How it began...
We started at
the YMCA in 1999--Dahlie Nielsen and myself got it going (it was more Dahlie
doing the talking, I was her sounding board/background support). Dahlie even
had to throw the Equal Opportunity card in, because they only were going to let
us play on Sunday afternoons, while the Men’s leagues had like 3 or 4
weeknights already. It worked, and we were assigned Thursday nights.
It started as a
regular rec. league (4 on 4, but each team had like 6 players), but after
several seasons of certain teams whomping over other teams, we decided as a
group to do a draft, especially because there were many women (singles) who
wanted to play, but in North County Coastal, let's face it, it's not the urban mecca
where you could find groups of women who played together already.
Dahlie ran the
league for several years, and we grew from 6 teams to 18 teams within 3
divisions. It was amazing! And this was BEFORE emailing, oh the campaigning we
did to find new players.
We started a sub list for the A division, as teams
shrank to 4 players per team (players wanted to play full games). We went
through many iterations of how the subbing should work, complete with votes by
eventually had her third child, so the league was handed over to another
person. At that point, communication began to halt, and the divisions began to
diminish. Soon, the Y wanted to increase our fees, and do away with the
draft. (And since our teams consisted of 4 players only, it was gonna get
really expensive.) We were not happy with the Y.
At about the
same time, one of our players, Karen Whatnall, held a big party at the new Enc. Comm
Center. She began
a conversation with the Director at that time, Brian Baum, about our league. He wanted
to bring in business. Enter Dahlie and Carey Cimino; they worked a deal for us
women to play there instead of the Y.
We brought over
30 women to the Comm
Center in one fell swoop,
and Monday nights was our new night. That's when we realized we were one huge
giant organism--getting all of us to agree to switch places and game nights, it
was a big deal. New gym, regulation size, better refs, 5 on 5, two time clocks,
a scorekeeper--we were in heaven. The ECC gave us shirts (tanks with Enc.
park/rec. logo on them) that we were allowed to keep. Also, the top scorer at
the end of the season got a new basketball.
Carey ran it for
a bit, then I took over, then Lisa Hele, now Caroline. And we added the Sub
Queen, Erin, somewhere along the way as well. Even the Stinky Shirt Lady
position was created, although as we know that's disappeared. Dahlie
has remained the backbone through all this!
years, many deep friendships have been forged, and we started the “Shoot for
the Cure” fundraising event for breast cancer/3-Day walkers. The league has
truly served as a support group in many ways--sickness, births, etc. ----Jill Davis, one of the founders and the creator of our league logo
Let's continue the tradition...