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Stop Cheating by Playing “Ringtones” in Summer Basketball #BeyondTheGame

Jonathan Nicola was 30yrs old playing high school basketball as an 11th grader in Canada

Jonathan Nicola was 30yrs old playing high school basketball as an 11th grader in Canada

Dear Coaches,

Let me first take the opportunity to apologize to all the coaches about the continued frustration with our uniforms this season in Gametime Summer Tourney. We used a new screen printer and the job exceeded his capacity, which created heavy confusion for us. The uniform challenge took me off my stride to conduct the adequate checks to team rosters for each age group. I’ve received calls and messages from some of the coaches who are complying with the rules but feel disadvantaged watching opposing coaches sneak in “ringers”. Please be reminded of the league rules in that a kid cannot turn older than his age group until September 1st (example: a kid in the 13U division cannot turn 14yrs before August 31st).

Coach I understand it’s the summer and kids are shuffled all around. I understand that you may be trying to help a kid during the time by bringing him to the games. I appreciate everyone for trying to help kids and do what you think is right by them. However, playing a kid outside of the rules sets you up as a bad example for that kid. From practice to the playing court, the kids are suppose to learn from their coaches good character, instilling values of teamwork and sportsmanship, as well as integrity. These traits not only will make them good student-athletes, but good citizens as well.


Somehow, the values are lost. Many of our coaches simply searching for that winning record and cheating is now accepted to gain advantage in the sport. These warped values are not only at the hands of the coaches, but the kids and parents play a role in the deception too. Once, you could rely on a birth certificate to validate the age, yet in our current system we need original state identification with dental records (lol). The challenge to put together a great league for the youth and protect against the “age terrorist” is growing to be too difficult.

What bothers me about the deception is other coaches who speak out against it, and have firsthand knowledge of the offenders, then say, “I’m not snitching!” This is not Hip-Hop folks, it’s youth basketball. If you don’t want to inform me to fix the issue, then you take it upon yourself to have the discussion with the coach and kid about what’s ethical. Remind them that playing down to win a championship is whack! We should not have to hold up games to scrub team rosters for compliance.

Let’s put an end to these “ringtones” as my man Brett Carter would say. Stop using the excuse that other coaches are doing it, so I’m cheating too! Some of y’all never asked or read the rules of the tournament. If you didn’t I’m sharing it right HERE. The purpose of what Funsport is doing is to prepare these ballplayers for the next level. I ask the coaches, the athletes, and the parents to preserve our hard work by putting the right people on the court to play. Thank you!

Rickey Rivers
Funsport Inc., President


rrivers | July 26th, 2016

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