"I'm not the most popular guy at Hoopfest"

Published On: Jul 01 2012 06:34:11 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2012 02:31:32 PM PDT
Court monitor
SPOKANE -

Volunteers at Hoopfest say they keep track of every one of the 7,000 teams, which allows them to catch the cheaters.

The scoreboard is the end result, but it doesn't always tell the story. Sometimes fouls and disputes end a team's run at Hoopfest before the score can send them home.

For those problems, there's Ron McIntire.

"It's why I come back here every year," he said.

McIntire has volunteered at every Hoopfest, and now he's the head player eligibility marshal. He checks on things like the players height to see if they're trying to squeeze their six foot five frame, into the six feet and under bracket.

"An hour into the tournament I disqualified an entire team for being over height, they didn't like that," McIntire said.

McIntire also checks for skill level. Sunday morning, one player was disqualified because their captain wrote one player only played until six grade, when in fact, he played for Gonzaga.

"He didn't personally fill out the form, it was somebody on his team that did it, but all of the sudden he finds himself in a recreational bracket playing against players he's so much better than," McIntire said.

McIntire's job gets more complicated verifying the grade level of little kids. Volunteers will even check registrations from other tournaments.

"They'll be playing there as fifth graders and then all of the sudden they're playing here as 4th graders. What, did they all go backwards? No."

McIntire says he volunteers for the love of the game, even if those playing in it don't always love him back.

"I'm not the most popular guy at Hoopfest," he joked.

If there is a dispute about the grade level, even after the games are over, the volunteers will sometimes call the school of the disputed player to check their grade level. If they find out they're lying, the whole team could be banned from Hoopfest.