The National Junior League was announced to commence in the last General Meeting held December 2012 and subsequently made public at two other meeting, the election meeting held 9th January 2013 and again at the deadline for registration of junior teams and subscription dues on January 31st 2013. SKABA sent notices to teams and made these announcements public via there Facebook page and other means of public notification. At the General Meeting held on January 31st 2013, (7) seven junior teams officially registered with special considerations being given to Cayon, Challengers and St. Peters as they voiced their concerns and were trying to enter teams from their area. Cayon and St. Peters informed the executive and games committee that they were unable to organize teams and will sit out the 2013 junior division season making the official number of registered teams (8) eight.
The official opening ceremony of the Junior Division took place on Sunday 3rd February 2013 at Basketball City. Teams gathered for a presentation by W. A. D. A., a member of the local Referees Association and a skills demonstration by Coach Elvis Williams and Coach Bj Muford. All teams were present except for Rams Hitters Juniors and no communication was sent to SKNABA with regards to their absence. Junior Division Fixtures were disseminated to coaches and managers on the 4th February 2013, stating that the first games will be played on Thursday 7th February at 6:30 p.m. An informal email was sent to the P. R. O, highlighting that Hitters was scheduled first on the fixture and that further communication will be sent on their team’s final position.
On Thursday 7th February, at approximately 1:30 p.m. an official emailed letter was received from the head coach of Rams Hitters Jrs. James ‘Barman’ Hanley, sighting his team is a new organised group of players and that they will not be ready for the first two or three fixture games and also mentioned his team was not in receipt of new uniforms and are in a process of procuring jerseys from past players; as such requests his team’s first three games be re-scheduled. A letter was emailed in response to his request on Saturday 9th February by Games Committee Chair, Harold Wharton, clearly outlining that his first game was forfeited due to his team’s failure to show up at game time and the late submission of his request. Mr. Wharton also mentioned that Hitters situation was carefully reviewed and understands the difficulties his club is experiencing and emphasized that other clubs are confronted with similar problems and as such will allow his team to play in “non-jersey” uniformed attire. It was also stressed that SKNABA has made commitments to clubs that the junior division will not run into the educational exam period and therefore 3 – 4 games can’t be rescheduled hoping the compromise offered would assist his club.
A reply was sent by Mr Hanley maintaining that the gist of his request was lost and that other compromises need to be made. He declared that his team will not be able to play on Sunday 10th February but will be able to participate in their third fixture game notwithstanding their problems and will play back to back games to make up the schedule.
Hanley also wanted to re-iterate that his clubs stands on the foundation of being interested in the development of basketball in the federation and that SKABA should not shut out junior teams and make an effort to meet with clubs to come to a better understanding.
It was the view of the executive that the back and forth of emails were not going to settle this matter quickly and the P. R. O. Tamara O’Flaherty was instructed by the President to request a representative from the Hitters organisation meet with members of the executive on February 9th 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Mr. Hanley graciously accepted and was present and on time for the extraordinary meeting; members of the executive responsible for overseeing this matter were Vice President Jeneve Mills and P. R. O. Tamara O’Flaherty.
SKNABA affirmed their position is not to push Hitters out of the league and also assured Mr Hanley that a compromise must be settled tonight. Mr Hanley felt that the suggestion of “non-jersey” uniformed attire, was not a compromise and another submission must be presented. Vice-President Mills offered the option of Hitters starting the game on Sunday and then claiming that they were unable to continue. The game would not be seen as forfeiture and they would be able to stay in the league, but as it stands now if they don’t play on Sunday they will have forfeited two (2) games and officially be out of the league based on Rules and Regulations # 24. Mr. Hanley was not pleased with this proposal and asked if Bird Rock was willing to re-schedule their game on Sunday would that be a reasonable enough compromise. Ms O’Flaherty agreed to make the calls on behalf of the teams and executive and was clear if Bird Rock was not willing to cooperate, the previous submission must stand.
All parties left the meeting in agreement and calls were placed to Mr. Wendell Pemberton, head coach of National Bank Bird Rock Uprisers. After some consideration and discussion with his team, Mr Pemberton agreed to the re-schedule but wanted it noted that all teams should have been prepared for the date announced of the start of the league he said, since Jerseys are an issue he will allow the game to be postponed on that basis. Mr. Hanley was informed of the agreement and an announcement was made on the association Facebook page.
Rams Hitters Jrs. played their first game on Thursday 14th February against Kajola Kristada McKnight Trotters. Hitters won the game. SKNABA is content that a resolution could be made and wish all 2013 junior team’s success in the upcoming season. They would also like to take the opportunity to highlight that the 2013 executive is always willing to meet with clubs/teams and examine, listen and review any problems that they may face; the executive however would like clubs/teams to know this must be done in a timely manner and not directly at the start of any league. With that said the start of the 2013 senior league is Sunday 17th March 2013 and final registration closes on Thursday 7th March 2013.