Gus Macker tourney changes date

Published 11:08 pm Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gus Macker will still be visiting Ironton this year but this 5th visit will be a little later than usual.

The Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament has been changed from its typical mid-May date to June 6 and 7 this year.

“We have received a lot of feedback and requests from parents to move the tournament date to the summer months so that their kids could participate in their school activities and still get to play in the Ironton Gus Macker,” said Joyce Lynd, tournament chairwoman. “The Friends of Ironton Macker Committee thought it would be worth trying the date change this year to see how things go.”

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Nearly 300 teams participated in the two-day event last year, drawing an estimated 12,000 people to the downtown area that is converted into dozens of street courts and recreation areas.

Rick Jansen, one of the Friends of Ironton founders, said the civic group started the tournament in 2005 as a way to inject some positive energy into the city.

“I think this is critically important to Ironton. Economically, it creates a lot of good things. It gives youth something positive to do, a healthy activity,” Jansen said. “It also gives people something to be excited about and be proud of.”

In previous years, the Ironton Gus Macker has been scheduled during the school year, often resulting in conflicts with other extracurricular school activities such as track, baseball and proms.

Another factor was that middle and high school players who played basketball for their schools were under Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines which restricted the number of school team players allowed to play together in any other organized basketball game.

“In talking with local coaches, we have found that the date change falls within the 10 instructional days for basketball as set by the OHSSA guidelines and rules. This allows for more than two players from the same school to play on the same Macker team,” Lynd said. “We still advise that each participant consult with the head coach or athletic director from your school to confirm that your participation is not a violation of OHSSA guidelines or rules.”

One of the features of this year’s tournament will be the $1,000 slam dunk contest, an event that always gets the crowds excited and attracts some high flyers from around the region.

The entry fee for teams is $116. Mailed entries must be postmarked by May 15. Online entry forms can be completed through May 18.

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