Summer 2017 Newsletter

Please join us for pizza and drinks this Saturday to celebrate 7 years and some exciting news!

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Dear Shorties,

This fall will mark seven years since I founded Basketball for the Vertically Challenged. Looking for some pickup hoops on the regular, but severely lacking in the height (and um, skills) department, I created a group on meetup.com where I thought I might stand a chance of playing with an occasionally clear shot at the hoop. I called it Basketball for the Vertically Challenged (BFTVC).

At first, attendance was sparse as shorties began to trickle in. At the second meetup, Bobby showed up, and we played one-on-one. But within a few months, our popularity boomed. Soon BFTVC had a waiting list every Saturday to play. And our ragtag team of superhero organizers went from one to two to six. Patrick joined in 2011, Ross in 2012. Iveta and Marc completed the team in 2013.

Over time, we finessed our approach. We have made a home for people excited about the game of basketball, want to push themselves and play hard, but keep things friendly, easy-going, and inclusive to people of all skill levels and genders…as long as you’re not over 5’8″! With BFTVC, shorties have thrived on the court, made friends off the court, kept a little more fit, all while having a lot more fun…

In June 2015, we hit 1000 members. And we’re now proud to say that, in terms of size (ironic, huh?), we’re the most popular basketball Meetup in New York, one of the top 5 in the country, and now sport almost 1500 members! We’re so popular in fact, you may have noticed it can be pretty challenging to get a spot to play with us.

So we’re ready to take it to the next level. But we need your help!

In October 2016 we became an official non-profit. At minimum, this should help us get more gym space to run more meetups. At maximum, it’s the first step towards world domination. Er, I mean, much more fun 😉

And this summer we’re launching a new BFTVC logo, a website, social media brands, and of course… some BFTVC SWAG. We’ll be bringing our first run of BFTVC t-shirts (in red/blue/white/black for pickup games) to our end-of-the-season party!

Here’s a peek at what else we’d like to do this coming season:

  • Expand our meetups to include more days a week, at more locations;
  • Outreach to grow our membership;
  • Have annual meetings open to any member to discuss ideas and next steps;
  • Collaborate with other groups;
  • Continue to experiment with different formats, tournaments, skills trainings, building up our women’s runs, and more;
  • Introduce a new “pay-what-you-can” run, since we recognize that everyone’s financial situation is different and would never want cost to prohibit someone from playing;

And of course: Keep our best-deal-in-town price of six bucks a pop for three hours of play!

So how can you help grow our BFTVC community?

We need your ideas, your time, and of course… your spare change!

  • Volunteer: We’re looking for volunteers to help run additional meetups, do outreach work, and pitch in with some basic grunt work. It is a glamorous life!
  • Spread the Word: Invite your short friends and coworkers to come join the party. Keep up-to-date with us by following our website and social media: Instagram (seriously, Ross takes some amazing photos), Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Become a BFTVC Supporter: We are launching a BFTVC Supporter campaign this fall. For an annual (not as-of-yet tax exempt, but soon!) donation you will help us grow!

If you can contribute at least $50 a year, we’ll throw in a few perks for good measure:

  1. A free BFTVC t-shirt;
  2. Two free meetups a year;
  3. Once-a-month “first dibs” Meetups and other events for BFTVC Supporters;
  4. Your name on our BFTVC Supporter page on our website (optional);
  5. The satisfaction of knowing that you were part of the BFTVC adventure from the jump.

Please feel free to reach out to me or any of the BFTVC organizers with any questions.

See you on the court!

Hadas