It’s the kind of sight that you typically only see during concert ticket sales for world-famous artists, but this was “just for the fun of it”.
On the very early morning of Saturday, September 7th, hundreds of Kingstonians lined up outside of the St Francis of Assisi Catholic School on Wiley St to register their children for the Pete Petersen Basketball League.
Lindsey Yonick-Mundacruz and her husband tag-teamed to ensure she was first in line. “He arrived at 4:45 yesterday afternoon,” she said, “and then I traded off with him at 11:30 last night, after I was done work.”
She was joined in line shortly thereafter by Sara Thompson and Teresa Steele.
League organizer Roland Billings says the crowd size is not unusual.
“It varies year to year. Some camp out overnight…most arrive between five and seven. Last year for our younger girls group you could have walked in at 10:25 and registered, but the first one in line for that age group was there at 2 am.”
Billings says the reasons for the popularity of the league are two-fold. “The affordability of paying $10 for the season is a big draw, and we have a good reputation in the community too,” he said.
While registration only technically began at 9 a.m., league organizers were also on-hand many hours beforehand to make sure that registrants were comfortable and enjoying their time in line.
“People visit in line, and we give out coffee, juice and donuts too when we get there,” said Billings.
“We always fill up, so that will mean 474 players on 38 teams in 5 divisions, and we keep a waiting list in all groups in case players drop out because of other activities. People line up very early on registration day because we go first come first served to keep access equal for everyone every year. No on line registration and no pre-registration,” he continued.
“It is a nice atmosphere. I regret that every year a few people don’t get in.”
More information about the league can be read at justforthefunofit.ca.