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I am former captain of the team 10-7 SOUTH JERSEY, have played on TEAM OVERKILL, THE ORDER and MERCENARIES FOR HIRE. I am currently forming a team in South Jersey for the upcoming tournament season. I have been playing tournament ball since 1993 and have seen or made virtually every mistake in the management of a team that there is to make, much to my dismay. Believe me when I say that Alo's statements are wrong.
First an alternate is not someone along for the ride. An alternate should be in a rotational pattern with all the members of the team. He should pay his share of the tournament in order to offset the total cost and lessen the burden on his team mates. This is often essential when you're first starting a team, especially when you don't have sponsors who are willing to make monetary contributions towards entry fees. If he is just going along for the ride without paying or playing, he is "support", not an "alternate." If his name is on the roster he should pay as well as play. Talk about breaking down morale, tell someone, "Yeah your on the team, but your not playing."
So what was Mr. Alo's error? First this player who by Mr. Alo's own statement was not a very good player was invited along to play in the tournament. The problem is not that that this is a poor player, the problem is that this person does not even appear to be a member of the team! A team is just what it says, a team. They are as one unit attempting to attain a common goal. They should think as one, move as one, communicate as one, and they will win as one. A team practices together, they know what to expect from one another. Inviting someone to play in a tournament who is not a member of the team and does not attend practices on a regular basis, even as an alternate, is foolish. They will not know what to expect, they will not know the plays, and they will only hinder the members of the team. If your going to take on an outsider for the team, Don't do it at a tournament!
An alternate needs to be a participating member of the team long before the day of the tournament. He should be able and comfortable enough to play with any and all members of the team as they are to play with him. He is a member of the team, shares in their expenses, and plays in the tournament. Anything else is just support.
Thank you for your pateince and time in regards to this matter. If you have any further questions or wish to debate this topic or any other, please feel free to contact me. I am dedicated to playing ball and I love the chance to voice my opion.
Thank you Jim, for taking the time to send us your thoughtful advice. We are confident that our readers will greatly benefit from seasoned veterans like yourself.