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-   -   Any thoughts on IBL? (http://www.oursportscentral.com/boards/showthread.php?t=3822)

SignGuyDino 10-08-2006 02:07 PM

Any thoughts on IBL?
 
I was watching the IBL website last night and follow them from time to time.

IBL has quietly grown to a couple of dozen teams without many failures among them.

While they have a 22-second shot clock, scores are really going up due to two speed-up rules: One timeout per quarter (no carryovers), and immediate inbounds. This keeps the flow in the game and scores often go in the hundreds and still finish under 2 hours. They just go with whatever 3 point line is on the court at the time, meaning likely high school or college lines. That obviously helps scoring.

(I have no problem telling folks up front I'm considering these two rule changes IF my "4 Man Basketball Association" starts up next summer as a house league in Asheville. It makes perfect sense. Maybe I'll be generous and give 2 4th quarter timeouts, that's it.)

I have to say that video on their website from their crowd in Elkhart was quite enthusiastic (and pretty large). I never saw the continual buzz from a crowd from an NBDL game in Asheville (yes, a few times where the crowd was loud, but not a continual buzz).

They want to have a lot more teams, unfortuantely, I see no evidence of them expanding southeast. Asheville would be a good fit if there were about 6 more teams here, problem here would be getting a venue. The best place is Justice Gym (about 1,200, which is perfect), or Asheville High (about 3,000) but both have renovation and other issues for 2007.

I kind of wish they'd merge with the WBA, but that's not going to happen. The WBA has a lot of good things going for it, too, but they dictate nearly exact NBA rules, for understandable reasons. Problem is the NBA game is so start-and-stop (college is this way too).

I would have considered IBL an "A" level league starting out, but I'd have to consider them "AA" at this level as the play is clearly a lot stronger. (I'd have to give the WBA an edge talent wise but there's good basketball in both leagues.)

I do wonder how the IBL could be on TV someday (local deals) with it's insistance on fewer timeouts? The timeouts are for marketing reasons obviously.

Anyone else with thoughts about the IBL?

BreakersFan 10-08-2006 06:05 PM

If they keep going and stay in small to medium size markets, it should do well. The teams that do well are in places where they are the only game in town, so not much competition for sponsors and fans. The business model seems to work fairly well - maybe people aren't making money, but at least they aren't losing hundreds of thousands like they are in the CBA,NBDL, and USBL.

While the level of play is a step below the USBL, the IBL at least offers stability. The fact that the IBL palyed all of it's scheduled games last year is very impressive. With other leagues like the ABA and USBL, you have no idea if the schedule will actually be played. That isn't a concern in the IBL - the league has actually taken over teams (Lansing) to ensure that they finish the season in a credible way - that doesn't happen in other leagues.

My biggest issue with the IBL is its image. While they seem to have better marketing than any of the other leagues, it still looks amateurish because of their strange standings where each team doesn't play the same number of games. And the biggest thing against their image is that their website doesn't have a real stats section. Also that game-by-game recap instead of listing a real league schedule makes them look goofy.

TV coverage isn't a realistic possibility for any minor basketball league, so the fewer timeouts doesn't strike me as a problem. It seems like they have found a good niche. If the midwest USBL teams go to the WBA as they have discussed, I expect the USBL to go out of business, leaving some eastern markets and perhaps southestern markets looking more seriously at the IBL.

patmc16 10-08-2006 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakersFan (Post 25636)
The fact that the IBL palyed all of it's scheduled games last year is very impressive.

Sorry to say that the league did not play all of it's scheduled games last year. I have some unused Macomb County Mustangs season tickets left over that prove it. My entire image of the league took a major hit when I showed up to an empty gym not once but twice. No warning, no nothing. Not even a sign on the door saying the games were cancelled (which would have saved me the second trip). I found the situation to be very ABA'ish. I'll never buy minor league hoops season tickets again.

SignGuyDino 10-09-2006 06:24 AM

That's not good that some games didn't happen, I've been through that before.

Even with that, comparing it to the ABA is a bit of a reach. Websites are a problem for EVERY league that isn't NBDL and CBA. There's no excuse for it. Even simple listings of scores for every game would be fine for most of us. We know owners generally aren't savvy enough to put up stats for every game, but an update of standings and scores all the time isn't that much to ask.

I'd have to suggest that if all you looking for was a sign on the door, meaning you didn't see it in the media, or if you didn't call the team, that was your sign there.

I'm thinking USBL may try to exist even if there are a bunch of defections (like CBA is after the D-league defections), but of course they don't have the strength of the CBA and may have a half dozen teams. It would be ironic if the USBL folded given those idiotic comments by that USBL coach about the IBL.

Coaches should shut the hell up about legit leagues just coach the games.

Bruce B 10-09-2006 09:39 AM

I think the overall concept behind the IBL is pretty good, and as long as they keep an eye on the bottom line and don't let expenses get out of hand, they should survive.

The problem with cancelled games lies not with the league, but with individual team owners. You could be the best commissioner in the world, but if the people who own teams in your league aren't holding up their end of the bargain, you've got a problem. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link," and all that. I've pretty much said what I had to say on the IBL on my op-ed piece Paul posted on OSC Saturday.

What's the story on the USBL's difficulties? I'm a shareholder, but that doesn't mean anything. In five years, I've never received any kind of notification from the league beyond the initial "welcome" package and a phone call from Dan Meisenheimer when I first invested (which I thought was rather classy). They have one of the greatest niches a minor league could have as a summer league, but have never really turned the corner with it.

BreakersFan 10-09-2006 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patmc16 (Post 25650)
Sorry to say that the league did not play all of it's scheduled games last year. I have some unused Macomb County Mustangs season tickets left over that prove it. My entire image of the league took a major hit when I showed up to an empty gym not once but twice. No warning, no nothing. Not even a sign on the door saying the games were cancelled (which would have saved me the second trip). I found the situation to be very ABA'ish. I'll never buy minor league hoops season tickets again.

That is disturbing to be sure. The IBL says that it did play all the scheduled games, and I took that to be true. Imagine that! Misinformation from a minor league!

BreakersFan 10-09-2006 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignGuyDino (Post 25654)
Websites are a problem for EVERY league that isn't NBDL and CBA. There's no excuse for it. Even simple listings of scores for every game would be fine for most of us. We know owners generally aren't savvy enough to put up stats for every game, but an update of standings and scores all the time isn't that much to ask.


As of today, if you click on the "League Directory" tab, the CBA website still lists addresses and contact info for only 6 teams: Albany, Yakama, Gary, Michigan, Rockford, and San Jose. Of course 4 of those teams aren't playing and there are 8 new teams that aren't in the directory at all.

I know that is a ticky-tack criticism, but it is October 9, some of the new teams were announced months ago. The league directory should be up to date.

BreakersFan 10-09-2006 10:14 AM

[QUOTE=SignGuyDino;25654]
I'm thinking USBL may try to exist even if there are a bunch of defections (like CBA is after the D-league defections), but of course they don't have the strength of the CBA and may have a half dozen teams.

QUOTE]

You might be right. The Dodge City paper reported that Dodge City, Oklahoma, and Kansas were considering going to the WBA, and that Nebraska might fold. That would leave only Albany, Brooklyn, Gary, and a very shaky Long Island team left, so they's have to find 2-3 more somewhere between Indiana and the northeast. Erie, Elmira, and Chicago were rumored this summer but Erie is out and nothing else on the others.

SignGuyDino 10-09-2006 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakersFan (Post 25661)
As of today, if you click on the "League Directory" tab, the CBA website still lists addresses and contact info for only 6 teams: Albany, Yakama, Gary, Michigan, Rockford, and San Jose. Of course 4 of those teams aren't playing and there are 8 new teams that aren't in the directory at all.

I know that is a ticky-tack criticism, but it is October 9, some of the new teams were announced months ago. The league directory should be up to date.

That's what I get for being nice.

[/end SignGuyDino Nice Mode]

patmc16 10-09-2006 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakersFan (Post 25660)
That is disturbing to be sure. The IBL says that it did play all the scheduled games, and I took that to be true. Imagine that! Misinformation from a minor league!

The Mustangs' schedule had 20 games on it (10 home/10 away). They actually played only 13 games (8 home/5 away), less than any other team in the league, I believe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignGuyDino
I'd have to suggest that if all you looking for was a sign on the door, meaning you didn't see it in the media, or if you didn't call the team, that was your sign there.

Not seeing anything in the media didn't mean anything, as the team never received media attention at any point, when they were playing or not. For that reason, I was literally looking for a note on the door to the gym letting people know. The media wasn't going to announce that a team that it never acknowledged had folded. If nothing else, he should have at least tried to contact the season ticket holders (by phone or e-mail) and let them know. Based on attendance, there couldn't have been too many of us so it wouldn't have been a huge task. The team contact number was owner Bill Bullock's cell phone. I didn't call it but I did try e-mailing him. The message was returned as undeliverable. When that happened, there really was no point in calling him. There were other signs that the team was done after this year, but I assumed they would play out the string. I came back the second time because, if they did play, I knew it would be the last game in franchise history. I was there for the first game in history and wanted to be there for the last. I had talked personally to Bill a few times early in the season. He all but said this season would be the end. He was very visable early in the season (and the season before), but totally disappeared towards the end. I realize the ABA is in a whole other universe when it comes to unprofessionalism but for the team to just disappear as if it never existed, in my opinion, is ABA'ish.


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