The Road Ahead
There are many new and exciting changes changes coming to Team Chicago. Over the last few years, many new players have joined the team, and in order to accommodate everybody, things are going to need to be done a little bit differently. I understand that many of the long time players worry that these changes could threaten the culture of this team. We have had some good teams, and some weak teams over the years, but the strong character of this team has never faltered. What makes this team special is that guys are able to put aside petty differences and put the team first. Always. I've been to many tournaments, and have seen many teams, and there is not another team out there like Team Chicago. I ask that all you veterans out there embrace these changes and help bring the newer members into the fold. Make them part of the team, just like we were made to be part of the team years ago.
Now for the changes...
We are going to change the ways in which we build teams. With our larger group, we have a much broader range of skill level. There are also groups that like to play with their regular buddies, and players that want to play in different levels. There are also players who want to play in many tournaments, while others play more infrequently. I think there is a way to accommodate everybody, while still allowing everybody to be part of the team.
"Standard" Team: Our base TC team will be built in much the same way as always. We will set our tournament schedule well in advance. We will spread the word, set our roster, enter our team in the appropriate division.
"Elite" Team: This team will represent the biggest change for Team Chicago. Starting in 2016, we are going to send an elite team to compete in tournaments at the highest levels of competition. Players for this team will be chosen fairly, and will need to make a commitment to the team. More information about this team will be released soon.
"Home" Team: Home teams are teams that are built with a core group of guys who play on a local team. These teams are free to enter any tournament they like, and can use their own name, or use the Team Chicago name. Team Chicago will assist the team by helping find players to fill out the roster, and will assist with any logistical issues for the tournament. In order to build a home team, the captain needs to contact me and let me know that they would like to build a team this way.
Masters, Coed, & Women's teams: We are going to continue building teams in these divisions. These might be done on the same weekend as our other teams, or these might be done as stand alone teams. Having played on both a Masters and a Coed team, I will tell you that these are for real, and we will take them as seriously as we do our other teams. They also have a slightly different vibe than our regular mens teams and are a lot of fun. There will be more information regarding these teams coming out in the next few months.
In order to make all of this work, I'd like to create an official "membership" for our club. There is no cost and is open to all ball hockey players in the Chicagoland area. There are a number of reasons for going this route. First of all, this will allow me to better communicate with everybody about what is going on with the team. This will also allow members a better opportunity to have their voices heard and provide input into the team. As the team gets bigger, and their are more events, I will need people to help out in a number of different areas. Having a group of members will make it easier for people who want to get involved with the team. I will begin reaching out to people soon about becoming a member. If you are interested, please contact me and let me know. Right now there are just a couple of rules you need to follow if you want to be a member of the team.
1. You need to be a current or former ball hockey player in the Chicagoland area.
2. You can't be a bigger asshole than Frank.