Arizona State University
Faculty-Staff Basketball Association


by Chuck Corbin

The Faculty-Staff Basketball Association:  A Brief History

Preamble: As basketball involvement for faculty and staff changed from unorganized games with students and members of the community to a faculty-staff basketball association, the following general principles were considered to be central. These were used when applying for an organizational charter and when meeting with administration concerning allocation of facilities and time periods.

*  Scientific evidence shows that employee fitness programs are effective in
    maintaining health and fitness, reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity,
    and improving employee satisfaction.
*  Many universities have formal fitness programs for employees. Basketball is
    one activity that should be part of such programs.
*  ASU should make a commitment to programs such as basketball participation
    by including adequate locker rooms, adequate space, and adequate time for
*  Games should allow for participation by people of all ages and skill levels as
    well as for both sex groups.
*  Games should allow for maximum participation for all (at least two full court
    games per day).
*  Games should be played in a relatively non-physical nature to allow
    participation by all and to reduce altercations among players. Self-policing
    has been considered essential. Adoption of a "suitable style of play" to ensure
    safety and to ensure an enjoyable experience is considered paramount.

In the Beginning: Faculty and staff have been involved in recreational basketball for decades. Prior to 1982, faculty and staff participated in basketball in a variety of settings. Some played at the Activity Center with coaches and Athletic Department personnel. Others participated at the Physical Education West Gym with students and members of the community (many fire and police department personnel were regulars). In Physical Education West the featured game was on the south court. Games were organized on a first come first serve basis, with winners retaining honors. Some faculty and staff played half court (2 on 2 and 3 on 3) games on the middle court and the north court was often left empty. Those not in the first court game waited their turn to play winners.  In some semesters the gym was only available between classes so more that one game was unlikely without winning.

A Semblance of Organization: In the spring of 1983 the Department of Health and Physical Education (now Department of Kinesiology and formerly Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education) set aside (11:30 to 12:30) time in the Physical Education East Gym for faculty-staff games. Attempts to get enough faculty-staff (10 minimum) failed as some continued to play at the Activity Center, some half-court at West, and some in the "winners" game at West.

In the fall of 1983 (at the request of several faculty and staff) the Department of Health and Physical Education agreed not to schedule classes from 11:30 to 12:30 in the West Gym. The regular pattern of the "winners" game continued, but several faculty-staff organized a full court game on the north court for faculty and staff only.  Because the north court was rarely used this plan met no initial opposition. Graduate students on assistantships were included in this game. Their involvement was necessary to insure 10 participants as many faculty-staff continued to play in half court, "winners games" on the south court, or at the Activity Center. (For several years the Recreational Services Department organized three on three tournaments on Tuesday and Thursdays for faculty and staff. Yet, as the faculty-staff games became more formalized, interest in these games decreased and the program was discontinued.)

For the next few years the Faculty-Staff game (on the north court) gained popularity because it allowed faculty, staff, and graduate assistants to participate in a less physical game and insured at least two games each day.  The rule of one gamers getting priority evolved. Games started as soon as 10 players had arrived. If the 10th and 11th players arrived at the same time they shot to see who played in the first game. Because of the "first come first serve rule" players came earlier and earlier to be assured participation in the first game. This was especially true in semesters when 10:30 to 11:30 classes were not scheduled. (As the faculty-staff game gained in popularity undergrad students and members of the community tried to gain access to the game. The faculty-staff resisted and meetings with the Department of Recreational Services were required. Because the time was set aside by the Department of Health and Physical Education, not Recreational Service, the faculty-staff members prevailed.)  The Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education (as it was then called) extended the time for basketball to 11:30-1:30 MWF.

Opening of the Student Recreation Center: In the years prior to the opening of the Student Recreation Complex, the rules of the faculty-staff game became more formal. It was agreed that games would not start before 11:30. This saved time because those who were present at 11:30 had an equal chance of getting in the game. Shooting free shots was used to determine who played in the first game (among those present at 11:30). Because "shooting for sides" often took some time and because it favored those who were good shooters, the basketball group decided to try drawing lots to determine who played.  This met with considerable resistance from some, but the majority agreed to give it a trial period. The system was a success and was adopted on a permanent basis.

When construction of the SRC began, a group of faculty-staff met with administrators of the Department of Recreational Services. The goal was to get exclusive use of the PE West by faculty-staff (all three courts) for the MWF 11:30-1:30 time period when the new SRC opened. Recreational Services however, continued to insist that students be admitted to the PE West facility. In the fall of 1989 the new Student Recreation Complex opened and Rec Services assumed responsibility for supervision of the West Gym over the noon hour. Faculty-staff continued to have jurisdiction over the North and Center Courts and the South Court remained available to students. Community members were, however, excluded. A supervisor from Recreational Services checked ID cards of faculty, staff, and students.

The Dawn of an Organization: Early in 1993, the President of the Faculty Assembly (Bill Arnold) scheduled hearings on the use of PE West at the request of faculty-staff basketball players. The number of faculty-staff players had grown and there was a need to have all three courts available. Further, the number of student participants at West had decreased as student games at the SRC became popular. The faculty-staff used the principles outlined in preamble (see above) to argue for exclusive use from 11:30-1:30 MWF. Faculty-staff argued that students had many periods of time for which they had exclusive use of recreations facilities and six hours a week for exclusive faculty-staff use was reasonable.

Representatives at the meetings included Gerry Maas from Recreational Services, Chuck Corbin and George Watson from the faculty-staff basketball group, Prentice Williams representing community members, and a graduate student representative. After discussion, the MWF 11:30-1:30 time block was assigned to the Faculty-Staff group contingent on forming a formal organization. Because only organizations can schedule times in facilities, the Faculty-Staff Basketball Association was formed (spring of 1993). Recreational Services discontinued supervision of the gym during those hours, but agreed not to schedule other activities during that time period (this has generally been honored but the association has had to meet with Recreational Services several times to get them to adhere to the agreement). In the early years Rec Services scheduled some activities that conflicted with FSBA games but allowed members to use the SCR on those days (at no cost). This was problematic as the SRC gyms were often full and FSBA members were not allowed to have their own games unless the SRC gyms were not full. The FSBA lobbied hard to get the Department of Recreational Services NOT to schedule activities during its times. Because the association was growing (often having numbers for 3 games) graduate students were not included as members of the new association (they had opportunities in the new SRC).  Community members were also excluded (the SRC also did not allow community participation). With the new organization membership increased considerably because two games were guaranteed in a short period of time and because the group was "homogeneous" (all faculty and staff).

The Association becomes Official: As noted above, the Faculty-Staff Association was formally founded in the spring of 1993. By agreements developed by the university committee (see above) the 11:30-1:30 MWF times were formally assigned to the Association. Association bylaws (see ByLaws) were developed and submitted.  Officers were elected (March 30, 1993) and represented the Association when disputes arose (most often encroachment on time by outside groups). George Watson served as first president. Bill Hetke as the first president- elect, and Tim Ault served as first treasurer. George Watson, Chuck Corbin and Bill Arnold formalized the association bylaws and George Watson submitted them the university. An annual meeting of the Association is required each year to elect new officers. The election is to be held each May.

Participation rules were formalized and were voted on by members. Less formal rules (based on founding principles--see preamble) of play evolved as did rules for participation such as deciding who played in which game.  (The Association voted to allow participation by community member Prentice Williams, as a grandfather clause.)  Bill Arnold negotiated an agreement with Snapple, to allow them to use Faculty-Staff basketball time (for several days) to film a commercial in exchange for $500 for the Faculty-Staff Basketball Association treasury. This money allowed the group to purchase new basketballs now that it was no longer supervised by Recreational Services. In subsequent years voluntary dues were assessed to purchase equipment. Dues are now collected by the treasurer.

In 2000, the Faculty-Staff Basketball Association was instrumental in organizing forces to fight for the creation of new faculty-staff locker rooms in the West Gymnasium when the University decided to demolish the old locker rooms in the adjacent building.  In 2002, Steve Nelson created the initial list server for sending out electronic messages to members of the Association, and Mike McBeath created the inital web page for the Association.  The Faculty-Staff Basketball Association is now in its second decade of operation. Membership ranges from 50-100 members (see Members) and daily participation averages approximately 25-30.
 News Article 1994 - Part 11994 State Press Article Page 1          News Article 1994 - Part 11994 State Press Article Page 2


Organizing Committee: George Watson, Chuck Corbin, and Bill Arnold

1993-1995   George Watson
1995-1996   Bill Hetke
1996-1997   Hank Bessembinder
1997-1998   Jim Selby
1998-1999   Tom Sherman
1999-2000   Doug Cochran
2000-2001   Roger Faith
2001-2003   Steve Reynolds
2003-2004   Mike McBeath
2004-2005   Kelly Briner


1993-1999   Tim Ault
1999-Pres.   Andrew Hamilton