For Slayr: And Now a Moment of Silence...For the Playground

  • @drgnslayr

    Rick Telander is in synchronicity with our discussions of the playground this past off season.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Thanks for the link.

    Two things really put a shutdown on city courts; gang activity and violence coming from various sources, and video games.

    The playgrounds represented community. It was an area that most wanted to keep it safe and most respected rules. Police showed their lack of caring by not participating in playgrounds. They should have guarded the grounds up til around dark and then closed the grounds at night. If they would have done that, more grounds would still be active today. It was a major police blunder… not willing to sacrifice a couple of cops in order to keep crime down because more kids had constant legal activity. And people want to know why police are hated in inner cities…

    But now it isn’t worth messing with because young kids would rather play video games on their phones. They’d rather stay indoors and find a soft place to sit or lay.

    It’s all sad. “City ball” was a big part of my upbringing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My first step off asphalt or concrete was Y-ball. Y’s started running programs to build leagues and also provide a place for broke kids to go play ball, without paying. That represented my first step into organized basketball even though I had the funds to pay. There was an adjustment period. The Y had tougher rules! Bad language and fighting were not allowed, and many kids coming right off the streets were kicked out. Some were allowed back in after they made adjustments, others were banned permanently. You would constantly see police at the Ys…

    ICE BALL - The Y became popular around December because of the ice and cold. But basketball was still played on playgrounds all year. Someone would be labeled “grounds keeper” and would bring a snow shovel. If no one brought a shovel, we’d use our feet and scrape the court clean. It took a while, but you would be amazed at how fast a full court would be scraped with shoes. By fall time everyone had saved some bad shoes to get them through a season of ice ball. I call it “ice ball” because the snow would be removed, but often there was a layer of ice on the court. Asphalt courts were more popular in winter because the black surface would warm up quicker, melting the ice. Concrete courts were more popular in summer because not so hot and you would stay clean. A long day of asphalt summer ball meant acquiring black asphalt hands and leaving your shoes outside when you returned home.

    Sometimes I think about writing a book on city ball but I feel like there were plenty of personalities capable of doing the same thing and creating a far more entertaining read. It’s culture that should be remembered.

  • @drgnslayr

    Write it.


Log in to reply