Archive for October, 2010

Armstrong, Big Lake win BasketCase Reduction Plan drawings

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Congratulations to the traveling program at Armstrong and the in-house program at Big Lake for winning copies of BasketCases for their families as part of the 2010-11 BasketCase Reduction Plan. Conducted in conjunction with Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS), every youth basketball association in Minnesota and western Wisconsin had the opportunity to enter a drawing to receive copies of my award-winning book “BasketCases: How Youth Basketball Parents Can Lower Their Blood Pressure and Keep Their Sanity. ”

We drew two winners: Robbinsdale Armstrong will receive 111 copies of BasketCases for all of its families in its boys and girls traveling program. Big Lake won 80 copies of BasketCases for the families in its in-house program.

A reminder that associations can purchase copies of BasketCases at $10 a copy through MYAS (minimum 20 copies). Just e-mail me ( or Dan Craighead ( to place an order. Good luck this season. 

2010-11 BasketCase Reduction Project

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

I have partnered with Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS), the largest governing body of youth sports in Minnesota, to sponsor the 2010-11 BasketCase Reduction Project. The Project consists of two parts:

1) Youth basketball associations can order discounted copies of BasketCases: How Youth Basketball Parents Can Lower Their Blood Pressure and Keep Their Sanity” for only $10 per copy (50 percent off the retail price; minimum of 20 copies). If interested in purchasing books for you association, simply e-mail MYAS Marketing Director Dan Craighead at (more details below)

2) We will give away up one book per family (up to 125 books) to one in-house program and one traveling program. The only caveat is the winning programs must be non-profit organizations (which most youth programs are. To participate in the drawing, simply send an e-mail to with the name of your organization and the number of families in the program. The deadline to enter the drawing is October 20.

Below is the column that MYAS Executive Director Dan Klinkhammer wrote in the October issue of the MYAS Update about the 2010-11 BasketCase Reduction Project:

An Educational Opportunity Your Youth Basketball Association Shouldn’t Pass Up
Most of you remember the ugly assault in a Twin Cities suburb last winter when an irate youth basketball parent sucker-punched the commissioner of a sixth grade in-house basketball program following a close game. The victim suffered a concussion and dental damage, while the perpetrator was charged with four criminal counts, including two felonies.

Did it surprise me that violence could escalate to such an alarming rate at a youth basketball game? Unfortunately not. I am well aware how passionate parents and coaches are about youth sports. Due to this major investment of time and money, there are always issues percolating just below the surface in most communities in every sport. At the MYAS, we hear about everything you can imagine: “The referees were terrible.” “The other team used an illegal player.” “The opposing coach yelled at my players.” “This team was sandbagging and shouldn’t be in the B division.” And so on, and so on. It seemingly will never end.

A couple of years ago in this newsletter, I wrote about a book by Derek Wolden, one of our local referees who continues to officiate MYAS youth basketball games despite his ascension up the college ranks. Derek wrote the book “BasketCases: How Youth Basketball Parents Can Lower Their Blood Pressure and Keep Their Sanity.” To my knowledge, BasketCases, a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award finalist, continues to be the only book of its kind in the country written by a basketball official hoping to improve the youth basketball experience.

I read this book while sitting in my deer stand during hunting season and the entire time I kept thinking, “Why didn’t somebody write this sooner? The book should be required reading for every coach and parent before their kids hit the court.” Derek does a great job of explaining the rules and, more importantly, he explains how and why officials administer the rules the way that they do. If making BasketCases required reading for your coaches and parents will make for a more enjoyable and understandable season, then do it.

Considering the assault I mentioned earlier and other less violent but nonetheless disturbing incidents that never make the newspaper, I want to make an emphasis this year to collectively improve behavior on basketball courts around the state. I know that reading BasketCases is a great first step in improving the youth basketball experience. Education is a powerful tool. We spend so much time and money teaching our kids to play basketball. Why don’t we make a small investment to teach our parents and coaches how to enjoy the experience? Not only is BasketCases educational, it’s very entertaining.

Derek has agreed to make BasketCases (regularly $20) available to traveling and in-house basketball associations through the MYAS for just $10 per book (minimum order of 20). I strongly encourage you, as leaders of your association, to set aside some dollars and put this book into the hands of your coaches and parents. If you are interested in purchasing copies of BasketCases, please email our Marketing Director, Dan Craighead, at by November 30 to take advantage of this special offer. Sample chapters and numerous testimonials are available at

In partnership with the MYAS, Derek is also making a generous donation to improve the youth basketball experience. In what we are calling the 2010-11 BasketCase Reduction Project, we will give away one book to every family in two youth basketball organizations - one traveling and one in-house. The caveats are that the organizations must be nonprofits (which most associations are), and we are capping the number of books to 125 per organization/association.

If you are interested in participating in the BasketCase Reduction Project, simply have a board member of your association send an email with your association’s name and number of families to by October 20. The winning organizations will be announced in the next issue of the MYAS Update. (Note: Associations who want to purchase copies of the book are encouraged to enter. If they win, they will obviously not be billed.)