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KDL Questions Addressed
by Dinah Pearson


February 05, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Watson for your comments regarding the KDL participants and volunteers. Like you, most of us are thankful that our children have an organization designed for participation, recreation, and competition; in that order.

As a board member, I'd like to address the questions you raised.

1) You are correct in your understanding that there will not be a Dribbler's Post Season.

We dropped All-Stars because the numbers did not support an additional tournament. Schoenbar players do not qualify for All-Stars because they did not participate in 80% of the games and practices. All the leagues except one are down to four teams. No other communities send teams for All-Star tournaments. (Only Met. And Ktn have rec basketball teams for SE youth.) Therefore, to compete in a post season all-star tournament over half of the entire league would have to be selected for All-Star teams. This selection would counteract not only the fundamental premise of discriminatory selection for all- stars, but also discounts the KDL concept of participation and recreation. Additionally, Hoopmania is hosting a tournament immediately following the Dribbler s season and has invited any interested teams to compete. The KDL board offered to assist coaches who wish to enter a team with uniforms and the entrance fee. We collectively feel like this is more in holding to the spirit and intent of an All-Star team and tournament.

2) Yes and No on the trophy issue. Yes, the board discussed the necessity of trophies for the second place team in the older divisions. The idea of 2nd place trophies for such small leagues, especially given that our focus should be on participation, seems absurd. After drawing on our collective experiences as coaches and parents and discussing the pros and cons, we did indeed decide to forgo the 2nd place trophies. In hindsight, we underestimated the parents' desires for the trophies and have since then decided to give them out. A board member actually pegged it during the meeting with I believe the grief we will get about not giving out 2nd place trophies will be from parents, not kids.

3) It is absolutely true that KDL paid $7500 to have a League Manager run many aspects of the season including scheduling, gym coordination, fielding phone calls, and treasury duties, to name a few. Money well spent!! You were misinformed if you were told the league is either out of money, or cutting out trophies to pay for a League Manager. KDL has had a paid League Manager for several years including 1997-2002. This year, we hired a League Manager because, as a board of very involved, volunteer oriented people we understand the value of time. We weighed what needed to be done to successfully run the program and found where we could best contribute our time. You will find every member of our board freely donating many hours a week, in many capacities. The League Manager and his token compensation have been an invaluable asset to KDL. I would suggest that before anyone jumps to conclusions about whether or not we need a League Manager, they evaluate his extensive job description and volunteer for some of those duties.

4) Yes, we pay referees to call KDL games. No, we do not pay coaches. In the past, KDL depended on volunteers to referee games. Oddly, we could rarely count on two people to show up to each game on a volunteer basis. We then required coaches to add to their already full schedule the responsibility of refereeing or providing a ref for games they weren't coaching. This not only seemed unfair, but often times created additional issues. Paying the referees has been an ideal solution if for no other reason than its propensity to raise the game quality, improve player/coach/parent conduct, and to recover some of the coaching satisfaction that has waned in recent years. I'm interested to know if those questioning the money spent on refs have ever volunteered to coach or referee. It helps, if you have volunteered your time in that capacity, to understand how insignificant $15 a game is.

5) Our board members are Diana Secrest, Dinah Pearson, Morgan Effenberger, Ron Medal, Dan Ortiz, Arne Pihl and Don Orr. Meetings are usually weekly or bi-weekly and the dates and times vary depending on the board's available schedule. The meetings are always at the red house on 7th and Jackson and whenever decision making meetings are scheduled, it's published in the newspaper with an invitation for public comment. If anyone would like a copy of the bylaws, contact a board member or League Manager. League manual and minutes can be found on our website ( Like any board, no one is ever appointed. People volunteer.

We have strived this year to focus on the premise that this first and foremost a recreation and participation league. In that vein, we have attempted to promote fair and balanced competition. We have cracked down on attitude, behavior and sportsmanship issues that plagued prior years. We have increased the amount of playing time that individual players must receive during each game. We have leveled the playing field for referee calls and lightened the load for coaches by providing paid refs for the games. In the midst of limited gym space we have significantly increased the number of season games played and at the same time lowered the cost for multi-kid families. These changes speak directly to the recreation and participation aspect we embody. And as always, volunteers are welcome to step up.

Thank you,

Dinah Pearson
KDL Boardmember
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter Our Youth Sports by Richard R. Watson - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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