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Traveling: statement on life?


I've watched a lot of basketball over the years. In fact, when I was in high school it was my favorite sport. I didn't play it very well, but I still enjoyed playing the game.
These days, I enjoy watching it. But it's gotten more difficult. I haven't watched nearly as many college games as I used to. There was a time when I rarely missed a Minnesota Gophers game on a Wednesday night or a Saturday afternoon. But now, with games that can be scheduled on any day of the week, the interest to keep up just hasn't been there. Pro basketball? I haven't watched a full game in decades.
It could be the game is just passing me by. Yes, I'm getting older and I don't quite have the passion for it like I used to. I do enjoy keeping the scorebook at the scorer's table and I enjoy watching the high school game.
But I have a problem.
Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that this is not a statement on the student-athletes who play the game, the people who coach it, or the officials who officiate the games. This is a statement on the powers that be, whether it's the Minnesota State High School League or the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations. I suspect the latter.
As I watch the game today - no matter what level of the game you watch, but especially at the high school level - I'm both disappointed and frustrated by how lax the rules of the game have become. Traveling, carrying the ball and double dribble are violations that for all practical purposes really don't exist any longer. Oh, yes, they are called, but the violations must be so blatant that officials are afraid not to call it.
I realize that the rules have been changed at the high school level to be more like the college game. Sadly, I think it's been brought on by AAU leagues that call the game like they do at the college level. Rather than telling high school students who played in those leagues that you must adhere to the high school rule once they begin playing in high school league games again, the powers that be have given in and relaxed the rules. "It's eventually going to happen anyway," is the line I hear most often.
There was a clean beauty to the game not so many years ago when a player was given a step before dribbling and nothing more; when even a bobble that caused the ball to hit the floor meant the player holding the ball had given up his dribble; when dribbling required keeping your hand on top of the ball not underneath so as to "palm" the ball - legal today.
I realize there's no going back to these rules. The old expression applies: "Once the cat is out of the bag . . ."
I also believe that relaxing the rules as they have in basketball is a statement on life. We have relaxed the rules in life. If it feels good, do it. Since some are doing it, we may as well let everyone do it. Oh, those are the old rules; they're antiquated and need to be reversed or erased.
Rules were established to provide boundaries and structure. When you relax those parameters, the lines of right and wrong become blurred, which is exactly what those who want to do away with structure and restrictions desire. They're getting their way.
Maybe that's why I like baseball. As the famed late baseball owner Bill Veeck once said: "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off."
All-Class Reunion service
Riverfest may still be a little less than four months away, but you'll want to keep this in mind - the All-Class Reunion worship service.
The service is organized by 1974 Windom Area High School grad Dewey Moede, who will be in Windom for the reunion.
Dewey is looking for Windom High School or WAHS grads who are now pastors, musicians or singers and would like to take part in the service.
He presently has two individuals eager to speak and play, but he's looking for more.
The service will run from 1:30 to 3 p.m., in the BARC Auditorium.
If you would like to speak, sing or play, contact Dewey at 505-681-0331.




 

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