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Mar, 2016

Thoughts from Past President John Sivley

I began coaching in the South Warren Youth Basketball league in 1996 when my son began playing division 1.  Over the next 2 years I began refereeing and joined the Board of Directors.  I noticed early on that there were some issues within the structure of the league that were problematic. In particular;

1.       There were some teams that seemed to be the same every year and were clearly playing at a higher level
2.       The officiating crews were largely younger guys and adult coach’s would intimidate and bully them to their favor

I became President of the Board of directors in 1999 and remained President until 2005.  The most significant accomplishment during that time in my opinion were

1.       We created a better organized officiating crew.  We held trainings, required an increased level of professionalism, and supported officials that enforced the rules.
2.       We implemented a draft structure that disallowed hand selecting teams that had distinct advantages over others.  This made for more evenly distributed talent and more exciting competitive games.
 3.       We greatly increased the support of the schools in supporting the teams – Our championship games were typically standing room only in the middle schools gyms.
4.       We as parents of the kids playing assumed responsibility for the league rather than defaulting to the Parks department. 

As far as the best part of being affiliated with the league –I had the opportunity to mentor and maybe positively influence the development of some great kids.   I am still in contact with kids that I coached and became involved with over the years through WCYBL.  Most are now in professional positions in our community and several are coaching youth sports now (one at the college level). If I helped with that, I think that’s pretty cool
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