We made a decision along with our eight year old daughter’s input to register her in basketball this fall.
In the name of not over-scheduling our kids, with swimming a must and a musical instrument as something they are agreeing to for now, we didn’t think adding a third “thing” to the mix would drain any one of us too much and it would give her a chance to play a sport also offered at school should she decide to one day play at a more competitive level.
Basketball was never a sport I knew much about, nor did I ever play, nor did I particularly enjoy, so I wasn’t sure about the sign-up. Given the ridiculous attempts at getting her in, I’ve decided I might have been better off renting a Harlem Globetrotters video while eating popcorn and laughing at the guy they pants in every performance.
My neighbour who is pro-basketball, played herself, coached in this league for years has suggested to us we sign Hanna up for basketball and our two same-aged children could play on the same team.
She dropped off the registration form and we were off.
Where do I begin with the problems on this form? For starters, there is no indication of where the practices will take place, the date the season starts or the time of day the kids will play.
I did find a website in very small, white on black reverse print that after three failed attempts to connect, realized it was no longer working.
I googled the name of the league and stumbled upon a site that had some recognizable qualities that lead me to believe it might in fact have some of the answers I was looking for and questioned why the website name didn’t have even one word that matched the former, advertised-on-the-form site.
After scrolling around and blinking away from the screen occasionally to avoid a seizure from the flashing basketball in my face, I opted to click on the “contact us” icon and email someone/anyone to get some answers.
I started with the coordinator thinking that was a safe bet. Wrong, the email bounced back.
Next, I emailed the VP of Basketballs and did receive a reply, though not from the VP of B’s, from a third party who happened to be next on my list if the earlier selection failed like the even earlier one.
The President of Air Balls directed me to make a phone call, this time to the coordinator who if you’re paying close attention was the first person I emailed but apparently did not exist in their system, but did exist in reality and she passed along a phone number.
“Hi, my name is Liz Hastings…” (I could sense she thought I was a telemarketer and was gearing up to cut me off and/or hang-up angrily). I am trying to register my daughter Hanna for basketball this season but I have a few questions about location, date/time. Would you be the person to talk to?”
Coordinator: Yes, you need to fill out the form and drop it off at my house with a cheque.
Me: Okay, do you know when the season starts?
Coordinator: Yes, it starts this weekend.
Me: Great and where do the kids play?
Coordinator: I’m not sure of the location.
Me: Oh, do you know what time they start?
What exactly do you coordinate?
Me: Will you be home when I drop off the form and the cheque?
Coordinator: No, you can leave it under my front door mat.
Oh, shall I just leave the amount blank then so you can fill in say, $1 million dollars or would you rather let your neighbours standing by fill in an amount of their choosing?
Unimpressed with the coordinator, she did suggest I could call Martha. Good old Martha, finally, some answers.
I left Martha a voice message explaining that I was attempting to register my daughter Hanna for basketball and wanted to know where they would be playing and what time of day they would practice. The Coordinator was extremely helpful in telling me the start-date was “this weekend” so that was one less detail to bother anyone with.
Martha with the answers called back fairly soon after my message. Perhaps like Coordinator, she saw the unknown name and number on her caller ID and waited to retrieve the message before being roped into listening to whatever sales pitch she thought I was about to read from my prompter.
Man this basketball league is a lot more difficult to get into than I thought. Is it some sort of secret Templar thing? Maybe I should shout, “Michael Jordan!” before speaking into the phone next time.
Martha’s message was perhaps my favourite response yet.
“Hello, this message is for Leah. (Liz) Your daughter Chloe will start basketball this weekend.” (While I do happen to have a daughter Chloe, she is 22 months old and she will not in fact be starting basketball “this weekend.”) She is to meet at St. Andrew’s school (this is not the school my neighbour told me she would be going to with her daughter) and she is to bring both a light and dark jersey should we need to switch teams mid-scrimmage.”
I bet she’s on the same team as my neighbour’s daughter.
I think I’m going to like this league.