Down with church basketball!

Sorry, I can’t let this one go just yet.

Before I touch on The Basketball Heathens, I’ll take a moment to say that the party rocked. We ended up with twice as many potatoes and jello salads as we needed (although is there really ever enough Jello salad?), thanks to my impressive low functioning math skills. On the up side, I don’t have to cook for Jason’s work party tomorrow.

When we got to the gym this morning, what do you think we saw? Just over half of the room set up. That’s right. The basketball players from yesterday put out what looked like enough tables, spread them around real good, threw up some chairs and went home. We had two hours to decorate and no man power.

So I called my husband.

You know when you really want to say “I Told You So,” but it’s Christmas and you’re trying to be Christlike, but then fail and say it anyway? Yeah, that one felt good.

Jason came in full uniform and spent the better part of an hour redeeming himself. Good boy.

But I have to say something about Church basketball. Last week we had our dress rehearsal scheduled. We got to the building, and what do you think we found? Deacon basketball. Apparently, they have the gym EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT from here to forever. This gave me cause to panic, because the party was scheduled for a Thursday night.

So I asked the guys who were practicing for the show what they thought. Our conversation went something like this:

Me. “So, they say they have the gym every Thursday, but I’m on the schedule for next Thursday. What should I do?”

The entire lot of them stood around, wide-eyed, shaking their heads and saying things like, “Ooh, that’s bad,” and “You’d better talk to them, they do have first dibs.” First dibs? Pa-nick.

Then I headed over the room the women were practicing in and posed the exact same question.

“Kick those boys out!” and “Ward activities trump!” and “Down with Church basketball!” was the response.

See, men can’t help it. For my sister Kerry’s wedding reception (I was six), my family decorated the gym, went to the temple, came home, and a group of boys had come in and MOVED THE DECORATIONS to play church basketball. And now those same boys are grown men.

And what do you think we met on our way out of the building tonight? That’s right, the same group of single guys who show up twice a week to play. So lame.¬†Go on a date already.


  1. Yeah this one irks me too. But I’m beyond livid that they MOVED THE DECORATIONS! What in the blazes?? And I’m sorry….basketball does NOT just automatically get first dibs!!! It’s bloody basketball!!!!

    I get worked up.

    But I should just shut up because I don’t even have a chapel to go to with a bunch of boy basketball players hogging the gym!

    But if I did……

    Look out….Visible Voice gets uber loud! Hee hee!

  2. Glad your party was hit! And there is never too much food at a Mormon function. In our ward food is like a last meal; people eat like they will never eat again.

    Basketball. Who decided that it was the church “sport.” I never understood why they had nets in all the gyms. I think they are tacky.

  3. No no no—they did NOT move the wedding decorations to play basketball?! You can’t be serious. Being that I was raised with all boys I don’t hate church basketball quite as much as you…but seriously, the thought process involved with moving wedding decorations is literally shocking me!!

    • annie valentine says:

      Barbara, you just haven’t had to fight over the gym for a ward function yet. Trust me, as a former ball player myself, it loses it’s appeal.

  4. I’m upping the automatic withdrawal amount that is being put into my daughters wedding receptions account. I don’t even want to deal with this. We are so renting a place. Sometimes free use of the gym just isn’t worth it. If someone moved my decorations I would hunt them down and torture them. I would stalk them for the rest of their lives and show up at THEIR weddings and move THEIR decorations (let them start things off nice with their MIL) and then I would show up at their CHILDRENS receptions and MOVE THE DECORATIONS! And their childrens childrens… you get the idea. No, I could not let that one go.
    How much does a reception center cost? And what’s an average rate of inflation again?

  5. I thought the whole church BB, referee, keep score, kill team from other ward-thing got cancelled sometime in the 90’s? Or was that just around here?

    Okay one question. Are these teenagers and lame-o twenty somethings or husbands?

  6. ha ha ha, “Go get a date already.”

  7. This reminds me of the scene in Sons of Provo where the wedding party has to share the cultural hall with the kids playing basketball.

    Guys showed up during our wedding luncheon to play basketball. They opened the doors and just stood there for a minute like we were gonna move. It made me even more upset that one of the guys was a coworker that knew we would be there.

    • Riddle Girl says:

      Katie’s comment made me giggle…because there is that “look” they get when the gym is in use and they had plans to play. So much confusion.
      This is why I love our ward bballers…they play at 6am. No one to bug then.

  8. I’m so glad your party went well. And leftovers are always nice to assist in the line of Christmas parties.
    I actually tried to play basketball last year with the ladies. While at the circle for the jump, I stood my ground, and even though the ball went the opposite side of me, I was elbowed right in the chest.
    I think Mormons and sports don’t mix. And this is coming from a person who enjoys playing.
    Basketball, or any other sport, should always be put at the bottom of the totem poll when it comes to a schedule. There are actually churches being built without gyms or very small ones only to accomodate overflow for the chapel.
    I guess I’m not the person to respond. I’ll just fuel your flame today!

  9. I love your last comment. Exactly.

  10. They MOVED the decorations for a wedding?!? Okay, that’s seriously going too far. Punks.
    I’m glad the whole thing went well and that you don’t have to cook for the work party.

  11. I’m thinking if they could get a date, they wouldn’t be playing ball… I’m just sayin’!

  12. Ok, I did NOT mean that to sound pro-basketball. I meant it to be “clearly, these men are lacking because they are playing ball instead of dating, and their tactlessness gives us a big indication as to why!”

  13. I guess I finally see a plus to our old, awful, one-room church building…the basketball hoop was outside; in the parking lot.

  14. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You can’t have the gym every week. Aren’t the deacons supposed to be having scouting activities? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean basketball every week. You can’t call dibs forever. It doesn’t work that.

    If someone had tried that, I would have gone stomping in. AND THEY MOVED THE DECORATIONS? Bad move. I would have gone right to the bishop with that one. Grrr.

    My ward party was awesome. Everyone followed through with their assignments and I also had too much food. Oh well.

  15. Oh yeah, basket ball players kill me. Our stake relief society had set up the gym on a Friday night so it would be ready for the stake women’s conference and luncheon on Saturday. You guessed it–when we all arrived Saturday morning, the whole gym had been taken down and the men were playing basketball. They should have to schedule the time they play. And not even dare think about taking stuff down that people have all set up and ready to go!

  16. It’s just their whole “There-is-nothing-more-important-than-us-shooting-hoops-right-now” mentality that drives me crazy. Great if they love to play basketball, but half of them really seem to think that it is truly the only thing that matters. Actually that applies to most sports everywhere, but don’t get me started.

    Wish I could have seen your awesome party. Oh! And your Christmas cards are beautiful. Very nice and classy with the two sided printing. Thanks!

  17. I’m suddenly quite pleased I married someone who doesn’t care about basketball.

  18. i think that is usually rude for someone to take stuff down that has already been set up.

    but as for teenagers, i can think of a lot of worse things teenagers could be up do that would be much worse for you all to deal with than the situations you have described.

    i think thats why church basketball is officially established as a church program in many areas because it helps keep youth busy doing something that helps them get exercise and helps them stay out of trouble.

    that is pretty lame when someone has an activity on a saturday afternoon/evening and the gym then has to be off limits for the entire day saturday, the entire day friday, and sometimes the entire day thursday, all so women can have a beautiful atmosphere at a party.

    things like this are what help people become better, when there has to be give and take.


    • annie valentine says:

      Caleb you sweet child, have you ever had a calling? Or put on a wedding? Because unlike Church basketball, I have been called to only need the gym three times a year. You’d think that would take care of the whole give and take thing. But you’re so awesome for leaving a comment from the other side. We love you around here!

  19. You know, to the best of my knowledge, this is mostly a Utah church thing.
    We’ve lived in Washington state, the Caribbean, and are now in Las Vegas. And I just haven’t seen these problems in the 19 years we’ve been away from Utah.

    And after a lifetime of watching my dad and brother start fights, get kicked out of the gym, and indulge in rivalries that lasted YEARS – all over church ball – I can honestly say I don’t miss the drama. At all.

    Young Caleb can be forgiven for his my-world-is-the-only-world mentality; he’s a kid and that’s the universe they inhabit.

    When they become adults, it’s not so easily laughed off. Like women, men are expected to MATURE the older they get.

  20. Wanna know something funny? My father-in-law, a strong member of the church, joined the church to play basketball when he was sixteen! lol. So, in a way, I am grateful for it, however annoying it can be *and boy can those men be annoying!*.

  21. I’m probably not that much younger than you are. I’ve never put on a wedding. I once did fulfill a calling….. I was young men’s basketball coach. Maybe we need to raise a generation of males who have a terrific sense of atmosphere and decoration so that if they choose to move something for a little while they can set things back up just like they found it.

  22. Seriously Caleb? Get a life.

    I had the cultural hall booked once for a STAKE MEETING. As I finished setting up the chairs, a bunch of men came in to play ball. They told me I needed to move my stuff, “cuz we have the building, like, every week on this night. For like forever!” Uhh really? I just looked at them and said “tough titties. I’m on the schedule and you’re not. Regardless of your stupid tradition. Get out.” (Why yes! I AM a sailor!)

    They actually called the BUILDING coordinator to complain . . .

    She told them the same thing: Get a life. Church basketball takes last priority.

  23. @motherboard – I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Are you asking me if I seriously meant what I wrote when I commented? Or if I typed my comments while I was feeling serious? Or if I had a serious expression on my face while I was typing my comment?

    Yes my life could use some improvement. But it appears to me like your life also stands some need of improvement if you are spending time on Christmas Day making comments on blogs to complain about life. Or rather was the purpose of your comment to brag about the fact that you’re a stake leader and you use the phrase “tough titties” as part of your vocabulary? Either way that’s not impressive.

    So how far in advance before your stake meeting did you set out the chairs?

  24. @ motherboard again – Or are you asking me if I am suggesting that this new generation of males, who have a terrific sense of atmosphere and decoration so that if they choose to move something for a little while they can set things back up just like they found them, should move the chairs in a serious attitude?