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Gold Medal Basketball Tournament organizers announced Thursday they will expand the popular B bracket and extend the new master's bracket, while eliminating the women's bracket and intermediate bracket.
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The women's bracket, started in 2000, and the intermediate bracket, launched in 2005, will be dropped because of a lack of attendance by fans and the need to reduce the number of games to a more manageable level, according to the Juneau Lions Club, which sponsors the tournament.
The board of directors approved the changes for the 62nd annual Gold Medal tournament, slated for March 16-22, 2008.
The invitational tournament raises funds for youth scholarships throughout Southeast Alaska and contributions to organizations that serve the region.
"The fans turn out in large numbers to see the B and C bracket games, and that enables us to raise the funds we use to help our communities," Juneau Lions Club President Ted Burke said. "On the other hand, the women's and intermediate games did not have a big draw."
The 2007 Gold Medal Tourney featured five divisions, with more than 48 games over a seven-day period.
"Hosting that number of games and brackets was a huge challenge to our club and our tremendous volunteers," Burke said. "It increased the demand of hours for all workers, reduced available free time for our out-of-town visitors, and it increased our overall operating costs. Bottom line: By simplifying the tournament, we should be able to distribute more funds to the youth, communities and organizations we serve."
Burke said details are still being worked out for the increased number of teams in the B, C and master's brackets.
"Letters of interest for the 2008 tournament will be sent by Co-Chairs Lions Ed Hotch and Steve Bradner shortly," he said.
For more information, contact the tourney co-chairmen or e-mail email@example.com.