I wrote this article for anyone who’s new to the league or anyone who needed a reminder, because I felt like we all could use one.
There’s Moffo, there’s D5, there’s random tournaments we all attend throughout the year, but BTSH has and always will be different from the rest. For those who are new here, BTSH started in Tompkins 20 years ago as a laid back punk rock beer league. Over the years it’s gained popularity and with that, new talent.
What started as a joke, there is now Old School vs New School BTSHers. Old School being made up of the OG’s and New School mostly comprised of millennials who are young, skilled and competitive. The big debate here is that Old School wants to keep the league as laid back as possible while New School wants to push the competitive limits. There is, however, a gray area in which New Schoolers have adopted Old School ideology. I myself am one of them. New Old School people as I fondly call them. These people are good, some of them even the best in the league and although they are the younger players, they know what this league is about. It’s possible to push the competitive limits of BTSH without breaking rule number 1 (don’t be a dick).
I suppose what made me want to write this article is that, being a young person, I’ve heard other young people comparing BTSH to the other leagues in town. And I’m here to say I hear you. But please hear me. You can’t compare leagues built on different foundations. And we should stop trying to make BTSH into another league, and celebrate it for what it is. Nothing stays the same forever, the league has gotten more competitive- which is great- but it’s up to us to keep the people in it aligned to our friendly and laid-back roots.
This article isn’t being written as a slap on the wrist to people who are talented and have a competitive fire. We all have the same drive, regardless of age or opinions. But at the end of the day it’s important we all know that this is a league built on friendship and sharing a beer at the courts after the games, not body checking the shit out of someone on the opposing team just to beat them to the ball, or getting so mad about a call you make a ref cry. Other leagues may be founded, and many of us- New and Old School alike- play in the holy trinity that is Moffo, D5 and BTSH. Because we love hockey. And if we all can agree on that then we should agree to hold BTSH to the same spirit.
If you didn’t feel like reading this whole thing I’ll leave you with this TL;DR: There’s hundreds of intramural sports leagues around the city (hello, Zog Sports), but there’s only one BTSH, and we should strive to keep it.