The BA Soccer League: recreational, non-profit, volunteer-run… and tons of fun
The BASL provides adult men with the opportunity to play indoor and outdoor soccer in a safe, pleasant and respectful environment, on quality pitches and under stable, transparent, consultative management.
Dear gents of the BA League,
Ah, here it is, the first email of the usually warmer and sunnier, sometimes wetter, and always more grass-stainy of the BA seasons – the outdoor one! Plucked straight from the flower bed that is the league and delivered straight to the crystal vase that is your inbox. Warning, this email is long – longer than a run up the wing from Mike Tourond – but please have a read, we really think it’s all information you should know.
First order of business, a warm welcome to the newest members of the BA Soccer League! We are convinced, and expect you will be soon enough, that this is a league unlike any other. As you have no doubt read in our separate communication to the Newbies that is surely NOT caught in your spam filter, there is an emphasis here on keeping everything fun, friendly and respectful every single week. We really hope you enjoy your first season in the league and implore you to make at least a few appearances at the pub to enjoy the company of your league mates (don’t worry – we’re all sweaty, no one will judge). There will be prizes, and as always good food, drink and company!
We found six men crazy enough to take on duties to manage a team this year. May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. Here they are, your BA managers:
- Red – Tom Borbely
- Yellow – Mark Meng
- Navy – Eben Crofton
- Orange – Alex Martel
- Pink – Ryan Zurawell
- Light Blue – Chris Bradley
You can find your team and game info on TeamSnap (see note below). The full list of teams is also on the website – click here
Opening Day Reminders
This is it – you are officially out of time to drop those last 10 pounds from your waistline! Game #1 is this Saturday, May 28th! We considered lying to you about the start time, but in the interest of transparency and after discussing it with our legal advisors, we’re just going to ask you to PLEASE show up at 9:30 sharp this first week even though that’s 30 minutes before the games start – we gather at the junction between the 3 fields. There are a few things we would like to give your captains time to sort out – shirts, quick introductions, and any instructions we have asked the managers to brief you on. Note to all managers – any opposition scouting film you were planning to review on a MS Surface tablet is exclusive property of the league and may not be used without expressed written consent.
TeamSnap – Please accept your invitation to TeamSnap, whether via the website or the phone app – it’s a vital tool we want to get everybody using, especially as we’ve now got some integration with the BA website that will make everyone’s life easier. Please get that done ASAP so your captain doesn’t have to pull out whatever hair remains on his head (and even if you’re on Tom’s team, do it anyway, please).
Website Launch – Speaking of the website, we all owe Brian Garson a huge tip of the hat for his tireless efforts to redesign and hugely improve our league’s website. It has a fresh and pretty face (for those of you that can’t help falling for one) but more importantly some added functionality, most notably the schedule and standings integration from TeamSnap. On that note, please double check that your availability is marked properly, as the website launch may have altered what you already entered. Managers – please be aware this might be the case and follow up with your guys. Click here to check out our new digital home and set your bookmarks (if that’s your kind of thing).
The Bad Alibi – The big news here is that The Bad Alibi (Youville Dr across from Bob MacQuarrie Rec Complex in Orleans) is introducing a breakfast menu and will have a spot for us on the patio from noon onwards on Saturdays. While the breakfast menu does limit some of their other selections (we are still trying to figure out whether wings will be available), they have confirmed that they will continue to crank the free nachos out of the kitchen for us!
Long weekends – We do not play on Saturdays of long weekends but… great news for those who still need a place to go (sorry, the Bad Alibi won’t let you come in at 10am) – Field 6 at Potvin will be made available for a non-official kickaround on those Saturdays at 10am thanks to Rhys Williams of Capital Property Group http://www.cpgottawa.com. New this year, you can mark your availability for those on TeamSnap! On that note, please tell us if you have a business you would like us to promote on the website, or even better, if you’d like to sponsor any prize giveaways this season – we’d actually love to do both! Send us an email including the logo of your business: email@example.com
Give back our stuff – Anyone holding a league ball, a team shirt or a first aid kit/cooler hostage from the indoor season – this is your official warning to release the hostages or ensure safe passage via a trusted 3rd party to the field this Saturday, May 28th. Please find Howard Weingarden (team Yellow) if you have a league ball; any shirts from indoor go to Mark Meng (team Yellow), and first aid kits/coolers to Jason Robinson (team Orange). If all else fails and you can’t find these fellows, flag down Rhys Williams (team Orange) and he’ll get stuff to the right people.
What’s In a Name?
In addition to warming up those killer quads and chiseled calf muscles, we need you to fire up some of those (ahem… well preserved…) brain cells and think of a clever name for your team, one that is related to your shirt colour. Your wit shall be put to a league-wide vote and each member of the team adjudged to have the best name will be the recipient of a $10 gift card, probably for The Bad Alibi, in addition to the admiration and envy (it’s possible to have both at the same time!) of your leaguemates.
The BA Code of Conduct
Yes, this is oft repeated, but just call us suckers for the classics. The BASL is known as one of Ottawa’s absolute best recreational leagues when it comes to sportsmanship and camaraderie – this includes equal respect for teammates and opponents alike (within a few years those opponents will be your teammates), as well as referees. Make no mistake, we do love a good and competitive atmosphere, and everyone has a bad day from time to time – there will be slip ups – but anyone who develops a pattern of rash challenges, abusive behaviour, or just general lack of respect for the league’s goal of a fun and friendly atmosphere, will stick out like a sore thumb and will be dealt with swiftly and accordingly. This is our BA code of conduct. New players – you’ve been informed. Returning members – you certainly know this, and we are counting on you to set the example for newer players.
A Note to the Spares
The bespectacled Dave Willey and his partner in crime Chris Bradley are your points of contact for the weekly grind of filling the unfilled roster spots. You should be aware – there are vacations, there is the heat of an Ottawa summer, and most of all, there are aging and tired bodies out there (we’re only really talking about one guy in particular and he knows who he is). All that to say, expect that you will be called upon fairly often this season to fill spots as the season progresses. We would really appreciate if you could pay your $15 game fee immediately upon confirming with Dave/Chris that you have accepted an assignment to play. Those fees can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks in advance for your co-operation.
The Derecho… er… Big Storm
Just a general note to mention that we are a family here, not just a collection of individuals that like soccer and beer. If you’ve been impacted by the storm, we’d like to know – whether it’s because we can brainstorm to help with a problem, pool together resources, or just be a shoulder to cry/vent on, we’re all here for all of that. You don’t even have to ask for any help, just putting it out there that your BA family (and the executive team) is here for you.
Lastly… COVID of course
Look, we’d like to party like it was 2019 but we still take our cues from Ottawa Public Health, who is adamant that anyone with any symptoms of illness (Covid-19 or otherwise), or anyone in contact with someone at high-risk of Covid-19 needs to self-isolate for five days. We are not requiring pre-game health checks at this time but please don’t be the guy that blows this for us, especially if you have any reason to consider staying away. That’s all we will say about that.
Here’s to another fun-filled season in the BA. We are all looking forward to getting together to do what we love to do most… and also a good game of soccer beforehand! See you all on Saturday morning at 9:30!
May your gamedays be warm and your beer cold!
Your BA Executive Team
As most of you are no doubt enjoying the beautiful sunshine that has graced us the last few days, it seems fitting to send out an email to close out a great indoor season; I’m told the temperature in the dome is now approximately equivalent to the surface of Venus. If nothing else, it was undisputedly the best season in at least the last 3 years! We also had our AGM which I will recap below but do encourage you to peruse the attached minutes.
Indoor Cup Winners
A hearty congratulations to Maroun 7 (red) for a gritty performance holding off a late comeback from Pepto Abysmal (pink) in an exciting 5-4 victory. It was a fun watch and certainly worthy of the final. Special shoutout to Dany Paraschivoiu for netting the first goal of the game and going out in a blaze of glory, as a champion. If you didn’t catch the post-game press conference, Dany has announced his retirement – though the paperwork has not yet been filed with the league office, so a comeback cannot be ruled out just yet.
As Ray noted in a previous email, Black and Brewed narrowly squeaked out the league championship by a single point, which was very fitting considering all their nail-biting finishes during the course of the season. Rumours that Treasurer Brian Garson found the extra point for his team by rounding all decimals up to the nearest whole number are unsubstantiated. It is advised that you refrain from confronting him about it, at least until a thorough investigation into the matter has wrapped up.
A warm thank-you to everyone who made this season a truly excellent one – first of all, accommodating an early start (in October) which in the end was crucial to getting as many games in as possible given our unscheduled break in January on the advice of Public Health. Everyone did an outstanding job playing it safe with potential Covid exposures, sometimes even when not required to by the rules. Keeping everyone as healthy and safe as possible was clearly the priority and it was very much appreciated, as was the navigating of absences, limited spare numbers, and all the other stuff that made this such a challenge. Once again, it demonstrates how exceptional this league is and you should all be proud of how we got through it all.
A quick note on hoodies (League winners) and windbreakers (Cup winners) – there was an error with our printing vendor – believe it or not the mistake wasn’t on our end! Your commemorative swag is on the way, we’ll distribute as many as possible at the start of the outdoor season and figure out alternative arrangements for those who are not playing outdoor.
Spirit of the League – a day after Mother’s Day, let us celebrate an outstanding group of gents who certainly would make any mother proud – this award embodies everything the BA League stands for, an unmatched balance between competitive play, good nature, fairness and an emphasis on the fact that we’re all amateurs that are here for a good time, but not a long time in the grand scheme of things. The nominees were: (Chris Bradley, Darren Lemire, Bruno Paltrinieri, Ron Garson, Josh Georg, Ed Duncan, Stevan Dostanic, Colin Raines). We had an excellent voter turn-out (the Canadian electoral system could learn a thing or two) and the 2021-22 winner is none other than Colin Raines! Congrats – you should be proud to win an award like this in a league full of such fine fellas.
Smells like… Team Spirit – Colin’s attitude was clearly infectious (ahem… no pun intended for those who drank from his Gatorade bottle during a recent Sunday game). Urine Trouble was the only team in the league to play an entire season without a single card. That is an outstanding achievement and you should all be proud.
Best Team Name – at the risk of this becoming an unwatchable Oscars broadcast, we tip our hats yet again to Urine Trouble, which was voted in (again, by you the league) as the best team name of 2021-22. Well done and may all your nouveau-Starbucks-riche boys sip your wealth gently and carefully with not a burnt tongue in sight.
Annual General Meeting Recap
As mentioned off the top – I encourage you to review the full notes recorded by our recording secretary extraordinaire Doug Spencer who if nothing else does an impressive job keeping the huge mugs of German beer from spilling on his computer in the chaos of our AGM. The turnout was excellent, a huge thank you to all those who attended. For the TL;DR version, see recap below:
Changes to exec structure and members: main changes to the structure include eliminating the need for committees on Treasury and Discipline, instead assigning those functions to individuals, allowing them flexibility to recruit assistance on an as needed basis. See below for the 2022 positions, and please join us in thanking the following crazy people for stepping up for duty, as well as the people who served this year and in the past.
Your 2022 Executive members/directorship:
- President: Frank Lamontagne (replacing Ray Martel)
- Vice-President: Denis Levesque (replacing Romeo Pantalone)
- Treasurer: Matt DeSouza (replacing Brian Garson)
- Spares co-ordinator: Dave Willey (replacing Frank Lamontagne)
- Assistant Spares co-ordinator: Chris Bradley (replacing Dave Willey)
- IT & Media: Brian Garson (new position)
- Awards & Events: Tom Borbely (new position)
- Admin/Secretariat: Doug Spencer
- Defibrillator Duty: Bernie Pilon (replacing Shawn Sabourin)
Spares during playoffs: a motion was accepted to make playoff spare protocol the same as during the regular season – allowed throughout the playoffs but only on a like-for-like skill level basis.
Potential future season venue changes: you should be aware that we are actively expressing interest and reviewing proposals for the 2022-23 indoor season at the soon-to-be constructed Garneau dome (off Orleans boul near St Joseph) and the 2023 outdoor season at Julien de Guzman park (Anderson/Leitrim Rd). No commitments have been made but we should get clarity in the next few months on our options.
Bad Alibi Sponsorship: Hopefully everyone has had a chance to enjoy a beverage and something off the menu at The Bad Alibi (Youville/St Joseph). We have officially made the switch after decades at the Blackburn Arms, with which we made the difficult decision to finally sever ties. Officially, we are the BA Soccer League – no longer the Blackburn Arms Soccer League, and we are not the Bad Alibi Soccer League (how awesome is it though that it does still work with BA?). Some of the perks at the Bad Alibi, for those unaware – free nachos, $10 wing deal, 10% of sales go towards year-end party, patio can be reserved. We have also confirmed they are the place to be after Saturday morning outdoor games in 2022 – please show some love for the owners Matty and Jay if you get the chance, they have been great to us so far.
Final tip of the hat to Ray
Perhaps in perfect irony – if you’ve made it this far down the page and are still with us, you’re probably the kinda guy that truly appreciated the greatness of our outgoing president Ray Martel. He served as our president for 6 years, which was probably 6 years more than he had intended. In that time, he did an outstanding job taking a wonderful league and somehow elevating it to even greater levels, from within the executive, to these email blasts (which we can only try our best to emulate), to the time he took to have meaningful individual conversations with so many of you, giving us the best example to model this league after. I think I can speak for the (mostly and relatively) younger generation that is now stepping into the task of carrying on leadership of this league – one of the main reasons we would even consider taking this on is to attempt keeping the standard of this league WAY up there where Ray has taken it. We know you aren’t going to be far away anyway, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t all give you a thank you from the bottom of all our hearts. When any of us end up playing in this league with our kids/grandkids (which some already do), it will be in large part because Ray showed us it is possible to keep a humble soccer league so good for so long, and also that’s worthwhile doing it. Enjoy your retirement, Ray – if this first attempt at a league email is any indication of the effort it requires, you have some time savings in your future.
Thanks all for reading, thanks for a superb 2021-22 Indoor season; we look forward to an excellent 2022 Outdoor season. Expect a communication regarding teams in about a week, followed by more start of season stuff in the days following that.
May your gamedays be warm and your beer cold!
Your BA Executive Team
BLACK AND BREWED, in the wake of what seems like the most games won by a single goal, took home the regular-season honours over Great Wide Sharks by a… single point. Do you see a pattern here? Anyway, well done, gentlemen. Your “fitting” (well, we hope) rewards await on May 5 after the Investors’ Cup Final, as are those of the winner there.
Summer 2023 Registration
Registration opens March 21st at 9am
Wednesdays May 10 - Oct 25
- JDG Park near the intersection of Anderson and Leitrim
- 9v9 format
- 8:30pm and 9:30pm Kickoff
- On Site Pub
- $250 outfielders, $125 Keepers, $25 spares
Saturdays May 20 - Oct 28
- Potvin (Shefford Road)
- 11v11 format
- 10am Kick off (9am TBD for July/August)
- Bad Alibi Pub
- $225 outfielders, $115 Keepers, $25 spares