Although our numbers are getting smaller season by season, there are quite a few of us who have been around the league from the very beginning. So many things have changed over the years. When I watch teams play today, it is remarkable to see how far we’ve come. Despite all the changes, the common thread that has tied everything together is our ability to run an inclusive, friendly, and safe league without the use of referees. I was reminded of the importance of this on Sunday when one of the opposing players came over and thanked us for such an enjoyable game. We’re so successful as a league because we attract players who want to focus on the art of the game, and not have all the drama typically found in other leagues around BC.

Sadly, the high I felt after reflecting on how amazing our league is disappeared when I checked my messages on the way back to my car. Two completely separate incidents occurred on Sunday that go completely against everything that makes our league so unique. The first situation involved some highly inappropriate language being used on the court between opponents. The filters on this webpage are smart enough to block out the words used, so my expectation is that our players show at least the same level of intelligence. We’re not expecting every game to be hugs and flowers. On the contrary, rivalries are part of the reason why so many of us love the sport. Show a little respect for your peers, your fans who come to watch the games, and the “public” facility who hosts us. This incident resulted in a suspension, so make sure to remind your teams that the KBL doesn’t tolerate this level of disrespect.

The highlight of the second situation is the abuse and disrespect of the “volunteer” game monitor. These folks are taking time out of their busy schedules to score keep and do their best to keep the games on time. It is not their responsibility to “police” the behaviour on the court. If your players don’t know the KBL rules, point them to the website, or perhaps sit them down during story time and read the rules to them before they have their afternoon nap. Basketball is a simple game. KBL has some unique rules… but for the most part, they are simple to understand. If teams cannot manage their conduct on the court, do not blame the monitor. I doubt any of us want to change the dynamic of the league by requiring referees. Ask any captain how easy it is to organize a monitor every week. If we don’t respect these kind souls, we’ll never be able to fill that seat for every game. In this case, defaults were assessed to both teams.

There are no games this weekend due to the Remembrance Day long weekend. Please take the time to discuss these issues with your players.