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From the Founder of the BC Junior Boys Championships

Hi Rob,
Kudos on three fronts:
1. Taking the BC Grade 9 Invitational Boys’ BB tournament out of the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley area for the first time.
2. The innovation of arranging a “free” bus for some of the teams to use for travel.
3. Celebrating Tournament #20.
When I started the BC Jr. Boys tournament in 1970, I had no idea that it would be the inspiration for BC Grade 9 and 8 boys’ tournaments and BC Jr., Grade 9 and 8 girls’ tournaments.
Innovation and so-called improvement always has risks and challenges. I’m proud of fact I insisted from the beginning on a two-year commitment for hosting schools for the BC Jr. Boys which has continued to this day as it formed terrific stability and seemed to create competition for hosting. Having teams play two games on one of the tourney days was important to cut down on loss of school time. Having two teams with losses by the fewest points still advance to the championship side of the draw after Round 1 of a 14-team tournament (so no area would get more berths than was right) was a fun innovation for a couple of years.
I was not convinced that going to a 32-team tournament last year was the right move, although I understood it certainly eliminated the problem of fair berthing numbers. However it worked marvellously well. The Langley Events Centre did such a professional job. It was a pleasure to work with Jason Winslade and the rest of the staff there.
With Dr. Knox one of your 2016 co-hosts, it brings back memories for me of the fifth BC Jr. tourney in 1974, held at KLO (which put on two of the best run championships in the tournament’s long history) in Kelowna, the first time the tourney was held in the Okanagan. Dr. Knox beat Vancouver College 41-40 in front of a screaming, sold-out crowd. I think I can still hear the cheering all these years later.
I remember well your phone call to me 20+ years ago asking for advice in starting a BC Grade 9 tournament. Your perseverance certainly paid off. Congratulations on all the work you have put in over the years to make it a big success. Have a great 2016 championship.
Len Corben
February 16, 2016

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