Yeah, super loud and tons of people.
With a lot of area to cover every day, there was a far door near the parking lot that I'd been going in to get to all the different courts. The second to the last day of the tournament I went through that same door and didn't think a thing of it.
I should have, apparently.
As my son and I were making our way to his next game, I was stopped by two security guards. These men told me I couldn't be there. I explained I was his mother, had been attending the tournament all week. The man in front of me informed me that the first few days of the tournament are free for spectators, but on the weekend, everyone, even parents, must pay $12.50 to watch. (They must have made a killing with so many people that were there to watch!) The security guard behind him was nodding his head and watching me warily, like he thought I was going to bolt or something. It was a little surreal as I realized what was going on.
Since I didn't have a wristband that proved I paid, the security guards escorted me out so I could buy one. Yep, two security guards, one in front and one in back, frog-marching me to the lobby. It was strange to me that they needed both security guards for me. Did they think a basketball mom wouldn't go quietly? Maybe I look stronger than I think? Since I've never been in this sort of trouble before, it was my first personal brush with the "law" and very memorable for this mom.
Never fear, though, I paid the fee, got the wristband and my "escorts" let me back in to watch my boy play. At least I got a great journal entry out of it and I can definitely use this experience in my next book. Ahhh, the joy of being an author . . .