Public hearing on future of OAL set for Thursday

I have a story that should make it into tomorrow’s papers (at least the Oakland Tribune), but just wanted to get the word out and get a little discussion going here about the future of the Oakland Athletic League. There was a lot of chatter, particularly back in June, that the OAL was looking into the possibility of joining the NCS. I’ve talked to a lot of people about the topic, both formally and informally off the record, and my opinion was always that this was a longshot to happen because quite frankly, almost nobody wanted it to.

I compare this situation to a kid misbehaving right before a family is about to go away on a vacation. The bags are packed, the trip is paid for and everybody, parents included, wants to go on vacation. But the parents tell the kids that the trip is canceled because they’re being a brat. What happens? The kids apologizes, gets his act together and they go on the trip and everyone is happy. That’s basically what’s happening here. The OAL is coming off a bad year, one where there was no commissioner and there was a lot of chaos. So in steps some school board members and the NCS and CIF talking about having the OAL merge with another section. There’s enough powerful and vocal people in Oakland, even if they aren’t associated with OAL schools anymore, that as soon as word of that spreads, a reaction is met. A commissioner has been hired, people are ready to be active and get the league back in shape again and the league should survive.

Still, Thursday’s hearing is a great thing. Nothing sparks improvement better than the hint of major change. (Ever had a boss threaten to fire you to make you get your act together or have you ever threatened to quit a job to try to get more money?) I’m expecting a good turnout of folks to voice their opinion. For those needing the info, the meeting’s at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Board Room of the Paul Robeson Building at 1025 2nd Avenue, Oakland.

Attached here are the agenda for the meeting and also Commissioner Moore’s recommendation for those who want to read more.



Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Michael Moore, Sr.

    Thanks for keeping Oakland informed!

    Commissioner Moore

  • Desmond Camper

    I think OAL should Merge with the San Francisco Section and Create A Bay Section.You can two division sort of like The ACC and have a championship playoff in football and playoffs for basketball. Oh yea why dont Leagues like the HAAL and EBAL have League Tourneys in Basketball instead of lets see who has the best record and thy get a playoff berth. You would see some great basketball in tourneys

  • Desmond,
    Back in the day (aka, back when I played in the HAAL), there were league playoffs in at least basketball and baseball. I think a lot of leagues in the area that used to have playoffs have gone away from them because most teams that would end up making the league playoffs are still going to advance to NCS anyways, so the league playoffs are a bit redundant. Personally, I liked when there were league playoffs because it was a lot simpler to figure out if you had a postseason chance as a player. You knew if you were in the top four, you were in. But I do see why most leagues have dumped them and I doubt we’d see many league bring them back.