Offering an unbiased opinion with both pros and cons I thought there were in the tournament (and this goes for both Saturday & Sunday)First the Cons 1- Sunday’s weather. And obviously BLWB has no control over this. Just an abysmal, cold, rainy, windy day yesterday. We got spoiled last season when I think the only tournament it rained at all year was the Nutmeg Games, and that was a brief thunderstorm that eventually passed. 2- The 3 inning divisional games. But with the amount of fields available (8) and 29 teams, they were in a pinch and handled it the best they could. The tourney ended at 7:30 Saturday so at that point it was really their only option. Solutions to avoid a similar situation: Start the tournament & divisional games an hour earlier if necessary(9 a.m., check in by 8), but more importantly, if you know you’re going to have a decent turnout, make sure you have sufficient amount of fields so you can assign 2 fields per division to keep the games moving. If you won’t have enough fields, put a cap on the # of teams entering the tourney. 3- Even bigger than the 3 inning divisional games, was the 3 & 4 inning playoff games. Unfortunately, again because of time restraints, and not being able to go back on their word of “every team makes the playoffs” There ended up being 13 first round playoff games but only 8 fields to play them on Saturday. As a player, I disliked the shortness of the playoff games as much as anyone else…when you start facing the best of the best pitchers it takes a couple innings to see what they throw & get a feel for them, by the time you got a feel for them Saturday, the game was over. But, going with 3 & 4 innings was the only real option they had considering the circumstes. Solutions: wait until the morning of the tournament to decide whether or not everyone will make the playoffs when you can be sure there are enough fields for all of the 1st round games to be played. 4- The wait between divisional games and the bracket playoff games. Unfortunately I was very much involved in this wait…but in order to seed the bracket fairly, based on divisional record & run differential, the amount of time everyone waited was the amount of time it took to compile all of the numbers and seed all of the teams. Can’t tell you how much longer it takes to see 29 teams, in a 32 team bracket, than it does to seed a 16 team or less playoff bracket. Newa & Wifflerock seed playoff brackets with this many teams and more all the time, yes, but they do it much more randomly. BLWB is entirely based off of record & run differential to assign seeding, which everyone will agree, is the only way to do it where no one can complain about bias or an unfair draw. Just like Rasheed says “ball don’t lie” the math don’t lie either. It also took extra long on Saturday b/c the 5 team division took forever to finish. 1 game can drastically change seedings, so all of the seeds couldn’t be given until that division ended. For example- yesterday’s DOOM vs Krusty’s Kidz divisional game that everyone was waiting to end, affected how the 2 thru 11 seeds were given out. Solution: Have less teams make the playoffs, other than that there is none really. Some teams had to wait a long time Saturday, some did Sunday, some didn’t get much of a break to go get lunch. If DOOM hadn’t gotten a 1st round bye, they would’ve been thrown right into a playoff game upon finishing their division, since it was their last divsional game we were waiting on to seed the teams. Waiting between the divisionals & bracket play is always gonna be a part of any tournament, teams making sure scores are all reported or kept properly is another thing that helps keep this moving along faster. 5- The prize for day 1 that was unknown to us, not sure about others, until we were at the tournament. Actually my teammates (Gerry & Chris) didn’t even know this was the prize until just after we had been eliminated…which is maybe a good thing. I’m not knocking the prize at all, because a Golden Stick Franchise, and its cost/worth is a lot of $. How much I don’t really know, and I’m sure a ton of players/teams would love to have that prize…however I can tell you that our team is not one of them. We think Golden Stick is a great league, run very well, really no doubt the best league there is out there. It’s the cream of the crop in fast pitch…but…we’re not a fast pitch team. And we’re in a medium pitch tournament…playing for a fast pitch franchise? When I told my teammates this, Gerry’s reaction was this: He stopped walking, stared at me, and said “seriously?” me “yea that’s what i was told” him “wow. i’m glad we didn’t win now, because i’m not even joking, if we had won this tournament and then you told me that…i would have stabbed somebody. i’m not joking.” Now, had we been aware of this prize going into the tourney that would’ve been one thing…but we had no idea, didn’t see that advertised anywhere on the website, therefore assumed it was like every other blwb tourney we had played in where prize $ was paid out. How much $ isn’t really a big deal to us, and considering we were knocked out in the quarterfinals, it was irrelevant, but it’s still the principal of it. Solution: let teams know what they’re playing for in advance, if that’s altered by the # of teams that show up, then tell them before the games start. Maybe it was announced and we just never saw it, if that’s the case, we’re idiots. Wouldn’t be the first time, nor will it be the last time we’re idiots. Just standing up for how my teammates felt when they found this information out. Pros: 1- The level of competition. Really a lot of top level teams there on both days. Great to see that. 2- The sportsmanship/lack of controversy. No one may realize this, but there was never a radar gun available to be used all weekend if it had been needed. This was my fault, I had let BLWB use mine the last 2 seasons and forgot to bring it w/ me this past weekend. I can say we never once had a problem w/ speed, and no one had a problem w/ ours. We didn’t hear of any speed issues elsewhere either…which means either there was no issue, or teams we able to work the problems out themselves. Considering how awful of an issue this was a few years ago, it shows how far the wiffle community has come in terms of sportsmanship, respect for the rules, and respect for eachother. 3- That the quality of tournaments being run by BLWB is only going to get better as the season progresses, because just like us players came into Saturday very rusty & out of practice, Nick & Jared were also rusty & out of practice. Just like a hitter or pitcher works out the kinks and shakes off the rust, BLWB will go back to the drawing board and take the necessary steps to work out kinks and continuously better their product. 4- The fact that wiffle season is here. BLWB has gradually built up a bigger following every season with a set of rules that incorporate all aspects of the game. I think if they simply focus on filling in some available dates with tournaments (b/c wiffleup hasn’t announced anything, and newa has a smaller schedule than in years past) then they will continue to grow and teams will show. Whether we’re being filmed for something on youtube, a show, or being a part of something in the guiness book of records I think is irrelevant to anyone who truly loves to play. All we really care about doing is playing the game. I think I speak not only for our team, but for the rest that consistently drive hours away just for the high that playing the game gives them.