The fall edition of the Troy La Fitness is just around the corner. This season Tim Thompson and I have agreed to accept the responsibility of managing the league. Stewart Shevin will provide spreadsheet expertise. Dale Chimenti will serve as club liaison.  We will have big shoes to fill. Dan Costello did an exceptional job.

 

One of Dan’s major successes was to expand the league. In keeping with Dan’s vision, we are going to try to expand the league even further.  Our goal is to have eight teams in three skill tiered divisions: (Tier One – Open & A,  Tier Two – B,   Tier Three – C, Novice)  To attract additional teams, the MHA has agreed to disseminate league promotional info to all its members.

 

As with any new management team we are going to make some changes that we think will benefit the participants and make the league run smoothly. Here’s what we anticipate:

1)       There will be a $ 15.00 entry fee per player for the league. The monies will be collected through the MHA. Go to www.mhandball.org, click on LA Fitness League, pay with your credit card. The funds will be used to provide the dinners for the division winners at the end of the season recognition get together, which will be held at Peabody’s in Birmingham on Friday January 22nd. 2016. Tim has agreed to organize and run this event. Each non-winner will pay for their own dinner. Any extra funds/donations will be sent to the USHA for youth development. Mike McDonald will provide a full accounting of the funds.

2)       In order to accommodate the anticipated expanded schedule, reservations have been made at Troy LA Fitness for Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 04:00 PM to 07:00PM. Each team will rotate the day of the week each succeeding week. Specific court numbers will be assigned for each match on the spread sheet schedule. There will be some rotation of the starting times from 04:00PM to 05:30PM. We will do our best to accommodate special requests, but there are no guarantees.

3)       Each team will consist of two regular players and one optional alternate of their choosing with the following considerations: a) an alternate may not be a member of another regular team.   b) The alternate player should be of comparable talent level.  c) The alternate may serve on more than one team.

4)       All matches must be played at the tournament site: Troy LA Fitness. Even though this may be an inconvenience for some, remember it is only once a week. There are some good reasons for this regulation. Court time at this facility is in high demand. Racquetball players complain to management when they see one of our reserved courts go unused and they aren’t permitted to reserve it. This is a disservice to the club management, whose responsibility is to serve all of its members. At some point they will be obliged to take our courts away. Playing offsite also diminishes comradery. Many players and non-players like to watch other matches.

5)       Our league is for fun, but it is no fun to be stood up by a no show opponent, so we intend to take a hard stand on this unsportsmanlike behavior.  With the implementation of the alternate team member, there should be little excuse for not being able to make arrangements to field a team each week. Teams may reschedule their match only if the team that was available for the match was notified of the unexpected absence in advance and agrees. All rescheduled matches must be played within one week of the original scheduled match date.  If the match is not played within one week, for whatever reason, the team that was available for the originally scheduled match receives all three points.  

6)       If a team fails to notify their opponents that they will not be at the match on the scheduled day, the stood up team receives the three points. In addition, the no show team will have three points deducted from their accumulated total.  That’s a pretty heavy penalty for being a no show. Hopefully it will not have to be enforced.

7)       All three games are to 21, as before. The team that wins the first game will give the losing team one game point in the second game. If the team that wins the first game loses the second game, the match goes back to even.  If the team that wins the first game also wins the second game, the losing team will get five game points, but the winning team gets first serve. Each win is worth one point in the standings. All team wins are counted toward the cumulative team total from which the final standings are determined.

8)       In our league format we alternate the serve, but there is no USHA regulation governing this. There must be a gentlemen’s agreement to resolve disputes. Here’s some guidelines: If the first serve is sent to the wrong court, it will be considered a shadow serve and be replayed. If the next serve is also in the wrong court, it will be considered one short.  If the receiving player elects to return the serve in the wrong court, it is no longer considered a wrong court ball. The dividing line between court sides is imaginary and therefore tough to enforce. Remember we are playing for fun, not the national championship.

9)       Last but not least is the playoff format. The beginning of the finals week will start with wildcard Monday. The fourth and fifth standing teams in each division will play for the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals on Wednesday. The winners of the semis will advance to the finals which will be played at 04:00PM on Friday. There will be no substitutions in the finals. The team members that signed up for the league must be the same team members in the finals. At the discretion of the league committee, an alternate may play in the finals if he has played more than 50% of the season matches. Since alternates are not obliged to pay an entry fee, they are not eligible for the free dinner, if they happen to win.

           

Now is a good time to start thinking about your team members. We are anticipating a large response, so don’t be left out. You can send either Tim Thompson or me an e-mail, (See below) with the subject “LA Fitness Fall League” containing the following information: Tier preference, Team members and alternate, (if so desired), and any special request. All entries must be received by Tuesday September 01st.  (If you would like to participate in the league and don’t have a partner, send your info in and we will see if we accommodate you as a team member or possible alternate…. No promises though.) All payments must be received before the start of league play. (Alternates do not have to pay a league fee.) The tournament committee will be the final arbitrators on tier placement and alternate player skill level.  All decisions will be based on the best interest of competition in the league.

We anticipate the league will start on Monday September 14th. The league will run for seventeen weeks. There will be no league play Christmas week. The playoffs beginning the week of January 18th 2016. If we get the required number of teams in each division, each team will play the other teams twice during the season.  Interleague team play will be probably limited, if at all.

If you are not currently a member of LA Fitness, and would like to join to participate in the league, LA is running a membership special until August 22nd. Copy attached link: https://www.lafitness.com/Pages/MembershipSignUpRate.aspx?id=wcafirvzwBF%2bgOZQ14vr6w%3d%3d

 

If you have any questions, you can contact me (Kevin McGivern) kgm0612@hotmail.com or Tim Thompson Tpthompson@comcast.net via e-mail.

 

See you on the courts,

 

Kevin McGivern


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