High school basketball: Delay to start of season leads to cancelling of 100-team Big Ticket tournament


Travel concerns brought about by weather issues have led to B.C. School Sports postponing the start of the volleyball provincials a full week, too

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The delaying of the high school basketball campaign has led to cancellation of the Big Ticket, a season-opening tournament that organizer Anthony Beyrouti says was to feature more than 100 boys and girls teams in six divisions playing out of 20 Greater Vancouver host schools.

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B.C. School Sports (BCSS) announced Wednesday night that it was pushing back the start of the winter sports season — which features basketball —   from next Monday to next Wednesday, and that they would reassess that opening day again on Monday.

The BCSS made the decision based on the “province is still dealing with the effects of the severe weather event and that a state of emergency is currently in place,” according to a written statement.  

Beyrouti, the longtime girls basketball coach at North Vancouver’s Argyle secondary, said that losing the two days plus further uncertainty about starting the season made the Big Ticket and its Grade 8 boys and girls, junior boys and girls as well as senior boys and girls divisions impossible to run. The tournament had planned to give out 40 scholarships worth $1,000 apiece at tournament’s end but that’s on hold now, too.

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Beyrouti said he had a received positive feedback at playing the tournament from coaches of teams in Abbotsford, where the weather issues have hit the hardest. Beyrouti said he believes that sports helps with mental health. Basketball, along with all high school sport, was in practice-only mode last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We were looking to provide an exceptional experience for kids and reinvigorate their love of high school basketball,” he said.  

BCSS has also announced Wednesday it was pushing back the four girls and three boys volleyball provincial championship a week, slotting them now for Dec. 8-11. Travel considerations were again the major reason and the hope is that the delay will provide the greatest opportunity to run the tournament in the “traditional format,” or as provincial finals. BCSS could opt for regional playoffs, like they have in football and boys soccer, if that’s more feasible.

BCSS is slated to make a decision on volleyball on Monday.

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