Story by: Josh Raymer & Felix Perrone
Paid, semi-professional referees. WKU is going to hire eight officials to referee both days of the tournament. To get them prepared, they’ll ref WKU’s practices the month leading up to Nationals. Having paid refs will help avoid scheduling conflicts and keep overwhelmed player refs from being ignored during big games. It also leaves teams to enjoy their free time between games.
A better lunch option on Saturday. As opposed to pizza, each team member will be given a pass to Fresh Food, our school’s buffet-style cafeteria. About a three minute walk from the recreation center, teams can enjoy a hearty lunch during their scheduled break.
Stringent enforcement of the rules. Commissioner Bomis has made it clear that the following rules will not be ignored next April:
10 player rule – come with less than 10 players and you’ll be turned away at the door.
Student IDs– players must present a valid ID before playing. This prevents students from other schools and alumni from playing on teams where they don’t belong.
20 player cap– 5 bench players is all you get. JV teams will get action before Nationals.
A new seeding formula. Bomis has proposed this on the forum and it’s still being tweaked, but there will be a new way for determining Saturday’s pools that will help us avoid what happened with this year’s tournament, which featured some loaded and not-so-loaded pools. This formula will probably take into account season performance AND performance on Saturday to give us the most fair and accurate seedings for Sunday’s games.
All-Star game and skills challenges. We want to start Saturday off with a bang by finding out who has the league’s best hands and its fastest arm with help from the ROB 9000 and a radar gun. Winners will get actual awards and be recognized on the website. The All-Star game will come after the skills challenge. Preliminary teams are Michigan vs. Everyone Else. Nobody knows a team’s best players better than its own members, so each player will nominate either 2 players (for team Everyone Else) or 4 (for Team Michigan) from their own team to determine the makeup of each squad. The two players from each team with the most votes get selected as All-Stars. And yes, players can vote for themselves. Both All-Star squads will even get their own uniforms, which will also serve as the souvenirs for All-Star players. The winning team also gets actual awards and recognition on the website.
Comprehensive media coverage. We made a step in the right direction with live podcasts from this year’s tournament, but we’re going to up the ante for 2011. What does this mean? Well, plan on footage from EVERY game that is played on both days. That’s right, every single one. On top of that, we’ll have two announcers per court who will call the action from each game. That recording won’t go up as a podcast, but rather as voiceover for the game footage, essentially providing the games + commentary that every major sports league enjoys. A separate Nationals YouTube account will be set up so players can re-watch games at their leisure. Finally, each media duo will be tweeting updates throughout the day.
Full color program for every player. During the course of the season, Jazzy will collect team photos, rosters and blurbs for each team. He’ll compile then into a beautifully designed, full color program to be handed out at Nationals.
Cheaper cost per team. Right now, the preliminary cost looks to be about $175 per team. That includes referee, food, shirt and All-Star game costs.
Nice facilities. Granted, BGSU’s Perry Fieldhouse is the ideal place for a dodgeball tournament. While we can’t match that, WKU’s recreation center just underwent a $50 million renovation and is well-equipped to handle the number of teams that show up in Bowling Green next April. We’ll have four courts dedicated to game action and (hopefully) a large, multi-purpose room where players can lounge in between games.
The chance to play a championship game on the main court in WKU’s basketball arena. Not since Nationals at GVSU have teams had this opportunity, and if things go according to plan, the two teams left standing at the end of Sunday will square off on the most revered court in south central Kentucky. Now we just need to work on filling that place to capacity!