The Boston Invitational
Vegas is the Valhalla of our sport. You go there if you're a little more than serious about this game. But with the recent hack-and-slash they've done to the invitations that go out, its only fair that regionally, we start picking the cream of the crop. In preparing for the Fall Leagues, I looked and noticed that in Massachusetts there are 15 leagues. At worst they have 8 teams a piece but most are going to at least 12 or 16.
Lets say for the sake of the math they all have only 8. 8 x 15 = 120.
Those are just the teams. There are 26 slots on each roster. That's 3,120 kickball players in this region alone. (for those miserable grouches out there, that [at $65 a pop] $202,800.00 they make in one season in just Eastern Massachusetts).
Logically, there's no way to account for, or balance around, any aberrations in league strength, talent balance amongst the teams. There's also no way to enforce that the three people showing up to ref even know the rules, let alone if they called the game fairly. Life isn't fair, we can't make this perfect but we can refine it.
A Boston Invitation would take, from each league, the playoff winner there and place them in a bracket. No run differentials, no rankings. If you're in, it should be assumed that you could be the best or the worst depending on who showed up to play.
Why Create an Invitational?
There was a point in time where the Final Four in college basketball was just that - final. They all claimed to be Champions, if only in their region, and who of them were actually capable of beating the other 3 was all speculation. I shouldn't need to tell you that this has long ago gone the way of the buffalo. The questions and speculations in this league are only made worse by the pre-season scramble to figure out where C.L.I.T. and Electric Mayhem are playing this seasons so you can figure out where the competitive teams are.
If you don't land in those leagues, Champions are never Champions. Your kickers could never kick as well against Marcello's pitching, and they certainly couldn't get past the defensive wall on C.L.I.T. But says who? The factors are too innumerate to mention but everything is based on the size of the field, the size of the batters box with the Umpire that day and it goes on and on and on.
I can't speak for them, but I'd guess our WAKA overloards are looking to make this business (many of them having full-time jobs devoted to it) about as lucrative as possible. Why not then move to make this sport as "sporty" and as streamlined as possible? You'd have a breeding ground for decent umpires on your way to Vegas, and it would garner some strong attention for this regions players. I think if the future is going to be defined by the rising of Kickball from cultural quirk to legitimate sport, it needs to be done with a cleaner, smarter elimination process and where better to start than in the Cradle of Liberty?
Posted by Brow at Monday, July 19, 2010