JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
For everyone at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph with a Department of Defense ID card who is at least 18 years old, it's time to lace up the sneakers; the 2012-2013 intramural basketball season begins Dec. 4 with preseason action.
The season will run until late March, allowing teams to play 15-20 games, plus playoff games, and a chance to compete in the JBSA intramural basketball tournament after the local season ends.
Ten teams competed in last year's season and even more teams are expected to sign up this season, Rikk Prado, 902nd Force Support Squadron Rambler Fitness Center sports manager, said.
With more teams, the potential for increased competition is present.
"I had a huge turnout for tryouts to the Randolph varsity team (separate from Randolph's high school team)," Prado said. "That lets me know there were more players competing for limited spots, so we have higher quality players all around on base.
"This isn't a league where you go out to try and get exercise; it gets very competitive."
Practicing with your team as much as possible before and during the season may be the difference between staying safe and getting hurt, Prado said.
Take it from Airman 1st Class Walter Messer, Air Force Personnel Center management level review specialist, whose team went 14-1 last year to win the Randolph championship.
"Getting practice in and figuring out who your starters will be is very important," he said. "It's all about developing team chemistry early."
Messer's team advanced to the JBSA tournament but lost in the first round.
"The competition can get pretty brutal (at the next level)," Messer added.
Part of building chemistry requires team members to play together for an extended amount of time, which "doesn't always happen when military members are tasked to deploy," Prado said.
To fill that void, family members of ID cardholders are eligible to play on a team, as long as their sponsor has a basketball team assembled.
"If a player you want doesn't work for you and doesn't have a DoD card, run them by me first," Prado said.
The games, which will be played in 18-minute halves and officiated using NCAA rules, are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6 p.m. at the Rambler Fitness Center.
To sign up or for more information, call Prado at 652-2955.