This will cure basketball withdrawal and stop the spread of the game’s soft generation

Are you currently feeling edgy, frustrated, irritated, anxious, nervous or have insomnia? If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms then you might just have some form of basketball withdrawal, as the spring sports season is starting up and basketball is over.

The only basketball on the tube is the NBA (Not Basketball Anymore League). I have a suggestion that could eliminate some of these symptoms of basketball withdrawal.

AAU, MBR, Maine Athletic Association, MBNation, Maine Hoops and YBOA basketball are currently going full force on Saturdays and Sundays as teams from the elementary school, middle school and high school levels are getting ready for the state AAU tournament this weekend at the University of Southern Maine.

Teams that qualify for the national tournaments in July will continue with a tough schedule to get ready for nationals. Teams that don’t qualify still continue to play as the real objective for the players is to improve to get ready for the basketball season in 2013-14.

These weekend basketball events have been going on since early March and will run in May and June after the state AAU tourney and before high school summer basketball starts.

The basketball at this level is usually better than basketball during the high school season as in most cases they are all-star teams with players from different schools.

The basketball is also usually better because there are very few problems with “Helicopter Parents” hovering overhead to cause coaches the problems that some do about playing time, squad selections, and team strategy.

If parents don’t like the situation their player is in, then they can pull their player and try to find a more suitable situation or the coaches can refund their remaining money and drop the player from the team if they have problems such as attitude and attendance.

These programs are not the “Charmins Disease,” the soft generation that has infected today’s basketball. The phrase originated several years ago with an poster named “Archer Bunker.” It’s an appropriate description of a parental problem many coaches face during the high school basketball season.

I like to call it “Soft Charmins.”  Some coaches have been victims of these complaints and then the athletic directors, principals and school boards are infected and do not rehire the coach.

Non-high school programs do not have to put up with what I call the “Four  Cardinal Rules,” that parents should never be allowed to break in public or private high schools.

Parents should not be allowed to contact any school personnel about: 1. playing time, 2. squad selection, 3. team strategy, and 4. the players. I never took a coaching or AD job unless I was guaranteed the support of the school’s AD, principal and school board.

The coaches in non-high school programs don’t have to deal with these potential problems and can concentrate on coaching.

I wonder how long it will be before these outside groups in many sports like basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, and hockey will replace middle school sports as budgets get stretched.

Once it starts in the middle school levels, how long will it be before they take the place of high school athletics?

If and when this does happen then the many schools which are currently just running high-priced athletic intramural programs by allowing parental interference, then can truly institute intramural  sports for their students and save money.

In the non-high school  leagues, players compete with better players in practices and games. This is what helps them improve and that improves the level of team play and overall play in the games.

You can now see this type of basketball on Saturdays and Sundays with games as far south as Saco and as far north as Bangor. Schedules are on the programs websites.

I work as an official at these games and the basketball is usually better than the level of play that I ref during the regular season. It’s easier to officiate because the better the level of play, the easier it is to do a good job and it’s more enjoyable.

The games will cure  your basketball withdrawal and the soft generation won’t be in attendance.