Fall 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the all new Basketball for the Vertically Challenged “Inside Stuff” blog brought to you by Ahmad Rashad the BFTVC organizers!

Bringing you up to speed on the news

  1. BFTVC on Shaqtin’ A Fool? This past summer BFTVC went from operating with Spurs-like efficiency to running into a few bloopers. Here’s the scoop. Our steady home at School of the Future these past 5 years underwent a change in management, and this shift in personnel led to a number of mishaps and miscommunication. And so, despite having paid permits and multiple assurances we were clear, we all had to experience the pain of showing up to play only to learn last second that the floor was being waxed or AC was getting installed, etc.


    We truly apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience! Without pointing fingers (Patrick), it shouldn’t have happened, and we’ll do our best to make sure it never happens again. The school has apologized to us and our forecast predicts calm waters ahead. As Seneca said, to err is human. As Shaq said, we were Shaqtin’ A Fool.

  2. More gym space, more runs: People have long asked us to schedule more runs and weekday runs. [Insert drum roll] We’ve done it! We have secured a new location at PS35 on Mondays from 8:30PM – 10:30PM. We hosted our inaugural run on 10/23 and we’re hoping to make this our “second home” for weekly runs every Monday. Stay tuned as Monday meetups are expected to go up in early November.


  3. New Formats:  Joining the roster of standard, full court, women’s, 50/50, new member, and seasonal tournament runs, we’ll be introducing two new formats this season:


    • Pay-What-You-Can: As a non-profit group run entirely by volunteers, we’re able to charge the lowest rates in town. Even so, we recognize that everyone comes from different financial situations and we’d never want a fee to impede anyone’s ability to play. And so, we are happy to announce the new Pay-What-You-Can weekend format. These meetups will be standard runs with a suggested donation of $6 (instead of a fixed fee-to-play). We’re aiming for December 2nd to be the inaugural run.

    • Family Run: As a group that facilitates adult co-ed basketball games, a lot of us on the court also have kids. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring your kids with you to come play? If interested, tell us what you think! If there’s enough demand, we’ll be looking to schedule a trial run in January.

  5. Expanding Our Cooperative Culture: As is well known, the BFTVC organizers are structured like a true monarchy. On the 15th of each month, we sacrifice sheep to our queen Hadas and pray for her mercy. :p Just kidding! In actuality, we’re just a laid-back, non-hierarchically organized team of volunteers who really enjoy ourselves some short people basketball. Outside of meetups and weekly correspondence, we generally meet once every couple months to put our heads together in the hopes of bringing the shorty community the best possible meetups. We invite you to join us in the process.


    • Open Invitation to Attend BFTVC Annual Board Meeting: The official date will be sometime in December. More details to come.

    • New Suggestion Basket: Have any ideas about how we can make the group better? We want to hear from you! Hit us with your best shot by dropping a message in the new Suggestion Basket.

  7. Track your BFTVC Credits: Say you RSVPed to play ball, but then you or your +1 couldn’t make it. We now have a public document where you can track your paid credits. Note that our policy is to automatically issue a refund if credits are not used within 8 weeks of the initial RSVP.

  9. Seasonal Tournaments: The Fall 2017 tournament will occur on November 11th. Sign up here!. In the meantime, check out the pantheon of past winners in the Hall of Fame.

Fall Schedule

  • Sunday, October 29: Standard Run at Earth School

  • Saturday, November 4: Standard Run at SOTF
  • Saturday, November 11: New Member Run at SOTF (under 15 meetups)
  • Saturday, November 11: Fall Tournament at Hudson Guild Elliott Center
  • Monday, November 13: Weekday Run at PS35! (pending)
  • Saturday, November 18: Women’s Run at SOTF
  • Monday, November 20: Weekday Run at PS35! (pending)
  • Saturday, November 25: Standard “Turkey” Run at SOTF
  • Monday, November 27: Split-Court Women’s and Coed Run at PS35!(pending)

  • Saturday, December 2: Inaugural “Pay-What-You-Can” suggested donation standard run at SOTF
  • Monday, December 4: Weekday Run at PS35! (pending)
  • Monday, December 11: Weekday Run at PS35! (pending)
  • Monday, December 18: Weekday Run at PS35! (pending)

Summer 2017 Newsletter

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


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!


Spring 2017 Newsletter

In the news: In case you missed it, this past Friday Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced that between Knicks games, Basketball for the Vertically Challenged games will now take place at MSG!

Our schedule for April will be as follows:

4/1 – Regular run

4/8  – Regular run

4/15 – NEW member run (15 meetups or less)

4/22 – Regular Run

4/29 – Women’s run

4/29 – BFTVC Spring Tournament (6 teams)

Spring Tournament:

We will be holding our Spring tournament on Saturday April 29th at the O’Henry Learning Center. Registration opens at 10am on Monday April 3rd. Space is limited so sign up asap.

A quick shout out to the reigning champions:

See you on the court!

-BFTVC Organizers

Winter 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year! We are happy to announce a number of changes in 2017!

First and foremost — ‘BFTVC’ is now an  officially recognized nonprofit in the state of New York. We are now ‘BFTVC Inc.’

This means we’ll finally be able to rent out new gym space (in addition to School of the Future) and schedule additional meetups throughout the week. This means more pick-up games offered in a variety of formats, more tournaments, and possibly even league play in the future.

Secondly — Speaking of tournaments, we’re super excited to bring back our wildly popular BFTVC tournament on Saturday 1/14/17. This time we will be holding it at an even larger venue to accommodate our group. Signup will begin on Jan 9th at 5pm. Get ‘em while they’re hot! See the Meetup Discussion board for details. https://www.meetup.com/Basketball-for-the-vertically-challenged/boards/thread/50497051

Thirdly As we’re sure you’ve all seen by now, BFTVC now has an official logo! And we all know that old adage, “Where there’s a logo, there’s t-shirts and merch.” We’ll soon be offering BFTVC t-shirts in black, white, blue, and red – the four classic BFTVC team colors we wear each Saturday.

Pretty soon we can all look this cool:

Fourthly Follow us on social media! (Updated on 8/21/2017)

Finally, some laundry list items

  • Credit Time Limit (new policy!): There will now be an 8-week time limit in which we ask that you use any outstanding credits. If the credit is not used during this time, we will simply issue a refund.
  • Waivers: For those of you who have not already done so, this is a reminder that you are required to sign our online liability waiver in order to be eligible to play.

You can find the online form here: goo.gl/cxdo4N

  • Refund Policy Reminder: You can get a refund/credit if you change your RSVP, as long as you do so at least 24 hours in advance. OR, you can still get a refund/credit even if you change your RSVP within 24 hours, as long as you post a comment on the event page and someone picks up your spot (BOTH are required).
  • Sign-ups: As always, remember to keep an eye out for new meetups which are released the weekend before the next month begins. (e.g. November meetups posted on October 24/25) Also, please remember to never show up unannounced.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions – please place them on a sticky note and attach them to Marc’s back when he’s not looking, or alternatively you can shoot us an email at bballshorties@gmail.com.

See you on the court, shortly!

-BFTVC organizers