Blink and You’ll Miss It, BAM! The Tournament Begins!


Baraka Busambwa, Contributor

That time of year has arrived! Most of the time, after the winter break, people are worrying about school and the 2nd semester. However, for those who participate in BAM basketball, the tournament is near! The Madison Youth Basketball league ends in a single-game double-elimination tournament. This year it starts on January 23rd for 18u teams and has yet to be decided for younger levels.

The tournament is seeded with the 10 teams available; they are ranked by their record. The 1st and 2nd seed teams are granted a first-round bye, which means they skip first-round match-ups. This is useful for rest and player health, so there is an incentive to win as many games in the regular season. The rest of the teams face off, and the tournament proceeds until one remains. Most teams have played against each other in the regular season, so rematches, rival games, and grudge matches are common in this tournament. The atmosphere is competitive because everyone wants to win.

Should you lose in the tournament, don’t fear! They have been granted a chance of redemption in the loser’s bracket. It’s not guaranteed; it’s based on where you lost in the tournament and if there are enough teams. If it is there, it’s the same style with a calmer atmosphere. Teams compete for bronze against each other, battling their way toward another prize. There is no shame in winning in the loser’s bracket. They still battle hard, and competitive teams are on their way to the bronze. Oxymoronic as it sounds, whoever wins the losers bracket is still a team not to be trifled with.

If you have any friends who play in the tournament, see some of their games. They could use all the support they can get! Bring a crowd and cheer them on as they fight to win the Madison Youth League. It’s exciting to watch, so the fans get a treat, too. Many games are held at Dublin Park and at various times, so check with your favorite player for more specifics.