Carson and Argyle declined their invitations on March 1 as V&D North Shore#1 then #2 to the Provincials due to the potential for a scheduling conflict that would occur on Friday March 9 if those teams made both the Final Four of the Provincials and the Final Two of the V&D. North Shore #3 and #4 were not invited as their records outside of their league play did not warrant a berth. Carson chose not to accept their invitation as they are hosting the V&D’s. As NS#2, Argyle accepted immediately and then Argyle was instructed to withdraw several hours later. The sad part is both teams had earned the right and wanted to be at the Provincials.
Both Richmond and Bby/New West League winners have accepted their Provincial invites. Richmond #2 accepted the vacant V&D berth. Richmond is a powerful Zone with any one of Burnett, Cambie, Palmer and McNair being strong V&D representatives.
For most of our 11 years, we at the Provincials have had to deal with the problems that this scheduling issue presents for V&D teams. Every year we are faced with V&D coaches of the top 2 or 3 teams in each of the North Shore, Bby/New West and Richmond searching for a way to allow their teams to attend the Provincials. A Provincial Championship at any level is a unique and well remembered experience. For many players this will be their peak of their high school basketball experience.
We will continue to work with those V&D teams and coaches that put the wishes of their team ahead of those that oppose change. Not changing simply because “we haven’t done this before” or “we don’t support unsanctioned Provincials” is weak justification. Either, support change that your teams want, or make your policies consistant and withdraw V&D support of all unsanctioned Provincials including the BC Junior Boys and Girls Basketball Championships and be really consistent and extend it to the other sports as well.
This problem will not go away. Each year it happens and each year we will work with the V&D teams for change. By the V&D continually ignoring the wishes of their top teams, they are forcing teams to find a way to play too many high pressure games over the course of 8 – 10 days. Whose interests are being looked after? Certainly not the players.
It would be easier for us to have teams simply declare by a certain date and ignore the plight of the teams. We will not ignore the players. V&D teams and players deserve to be there and they deserve the right that every over team in this province has: the right to enjoy and focus on the Provincials, not be involved with regional playoffs at the same time. We will continue to work hard for this change. Support the motions for scheduling change at the V&D AGM coming up in April. Wake up, your student/athletes have the right to be here, they deserve to be and they want to be.