Saturday, May 01, 2004

Springtime in London (Ontario, that is...)

This weekend, I’m participating in an annual ritual known as the championship weekend. For those of you who do not have children that play some sort of competitive sport, let me explain. In this case, the sport is basketball, and the participant is my youngest daughter, who is about to turn 16. She plays rep basketball.

Each year, her team forms in October, and begins training towards this ultimate weekend tournament. Beginning in December, and continuing for most weekends throughout the winter and spring, teams from all over the province gather for club tournaments. The various games played all count towards a mysterious ranking system, which ends up seeing the various teams into one of many divisions, depending on their win-loss record, points scored, teams played, etc. And finally, after hours of practice, exhibition games, tournament games, sweat, joy, heartbreak, anger, hurt feelings and simmering feuds, it all comes down to this one weekend of glory (hopefully.)

Kelly’s team, the Hamilton Wildcats, has had a frustrating season, to this point. They ended up ranked 35th in their midget girls category, with a 25-18 won/loss record, which placed them in Division 3 for the weekend. After a strong start to the season, her team ran into difficulty maintaining their momentum, although they regained their scoring (and winning) touch in the last few weeks. If all goes well, they could be peaking at just the right time. (Hope always springs eternal at this time of year, especially among the long-suffering parents who sit through every game.)

The Ontario Basketball Association championships for midget girls (ages 14 and 15) are being held here in London, ON (known by all as the OBAs). There are over a hundred teams competing from all over the province. Kelly has been part of this team for the past three seasons and this is her third trip here. But unfortunately, they have yet to win a single game – until Friday night that is…Last night, playing the last game of the day, Kelly and her cohorts cruised to a convincing 49-27 win over the Whitby Saints. The road to a championship (as CBS might put it) has begun.

Today, the quest continues. Two more round-robin games, then a quarter-final tonight. If they win, they’ll play two more games on Sunday.

Why am I including all this information in this posting? Well, I needed to do an Upload, since I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. Second, this is part of a theme that I want to explore in a few more essays. I’ll be talking about the things kids do, and the way their parents participate…More later.

UPDATE – The Wildcats won both games this afternoon…the quarterfinals are tonight.

FINAL UPDATE -- Kelly's team won a nail-biter in the semi-finals, then lost a close one in the finals. So they ended up with a silver medal. All in all, it was a great end to the season and a great championship weekend. And now...we all get to rest. The kids seem fine, all they had to do was play ball. But the parents are all basket cases. Way too much pressure!

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