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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hoopfest still seeking court monitors

Check the database of court monitors who have volunteered to help maintain law and order during Hoopfest 2005 and you will probably pull up more than 630 names.

According to Chad Smith, Hoopfest’s operations director and the man responsible for recruiting and assigning court monitors for the three-on-three street basketball event, that is about 80 more than the 550 organizers estimate they will need.

But Smith claims that 630 number is a “house of cards,” explaining that during the week leading up to Hoopfest between 100-150 volunteer court monitors typically back out of their commitments, some of which were made months ago, citing previously unknown conflicts.

“It’s like, ‘I signed up back in March, but we’ve scheduled a family reunion,’ or something like that,” said Smith, who is working his fourth Hoopfest. “The week before, we start losing people pretty quickly.”

In addition, many court monitors leave after the two-day event has started, often for reasons beyond their control, such as illness or family emergencies.

Which is why Hoopfest has continued advertising for court monitors, despite reaching its numbers goal several weeks ago.

Up until last year, one of the main problems with figuring out how many court monitors to accept was the penchant for many to pick up the Hoopfest gear given to all volunteers and then never show up at their assigned court.

Hoopfest officials now require court monitor volunteers to sign a waiver and provide a copy of a driver’s license, or some other from identification, so they can be contacted if they fail to show and have their gear reclaimed.

Smith said they have very few problems with that now.

Anyone still interested in volunteering to become a Hoopfest court monitors can call the Hoopfest office at 624-2414.

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