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B/ball bias: BVIBF slammed for allowing one coach to pick referees

- VG Bayside Blazers lament that BVIBF failed to find middle ground to solve dispute
The Bayside Blazers have made some allegations against the BVIBF following the forfeited game that saw Jr VG Bayside Blazers refusing to play under unfair circumstances on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Photo; VINO/File
Jr VG Bayside Blazers were huge favourites to win the National League Championship. Photo: VINO/File
Jr VG Bayside Blazers were huge favourites to win the National League Championship. Photo: VINO/File
The failure by the BVIBF to act decisively and fairly resulted in the game not being played and Jr Skillful Ballers controversially handed the championship at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Photo: VINO
The failure by the BVIBF to act decisively and fairly resulted in the game not being played and Jr Skillful Ballers controversially handed the championship at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The integrity of the BVI Basketball Federation (BVIBF) has been thrown into question, following its decision to allow a coach of only one team to pick the referees for the do-or-die game between Jr VG Bayside Blazers and Jr Skillful Ballers in the Federation’s National League Championship Series and failing to find a middle ground once the other team had issues with it.

The failure by the BVIBF to act decisively and fairly resulted in the game not being played and Jr Skillful Ballers controversially handed the championship at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

The championship series was tied 2-2 with all to play for and fans looking forward to a thrilling finale, only to be left disappointed with what would ensue.

Bayside Blazers in a statement on October 10, 2021, made it clear that it did not “quit” as some were claiming and that it showed up at the playing venue since 6:20pm for their 8:00pm game with all intentions of taking to the court.

BVIBF failed to inform Blazers of protest

“At around 7:55 p.m., minutes before the game was scheduled to start, we were made to understand that the opposing team Jr Skillful Ballers, coached by Ronald Simmons aka ‘Gola’, had reportedly written a letter since Wednesday, October 6, 2021, to the BVIBF in which he wanted to determine who could referee the final game.

Blazers said Mr Simmons in his letter had named two referees, one female and the other was the only FIBA certified referee in the territory, Mr Norval A. Young, who he did not want to referee the game.

“Neither the Jr Bayside Blazers Management nor the Coaches were given the professional courtesy of being told about the letter, even after the BVIBF was in receipt of it, for a number of days.

‘Bad precedence’ set for Basketball in VI

“So, in effect, what the BVIBF agreed to was a decision to allow one team to pick the referees to adjudicate the final game without informing the other. This is unfair, unjust and sets a bad precedence for basketball in the Territory, and is a policy that the Bayside Blazers will never support.”

Bayside Blazers, in the statement, said the question must now be asked whether the BVIBF’s new position on basketball is that a team can just write a letter and it can get the referees it wants?

“How is it that the Federation gets to determine who referees a game? Is that not the job of the local Referee Association who usually sends a copy of their refereeing schedule, as requested by the BVIBF?”

BVIBF’s integrity on the line- Blazers

Bayside Blazers, who won the Senior District League title, pointed out that it is an indictment on the BVIBF to believe that in a district league, simply because a referee is from a particular district, they will be compromised when officiating a game that involves the same district.

“The reality is, only one referee is from a sister island and all others are from Tortola, however, that has never been an issue.”

Bayside Blazers said the BVIBF’s integrity is now on the line and reiterated that the Jr VG Bayside Blazers could not play under those circumstances where one side gets to pick the referees. 

“It was the Coach of Jr Skillful Ballers who refused to play initially with the referees that were already scheduled for the game. Should that not be considered a forfeiture of the game? It was not acknowledged as a forfeiture, instead the Jr Bayside Blazers were expected to play with referees handpicked by the Skillful Ballers’ Coach and the BVIBF.

“However, now, they are trying to cast the blame on the victims of injustice, the VG Bayside Blazers…

“During the tournament, any game we lost, we accepted and returned to Virgin Gorda and came back stronger. We never blamed anyone, even where there were compelling reasons to.”

Federation failed to act decisively & fairly

Bayside Blazers reasoned that once the Federation realised that there was chaos due to their unfairness, it was their duty to find a middle ground where both teams could be comfortable, even if it meant rescheduling the game and finding other referees.

“Instead, only one team was accommodated and ultimately awarded the Jr Division Championship.”

The Bayside Blazers concluded that they stand by their decision not to play under the blatantly unfair circumstances and they have no interest in receiving any runner-up trophy.

“All we ask for is fairness, a level playing field, and that the rules apply to all concerned.”

Our newsroom reached out to the BVIBF for a comment on the allegations made by the VG Bayside Blazers and was told that a press release on the matter will be sent out today, October 11, 2021.

26 Responses to “B/ball bias: BVIBF slammed for allowing one coach to pick referees”

  • Local (11/10/2021, 08:40) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Them LE and Gut man always paying off the refs from young leg days.
  • Help (11/10/2021, 08:42) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    so we need a Commission of Inquiry into Basketball or what
  • Federation Member (11/10/2021, 08:45) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    Vino, your news release is not true. The coach did not pick the referees. They only said they didnt want 2 particular referees to be on the game. When you get our press release you will see the truth. There is a pool of referees which any of them could have done the game.
    • Reply (11/10/2021, 11:23) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      VINO only deal with facts the other side need to STOP TRYING TO STEAL
    • Reply (11/10/2021, 11:26) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
      The federation need to stop their crap and replay the game from giving a fake trophy away
    • j (11/10/2021, 18:56) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      For the sake of transparency, this should have been made clear in advance. The federation was wrong for allowing it to play out this way. Apologize fir your error and move on.
  • VIslander (11/10/2021, 08:59) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This unfairness in NOTHING new. It has, unfortunately been going on for generations. Until the residents of the “sister islands” are treated as equals to those living on the bigger island, things will continue along this path. Why don’t we take a look at how other island groups manage? Some have fallen apart because of the same ‘unwritten’ policies while others continue to work and thrive.
    The last time I checked this group was called the Virgin Islands, NOT Tortola and the Virgin Islands. Stop this nonsense NOW!!!!! Break this curse or it will follow our grand and great grandchildren.

    If we are sisters, truly sisters then we need to act like it. VG is neither a stepsister nor a bastard. We are equal to any other Virgin island. All we want is our fair share. Not the leftovers nor the ‘gently used’
  • Officials (11/10/2021, 09:45) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Disputes with sport officials, referees, umpires, judges, etc. is a global problem. It's likely the main reason lots of athletes switch to sports with less rules and no officials that selectively enforce the rules of the game.
  • judge (11/10/2021, 10:25) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    As I read it, no team hand picked the referees. Skillful named 2 referees they did not want on the game because of their affiliation with the VG team. VG team could have played, but decided not to, hence they forfeited the game to Skillful. I see no wrongdoings by the Federation in this instance.
  • Sponsor (11/10/2021, 10:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want my money back
  • resident (11/10/2021, 11:00) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This just leaves such a bad taste. Please get it sorted out. Put policies in place so that occurences such as this are not allowed. People pay money to see professional and fair games.
  • WOW (11/10/2021, 12:09) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    The BVIBA is absolutely in the wrong if the allegations are true. The game need to be rescheduled and the dispute resolved. The actions taken by the BVIBA after their goof up does not reflect good conflict management.
  • not now (11/10/2021, 12:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lol what's new , this been going on from the dreds and A'S days and it continues throughout the East Rockers and Disciples eras.
    • @ not now (11/10/2021, 19:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      You have a point, them town man was never fair when I comes to teams from the East. ( East Rockers, Mystics & others) I know exactly how VG feels. They’re taking the fun out of it with all this bias mentality. That was a bitch move Gola & the Federation sucks.Both 2021 trophies belong in VG.
  • just Because (11/10/2021, 14:45) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    As a certified official of another team sport, the process of voicing a concern on matters relating to scheduling and officiating are allowed. The sport which I play, allows for a team to lodge a protest prior or during a game, but will still be allowed to play the game. This protest is entered into the score sheet and dealt with after game. What happened in this instance, a letter being sent to the BVI Basketball Federation in itself was nothing wrong. Making reference to scheduled referees having affiliation with the VG Blazers was just an observation and a valid one. This is why having referees with no ties to teams in finals were brought in over the past for this same purpose. However, the rules state that at game time both teams MUST be ready to play and on the court. Given that one team left the court, the rule would have to be followed. Awarding the game to Skillfull Ballers, and finally, the Federation could not have made the call to award the game, only the officials could have done that.
    • @just Because (13/10/2021, 11:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      What ties does the referees have with the Virgin Gorda team? What about all of the referees that are from Tortola?
  • pat (11/10/2021, 14:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    We with VG all the way
  • Chaos (11/10/2021, 15:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Reschedule the game with neural referees.
  • Xxx (11/10/2021, 15:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    look how they steal the trophy form the young people from VG
  • James E. (11/10/2021, 16:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The answer is simple. Let VG have its own Summer Jam league and leave Tola with its own league. Problem solved. That way we don't have to worry about who we want referee which game.
    • dude (11/10/2021, 18:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's the same pool of referees though.
      Rec Leagues in both USVI & BVI always have this problem. They don't seem to recognize that they are recreational leagues.
  • SLAMMED (11/10/2021, 17:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    SO YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH THAT WORD
  • Welsah (11/10/2021, 20:20) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    People complaining saying that skillful ballers have a right to write a letter stating that they don’t want the referee from vg to referee the game but I guess having the tola referees who favors skillful ballers ain’t no difference? I guess that vg team was suppose to stay and play with the unfair ruling of the basketball federation? There were so many instances throughout the league where other teams fouled throughout their games with the bayside blazers yet that same referee didn’t make any calls and they still came out victorious. Gola knew those boys were coming tola to give them a beating but he couldn’t handle that pressure at all. They just didn’t wanted that trophy to go Virgin Gorda.
    • @ Welsah (11/10/2021, 21:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Gola played with a VG team a few years back. He knows those VG boys got game & he did everything in his power to spoil a good series. That was a bitch move Gola, that entire federation needs revamping & getting rid of the bias ones, even boss.
  • usa (12/10/2021, 18:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The federation should have intervened in the matter so it would not get out of control. This shows real bad sportsmanship for Basketball in the BVI. I play basketball back in the days and officials would call bad calls on us so that the other team can win. I wish if we can do this in the USA if you don't like a referee, your coach would say to you suck it up and play ball.
  • christian (13/10/2021, 08:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    We Tola people always think we better than everybody else. Gola that was a dirty move you made you knew VG was coming for that trophy and you did whatever it took to make sure that didn't happen. I was backing the team VG from day one because I think they were playing good Tola always doing VG these kind of nonsense. VG was going with both wins and Gola didn't want that couldn't handle that. VG ALL THE WAY


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