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2008_Spring/Summer AAA-Premier (SF/Redwood City/Oakland)


The blessing and curse of byes

4/15/2008 (3:30PM)

APRIL 15, 2008 (3:30PM) -- This is a good time to kill two birds with one stone. For some strange reason, we got a slew -- and by "slew", I mean an unprecedented 7 or 8 or 9! -- of last-minute bye requests for this Sunday. Meanwhile, I'm sure there are teams out there wondering why they have this bye or that bye that seems like a pothole in their season schedule.

On both ends of the spectrum, we must remember that dreamleague has its good parts and its bad parts. The common theme I have tried to maintain all these years is that the good outweighs the bad. And a huge thank you to the teams that just take things as they come and don't nitpick every little problem of dreamleague. Quite frankly, that's a majority of you and, again, the things we are stuck with here at dreamleague happen to cater to the masses.

So let me sum it up by saying that if you request a bye at the last minute, unless it's really really late in the season, I can usually do something about it. However, this will result in some other team having to take the bye along with you and getting their matchup with you moved.

Morale of that story: If you see yourself on the schedule with a bye later in the season, a bye you didn't request in the first place but nevertheless got, and your team has already made plans as a result, tell me about it so I can lock that one down and nobody can touch it. Otherwise, I am assuming that you are good to go with whatever.

The macrocosm of that is, sooner or later you'll be one of those teams with a last-minute bye and begging for one 5 days before tipoff. What goes around comes around.

Let me sum up the other side of the spectrum. If your season schedule has a bunch of byes, well, that's the way it is, unfortunately. When you herd sheep, some of them don't get moving when the others do (this is a reference to the pre-launch games you see in bold green at the top of every division's season schedule spreadsheet). Some sheep wanna sit down and rest for a few days (a reference to the bye request). And other sheep are forced to remain stuck even though the other side of the pack is moving forward (a reference to the byes that are forced by the requests of other teams).

When I create the season schedule, I'm merely looking out for the teams that can't be around whatever weekend. This is because, like the NBA and unlike the ABA, the fewer forfeits we have, the better. The consequence of this is that some teams will get a couple byes in a row or a bye here and there which are basically "potholes" in their path that is the season schedule.

However, I always try to avoid three forced byes in a row (excluding holidays, which are not under my control at all), and I always try to have a consistent playoffs, barring unforeseen circumstances. In the playoffs, I expect every team to make an extra effort to not forfeit. Sometimes this is unavoidable especially during the early rounds, but as more and more teams get eliminated, sometimes we can convince your opponent that delaying another week is the more amicable solution.

The morale of this story: Sometimes you have to accept the hand that was dealt. If I keep giving you a 7 of spades and 2 of diamonds before the flop, by all means, I understand if you don't want to play next season. But realize that everything I do is a result of the greater mass.

Again, the macrocosm of this is, sooner or later, you'll be one of those teams that wants a few byes here and there (case in point: the Big Gamerz captain just left out of the country and asked for two straight byes, this late in the season -- lo and behold he already had those two byes because they played earlier in the season). Sooner or later you'll be one of those teams where "something came up" and you will be elated that we run things the way we do. What goes around comes around.

In fact, we have had teams that stopped playing in the league because they just couldn't deal with having a tipoff timeframe. They needed to be told what times the games were, even though there exists such thing as a tipoff timeframe. You know what? That's life. But there are two things for sure: (1) the flakiness of gym directors and the fact that I do not own the keys to any gym does not allow me to set things in stone, and (2) the majority of people are okay with how we run things in this manner.

Now that you know a little more how the business of running a higher-quality rec league works, just like the long, arduous path of stats, thank you for understanding.




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