Important Information about ICBA "B" teams:
“The Wildcat Board had a long discussion this fall about our ICBA B teams. From our charter in 1963 the primary focus of the Wildcat program is the regular program which started as 8 senior teams and 8 junior teams and no separate girls program. That was 160 players. We now have 14 senior teams and 16 junior teams in the regular programs. That is an increase of 6 boys teams or 25% just in the last three years. There are also 10 junior girls teams and 10 senior girls teams. Those 50 teams serve 500 players between 9 and 12 in the TE school district. At the same time the use of gyms by school programs, such as volleyball, and by outside individual teams continues to reduce our flexibility in scheduling all the games and practices for our junior and senior programs for both genders.
All ICBA teams play a twelve game outside league schedule during the regular Wildcat season schedule. Every year, once the ICBA schedule comes out we have to take the ICBA away games (six per team), figure out what players are involved and try to adjust our schedule to avoid conflicts. That is a total rescheduling project that becomes more difficult with each new team and each lost gym option. It is not just the game times for away games we have to consider but in most instances an hour or more on each side of the away game to account for travel. Since we insist that players play in the regular program where there is a conflict, it is a matter of trying to keep players available for ICBA games, especially on Saturdays. And we cannot expand the ICBA rosters since the ICBA limits a team roster to 12 players.
Looking at just the boys, with 30 senior/junior boys teams there are 15 regular Wildcat games to schedule every Saturday. Many Saturdays we do not get TE Middle School until almost noon and we have to share Valley Forge Middle School with the Valley Forge League and its program for 13-15 yr old boys. If we had continued with A and B ICBA teams for the 10, 11 and 12 year old levels, the 72 players on those six
teams would have been spread across the 30 boys Wildcat teams and we could not have successfully scheduled without a multitude of conflicts causing us to choose each time which players miss which ICBA games. We should not be making such choices. So the natural solution was to limit the conflicts and only field A teams in the ICBA. The Board unanimously adopted that policy. It is in keeping with our mission.
That does not mean that we are unconcerned about trying to provide higher level experience for a broader spectrum of our players. It just means that the ICBA is not the right venue. Prior to the ICBA we only had a 13 yr old travel team that played in a league during our regular season. But since there was no 13 year old Wildcat program, there were no conflicts. The 10s, 11s and 12s would select tournament teams, both A and B, in late January and those teams would play in tournaments in late February and March both locally and in Hershey. We are discussing going back to that pre-ICBA template for the 10Bs, 11Bs, and 12Bs.
So it is clear that the Board will not revisit the one ICBA team per age level as long as we have a growing and strong intramural program. The conflicts are unresolvable as long as the ICBA dictates the ICBA schedule and leaves us to adapt and adjust despite our inflexible gym situation.
The Paoli Wildcat Board