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PAYMENT AMOUNTSPLAYING FOR FREE (yes!), DISCOUNTS (yes!), REFUNDS (no!), ETC.PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
|I need help figuring out how to come up with the money in the new franchise fee system.|
|Please read the article entitled Suggestions on how to manage/finance your team. Back to top|
|How do I save a spot for my team in the upcoming season?|
|The instructions are on the Signup Page. Back to top|
|When are the deadlines to pay?|
|Please see this season's Signup Page. Deadlines are the Sunday before your stated preference for Start Date, which is submitted by your team's captain on the REGISTER page. Back to top|
|You now have team franchise fees. What happened to the roster slots?|
|Paying per roster slot has been abandoned, due to a growing minority of delinquencies in payments last season. All teams are now responsible for "franchise fees". We offer an Installment Plan for teams that are unable to pay our franchise fees upfront, however, there are steep collection/processing fees for doing so. Please refer to the Signup page for all the details. Back to top|
|So how much are the fees for 8 players, 9 players, 10 players, or more?|
|Now that we are on a franchise fee system, you may have as many players as you want during the regular season, however, no more than 12 may show up for any single regular season game. To be eligible for the playoffs, a player must have played in at least 2 out of 7 regular season games. No more than 12 players can be eligible for the playoffs. Please read the Roster FAQ for more details.|
When we are more able to handle the volume of teams and players, we may go back to the roster slot format sometime in the future. Back to top
|Can Free Agents still join?|
|As of the start of the 2009-10 Fall-Winter season, we are no longer forming free agent teams. It has turned out to be a hassle we are unwilling to take on.|
If you are a free agent dying to play in our league, we recommend that you goto our REGISTRATION page and submit your details. We will put you on a waiting list. However, it is better if you try to form your own team. Go to the local open gyms and recruit players on your own. Post a Craigslist ad. You are on your own. After you play in the league a number of seasons, people will get to know you and you will find that it will be easier to move from team to team. Back to top
|What exactly does each team get and not get for each franchise fee paid?|
|The following is a list of things you get for your franchise fees...|
And here's what you don't get with your franchise fees...
- The ability to try to get your game scheduled within a certain reasonable timeframe each week.
- Up to 7 regular season games, depending on your ability to attend games that the league ultimately schedules.
- At least 1 playoff game and anywhere up to 5-6 playoff games, depending on how your team finishes.
- Probably 75% or more of your games at the homecourt of your team as designated by your captain.
- Scores and standings (this does not include stats) updated each week on our website.
- Good competition against teams of similar caliber, assuming those teams have signed up for the right division.
- Referees that are impartial and that probably are better than your garden-variety city league.
- An honest attempt to have quality gym time reserved, and a full high-quality ref/scorekeeper crew available.
- NBA-style rules including 24-second shotclock.
DISCLAIMER: We probably missed a few things in the above. The bottom line you must always remember is that we are here to try to give you the utmost recreational basketball experience you've ever had. If we were unable to deliver, chances are, there was a good reason for it. If you cannot accept that you don't always get what you want, then please spare us the stress and grief. We are already over-burdened as it is, simply assembling the competition, gym space, referees, and scorekeepers. Try to be thankful for what you do have. Back to top.
- Stats of any kind other than scores and standings, unless there are extra funds to pay for stats.
- Having quality teams of your caliber come to your homecourt all the time. You must eventually travel to play them.
- Perfect referees. Some refs are good at technical aspects, some are better at rapport. Sometimes refs have bad days.
- Perfect scorekeepers, just like not having perfect refs is a given these days.
- Perfect gym situations. Sometimes the scoreboard does not work or the floor is slippery. Do what you can to make the best of it.
- Any excuses for being late to your game.
|Are we gonna get stats? What is the stats fund?|
|We have always kept track of game stats by paper and, so long as our statscrew is properly trained, we always will. As far as having stats viewable for you and your teammates on our website, there's more to the process than meets the eye. Here are the steps and where dreamleague runs into issues...|
To this day, Dream League has yet to find a league that is better at Step 1. Which is why you don't even find any other leagues to have achieved Step 2 or 3. In fact, Dream League New York (DLNY) does a better job after Step 1 than does Dream League Bay Area (DLBA). However, DLNY still boils down to one person, its Commish, in seeing the stats process through from start to finish. Should DLNY expand in size, scope, and geography to the size of DLBA, DLNY will probably find it hard to scale and one of the first things that will suffer is stats online.
- Record all major basketball stats during the game. As previously mentioned, we do this already and we always will. You can even ask our scorekeepers to see the stats, although you will have to ask them for instructions only during timeouts, as they will be busy scorekeeping the game after yours. Dream League takes tremendous pride in being able to record all stats for a game accurately and comprehensively using just 2 scorekeepers per game. We are therefore already far ahead of many other rec leagues in this respect.
- Compile all stats into a readable format. Prior to 2009 and true to our core mission, we became better and better at training and hiring disadvantaged teenagers from the local neighborhood in getting our paper stats into a web-input-ready format. We still plan to do this by paying these teenagers for their hard work in compiling stats, but only if there is a means to an end -- only if there are available funds for us to pay the final step of the process: getting stats from compiled format onto the website, as explained below.
- Obtain and input the compiled stats onto the website. Prior to 2009, we became better and better at getting certain trusted dreamleaguers to obtain and input the compiled stats from the previous step onto the website -- despite the fact that it still took weeks and even months to see a trace of stats on the website. However, it became costlier and costlier. Our trusty hard-working dreamleaguers came back with reports of working 40+ hours, which at minimum wage rates still translates into hundreds of dollars. It's not that our guys weren't doing a good job. They were doing great, but we were just running out of money to pay them. Consistent with the increased costs of scheduling as the league grows, stats are similarly not scalable.
If you find a rec league out there that has mastered the stats process better than Dream League, please let us know and we will do our best to adopt similar methodologies. In the meantime, here is what DLBA (and DLNY should it expand further) is left with:
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- For our dedicated dreamleague stats crew to continue working hard on web input, we will need to raise a separate fund for stats to pay for them. Stats must no longer jeopardize the cash flow of core operations as it did in DLBA in late 2008. If you work at a large firm such as Bank of America or any other firm found in this database, please let the league office know immediately and we will allocate such donations towards the stats fund.
- Meanwhile, we continue to look for ways to streamline our stats process. Rest assured, we are working on it because we, too, love stats. If you have ever seen our gameday stats crew hard at work, you will see this.
|Can you help me justify the fees? Where does all the money go?|
|The short answer: the gyms, as you can see with the graphic on the right. Let's take a look at the Peninsula gym situation...|
The market rate for the gym is $50 per game. Then tack on $25 per ref, 2 refs per game. Then you've got two scorekeepers (we try to employ as many kids from the neighborhood as we can), whose rates are usually in parallel with California minimum wage, at $8 each. Then you've got our staff of teenagers who update the website with scores and stats (approx. 2 or more games updated per hour, or $4 per game).
Then you've got marketing costs such as t-shirts whereby if everyone in the league pays online, it comes out to $4.36 in expenses per game. Oh yeah, then you've got the nice championship t-shirts (about $10 per player, 8 players) -- now you know why we can't really afford fancy trophies and stuff like that. Finally what's left over (4% or $4.73 per $131 in gross revenues) goes to the league office which schedules the games.
Here's the longer, more detailed explanation... Back to top
|Why does Dream League cost more than city-run leagues?|
|First, usually city leagues do not incur any gym costs because the gyms are already paid for (by the public through taxpayer money, is what we should be reminding them). |
Secondly, gyms cost more on the weekends than weeknights. This is because most people like janitors don't like to work on weekends.
And finally, you get what you pay for. Remember, the #1 goal for city leagues is to fill up facility time and pay their utility bills. There is no incentive for them give you a unique basketball experience, promote parity in attracting similarly competitive teams, weed out refs that have neither technical skill nor the ability to develop rapport with the players, accommodate scheduling preferences, put scores and stats on a website, tout names of all-star-caliber players in articles, and develop a tight-knit community that Dream League does.
Remember, just like all of the other more successful tight-knit basketball communities out there, we were and still are in your shoes. Everyone on Dream League's staff still plays in the league itself! Dream League was started by the people, for the people. Back to top
|What if I or my teammate can't afford your fees?|
|There are several ways to defray costs in the league such as helping us scorekeep and get stats online, but in all honestly, we do not think it is possible to run a league of this caliber for any less than the prices published. We have vast relationships with gym directors and we fully utilize our nonprofit status for discounts on permits, then we pass on those savings to you. In comparison to most Asian tournaments which typically cost $325 and upwards, usually for an 8-team consolation bracket (3 games max, 2 games only if you lose both), Dream League is actually a bargain, plus you get a quasi-double-elimination format, which can result in as many as 13 or 14 games played all told. So for about double the price of any typical Asian tournament, you get up to more than quadruple the amount of games. Back to top|
|Why do Peninsula and San Jose players have to pay more than SF or Oakland?|
|Gym rental fees on the Peninsula (e.g., Redwood City and/or San Mateo) and San Jose are up to 200% more than in SF or Oakland. In fact, we barely operate above break-even when utilizing Peninsula gyms and we will soon determine for the 2009 season if it's cost-effective for us to have any games on the Peninsula.|
If you know of any gym directors willing to work with us, more along the lines of non-highway-robbery rates such as $35 per hour, please let us know and as usual we will pass along the cost savings to the teams and players. Back to top
|I've heard about certain players playing for a discount or even for free, as well as getting invited to Warriors games or other events for free. How does that work?|
|There are a few ways:|
Note: We no longer give out referral fees for new teams because, quite frankly, we're already up to our ears with trying to manage all the teams. Luckily we're in a win-win situation: if we get more teams, great, but if our growth tails off a bit, we could use a bit of stress relief too. Back to top
- CORPORATE DONATIONS: the only way to fly. If you, your player, a friend, or family member works at a large company, chances are the company has a corporate donation program for 501c(3) nonprofit organizations such as Dream League. Players who can utilize these donation programs will be considered Platinum Level Sponsors. Our Platinum Level Sponsors typically receive tokens of appreciation such as comped player fees and/or promotional items such as basketballs, t-shirts, and/or Warriors tickets. Please contact us for details and we will assist you through the corporate donation process.
- GAMEDAY SCOREKEEPING: it adds up. Help continue and reinforce our strong tradition of game stats. We pay $7.50 to $8.00 per game, depending on your level of expertise. You can rack up about 10 games ($75-80) pretty quickly, because usually scorekeepers work a couple games before and/or after their regularly scheduled game. Another perk of scorekeeping is that you get to see other teams and players.
- BLOG ABOUT YOUR LEAGUE, play for free. Check out the three DLNY leagues -- NL, AL, and AAA -- as examples. We're looking for guys to write about whatever each week, then include some predictions or recaps from your league.
- STATMONGERS, be free. For the first time in Dream League history, we are looking for one or two of you who love to pore through stats. We're looking for interesting, meaningful stuff you dig up. This, of course, assumes that our statcrew is doing its job and getting stats up in a reasonable amount of time so you chew on them.
- SCRATCH OUR BACK, we'll scratch yours. We've received various types of donations from generous Dream Leaguers such as food for BBQs, office supplies, discounted brochure-making, t-shirts, tickets to the Warriors, and the like. Help us, and we'll help you in other ways as mentioned above. And don't forget, any donations are tax-deductible.
- TAX INCENTIVES: they can add up too. What if you could claim the mileage to and from your basketball games as a tax deduction? You can. That is, if you are part of the Dream League staff and we depend on you to be at certain games -- games where you have to be at to play anyways. Hint: this is only the tip of the iceberg.
|Did I hear correctly that I can get a tax deduction?|
|Contact us and your tax advisor for more details, but participation in Dream League usually means a tax deduction. Your contribution minus the fair market value of a basketball league, is tax deductible. Dream League is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, registered with the IRS, that not only runs basketball leagues but also hires, trains, educates, and mentors underprivileged youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods in the process. The youth are there operating your games and even after games are done, ensuring normal league operations run smoothly and learning how to make it even better, mostly through this website. The youth depend on your participation, cooperation, and understanding of your potential impact on their lives, just as you depend on the youth for a high-quality basketball experience. |
To obtain a receipt that reflects the tax deductible part of your contribution to Dream League, please email the league office. Back to top
|Can I just pay you at the game? Wouldn't it be easier that way?|
|Starting 2009-10 Fall-Winter, each team will be paying $25 cash to one of the two referees each week, so you will be paying at the game anyways. However, as far as franchise fees go, it is easier if you pay online. In fact, we impose fees for any payments made by cash or check (see Signup page). Back to top|
|What is Google Checkout?|
|Google Checkout is Google's new payment system that essentially competes against PayPal. For our purposes, it is not really that different than PayPal, although you will need your Google email account (or setup a new one) when you pay. PayPal has been around longer, but you should expect Google Checkout's security and fraud protection to be on par. Unlike PayPal in which you can link your bank account and pay by electronic funds, you can only pay using Google Checkout with Mastercard, VISA, American Express, or Discover credit/debit cards. Back to top|