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Old Sat Sep 01, 2001, 01:12am
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Even though this is not a referee question, I could use some advice. As I have stated before, I am on the board of our local rec league. We have about 120 teams in grades 3-8, both boys and girls. We have some cash to spend to buy new equipment and we need some portable scoreboards and basketballs. We have decided on the type of portable scoreboard and only have to decide between two almost identical models. This is where I could use some input.

One model runs strictly off of AC power, while the other has a rechargable battery that lets it run for 4 hours. It also runs off AC power. Our game days usually run about 8 hours, so I can't see much advantage in getting the rechargable ones, and we don't have any problems in gyms with running cords to plugs, although it would be nice if we didn't have to. The price difference is about $150 more for those (we are probably buying 5 or 6). Can anyone think of a good reason to get the rechargable ones? Frankly, the money is not really an issue, since we are very cash heavy at this time and need to reduce our cash, because we are a non-profit.

I could also use some opinions on leather vs. composite balls. These would be strictly for indoor use, sometimes on wood floors, sometimes on composition floors. Again, price is not really an issue.

Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks guys (and you too, Juulie).
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2001, 02:16am
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The only advantage that I can see in having the rechargable scroeboards is for possible use outdoors for football or soccer. Either way, be sure the scorebard has a good strong horn. The ones that our Rec dept. bought sound more like a chirping bird. It's almost impossible to hear the final horn.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2001, 02:50am
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Basketballs..... It's personal, but I just like the feel of leather...
I would go with the straight AC... If you needed to go somewhere AC-less (probably outside somewhere), you could buy an power "inverter" (DC to AC)and run it from any vehicle with a 12 Volt battery.
I use them to run AC devices, such as incubators and aerators, when I'm transporting eggs and fish.... They work great. You'd just need to make sure of the scoreboards power requirements to buy the right size "Inverter".
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2001, 10:00am
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If money's not an issue, I would suggest (if possible) buying the battery operated scoreboard and extra batteries. When the first one of the day gets sluggish, switch over to the backup.

If that is not possible (based on design or cost), then go with the AC model - there's no point in having a scoreboard that you can only use for half of the day.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2001, 03:41pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Padgett
I could also use some opinions on leather vs. composite balls. These would be strictly for indoor use, sometimes on wood floors, sometimes on composition floors. Again, price is not really an issue.
Nothin' like the feel of leather, man!
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Old Mon Sep 03, 2001, 10:54am
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Basketballs

I recently decided to coach my 10 year old 5th grade girls team this year. I found a great buy on girl's BB at overstock.com. They are composite leather, good for indoor or outdoor. But the feel is really good. The ball is a Wilson Jet Composite Leather 28.5 and the price was $20.14 per ball with free shipping. I bought six balls a couple of months ago, but the special may still be available. You might buy half AC & half rechargeable that way you can go either way.
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Old Mon Sep 03, 2001, 10:56pm
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If money is not an object, why not go with the Rechargable model. For those days when you use it for 8 hours straight, go with the A/C, which you would have to do anyway with the other model. If you ever need it for outside use where there is no power, you have that option also.
My personal preference is leather for the balls.
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Old Tue Sep 04, 2001, 12:56am
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Smile thanks everybody

As I expected, your input was very helpful. Just so you know, the batteries are not movable from unit to unit, so we couldn't have one charged to pop in after the first 4 hours, and we never use these where there is no power, like outside, so I guess we'll go with the A/C units. I thought that was what we would wind up with, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

As to the balls, we have the opportunity to get those composites that don't get slippery. In fact, this catalog even has a "junior" size that is one inch smaller than the woman's ball, and we're going to get that size just for 3rd grade.

Even though these are just kids, we always buy wide channel, since we think they give more control while dribbling and passing. Maybe that's just a unwarranted perception, but everyone here seems to think they're better.

We're going to donate the old scoreboards to the school district along with some of the old balls. We will also give some of the balls to a local non-profit that owns and manages some low-income housing projects that have a lot of kids who would love some basketballs.
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Old Tue Sep 04, 2001, 10:11am
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Re: thanks everybody

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Padgett
Just so you know, the batteries are not movable from unit to unit, so we couldn't have one charged to pop in after the first 4 hours, and we never use these where there is no power, like outside, so I guess we'll go with the A/C units. I thought that was what we would wind up with, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
If you should ever think you might need to operate these units where there isn't AC, check into an "Inverter". These little units will convert DC to AC. They have outputs that can range from 300 to 1700 Watts which should be pretty close to what your score boards are operating at. Price range at these wattages are approximately $45.00 to $550.00. And it's not too hard finding at least a dozen websites that sell them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Padgett

Even though these are just kids, we always buy wide channel, since we think they give more control while dribbling and passing. Maybe that's just a unwarranted perception, but everyone here seems to think they're better.
If I'm not mistaken, the big boys, in tennis and baseball, use those channels to slow the ball down for a good look. I don't believe it's an unwarranted perception. While they may offer better physical control, they may also offer better visual control.
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Old Tue Sep 04, 2001, 03:54pm
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An additional thought....

One advantage of the battery operated units is if your area sufferes from occassional blackouts. Of course, your gym must have enough windows to continue play. However, even a short "bump" could cause a loss of the clock etc. where the battery system, I assume, would be impervious to that. Unfortunately in our gym a "bump" causes us to lose our lights for 10-13 minutes. Some rainy Saturdays are pretty frustrating....

As for the balls, I checked with local high schools to learn exactly which ball they are using. I bought the same ball for our league games. I can honestly say I've done what I can to easy the transition from our church league (56 teams,~550 kids) to high school play. Our program combines 8-10 year olds, so we start everyone on the 28.5 ball.
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Old Tue Sep 04, 2001, 06:19pm
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Re: An additional thought....

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Ogg
Unfortunately in our gym a "bump" causes us to lose our lights for 10-13 minutes.
We have the halogens in all our gyms, too. Unfortunately, if the lights go out, the gyms are all too dark for play until they fully come back on, so having a battery powered scoreboard wouldn't be an advantage - but it was a good thought. Thanks.
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Old Sun Oct 14, 2001, 05:35pm
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No opinion here really on the scoreboards, bubt i'd highly recomend the Spalding top flite 1000 bballs, or the wilson solution.
Tyler
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