would be more profitable. But since we've never made a profit--EVER--the only difference between having 50 teams in the League or 100 is that with the larger number, there is more work for me and more byes for you and nobody likes that.

--My son is writing an entirely new code for the stat sheets. We will no longer have duplicate names of people caused by poor penmanship. And may I say that members of the younger generation can't handwrite for CRAP!

--One last thing: The State of Arizona has raised the minimum wage again and so, the venue, which is labor-intensive, has raised the rental price for the courts again. The amount by which they have raised the rent is about five percent. To cover the added expense, we are going to have to raise our fee by 2.8%. Being a Math nerd, I've always liked the number 720. It's evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12. That will be great...unless your team has seven or 11 players.