GBFFL executives promise competitive 2014 season

by: Andrew Coakley, Sports Editor

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” Vince Lombardi

While some sporting organizations have not been as active over the past years and others have ceased altogether, flag football has been on the rise and this season is expected to be even better than last season.

By some way or another, the sport of flag football seemed to have taken over the island of Grand Bahama as of late, but while some seem to be of the impression that the GBFFL has somehow managed to explode over night the executives are adamant that the reality of the matter is far different. 

By all accounts last season would have been the best flag football season ever, but the executives of the GBFFL feel that they can improve on last year and make the upcoming season something that no one wants to miss. 

“Last season is over, we have a new season upon us and our aim is simple - let’s have a better season than we did last year. It doesn’t get any simpler than that,” noted President Craig Smith. 

“We can only get better if we commit ourselves to improving our product. 

“My team is committed to that cause and we want to show the teams within the league that it doesn’t matter what size team you have, what matters is that your team is willing to do what has to be done to be better than you were last season.” 

The GBFFL president noted that while players and fans were still basking in the competition and jovial atmosphere that flag football has introduced, the executives were meeting and trying to figure out what could be done to improve on their success. 

That success is defined by a growth of more than 400 players combined, the introduction of one new male team, the return of another male team and the introduction of three new female teams. 

Speaking on the issue of the officials being certified Vice President Patrick Bain wanted to clarify a misconception. 

“Some people felt that we were being told to certify our officials, but that was not the case,” said Bain.

“The call to have the officials certified came from the executive body of the GBFFL. 

“As we strive to improve over the last season, we felt that the officiating could have been a bit more consistent. 

“We looked at the option of hosting our own officiating clinic, but we felt that international visitors may not give value to our certification, so we went with an internationally recognized body to certify our officials. 

“So now, when we do host international teams, they can feel assured that the officials are competent in the execution of their duties and if they need verification, the league holds the certifications on file.” 

Bain pointed out that the league wanted to be proactive and by improving the officiating, they would not only improve the credibility of the GBFFL, but it will open up the league, as well as Grand Bahama to host international teams wanting to travel at any time to compete against local teams here in Grand Bahama.

“We didn’t wait for them to say to us, we plan to come down but we would like to have certified officials,” Bain noted. 

“We are now saying to them ‘our officials are certified, you can come as early as tomorrow if you want to because we are ready!’

“There have been too many instances where we waited until something had happened or was about to happen and then we struggled to get prepared, we want to lead by example. 

“When the players look at this executive body we want them to see that there is no reliance on luck, we are preparing now for when the opportunities come our way and we will continue to push for improvements each and every season to make the GBFFL the best that it can be.”   

Secretary of the league, Ivarene Jones explained that a key component of being able to improve is to resist the urge to become complacent. 

She noted that sometimes once people have achieved some success the majority of them tend to become complacent with such success. 

She said that the GBFFL intends to stay in the moment, because it makes the executive body feel good, and the teams within the league realize that there will always be something that the executives can improve on that will enhance the experience for the fans and the players collectively. 

“As executives our goal isn’t to become satisfied with one new team,” said Jones. 

“Our goal is to promote growth, so now we have both new and returning teams. Our goal isn’t to be satisfied with one sponsor. 

“We’ve put in the work and now we have additional sponsors, namely; Conet Bahamas, Elite Loft as well as Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company, but we are still working on additional sponsorships.” 

The GBFFL is also looking to be a league that gives back to the community.

Through the GBFFL Cares program, the executives are looking to not only make the league better, but they also want to make life a little better for those that do not have as much as others may have. 

“All of this is what we realize will help to make the upcoming season better not just for the players and executives, but for the entire community,” said Jones. 

“The GBFFL has way too much possibility for us to ever become complacent. 

“We will continuously push ourselves to provide a better environment for our fans, better conditions for our players and better credibility for our league. 

“Sometimes a situation will arise that we did not account for, but once it happens our next step is automatic; how do we prevent or minimize this instance from reoccurring?”  

Not being left out Treasurer Vincent Marshall explained that the public relations vehicle has been working for the last two months to get everyone hyped for the upcoming season. 

“Our Facebook page: GrandBahama FlagFootball has been receiving hundreds of hits daily,” said Marshall.

“We have had single posts that have been viewed over 600 times. Our YouTube videos have been doing well and persons have been subscribing to the videos. 

“From the public relations standpoint we want the general public to see familiar faces. We want you to recognize the female bank teller because she was on ZNS catching a game-winning touchdown. 

“We want them to recognize an officer on patrol, because he was recognized in The Freeport News as the Defensive Male Player of the Week. 

“We want the conversations to start on the street and in the local business houses, and continue on Sundays out at the GB Sports Complex.”

Marshall said that in the upcoming season the league will be offering performance based incentives for the “Player of the Week” which should translate into greater effort by the players and ultimately more satisfied fans. 

Last season the league averaged about 200 persons in attendance in terms of fans, so this season they want to double that number to 400 persons. 

Published  Friday, March 14,  2014

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