NORWICH – This year marks the 15th year of Norwich’s Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. As tournament director, Tom Revoir has organized all but the very first of these weekend-long events.
Sponsored annually by the Norwich Family YMCA, “Macker” as it is almost universally known, draws more than 1,700 players and some 10,000 spectators each July.
According to Revoir, who took over the tournament reins from Jamey Mullen following that first successful year, the event has evolved over time.
“It’s pretty amazing, to be honest with you,” he said. In its inaugural year, Macker attracted 200 teams, but only after the deadline was extended.
From there, “it took off like wildfire,” he said. In the second year, they topped 300. By year four, Revoir’s third as tournament director, registrations climbed to 585 teams. Since then, however, they’ve scaled things back, limiting the competition to 400 teams. It wasn’t that they were finding it difficult to find teams, but rather, finding an adequate number of people to serve as referees, known as Gus Busters.
“We determined that we did not have the volunteer base to support an event that big,” he explained.
Even at its present size, it is often a daunting task to ensure that an adequate number of people each year to serve as not only Gus Busters, scorekeepers, work registration, do the set up and tear down, etc.