2014 Kevin McAuliffe City Softball League Ė Captains Meeting Recap
The League was well represented across 11 teams during the Captains Meeting for the 2014 Season held on Thursday, March 13, 2014.† As of the Captains Meeting, 18-20 teams are projected for the 2014 Season.
The League has existed since 1991 and continues to thrive.††
Expectation of Captains
Captains are the eyes and ears for the league.† The Captains are the most important keys to running a successful and efficient league. Unless specified, the League uses ASA rules.† Captains should always have the League specific rules with them when playing to clarify in the event that the League rule overrules the existing ASA rule.
Constant email updates are sent out throughout the season that indicates schedule changes, rule clarifications and the infamous playoff scenarios.† The primary and secondary contacts are included on the emails unless otherwise specified.† If captains know they will be out of town and the secondary contact is unavailable, a backup contact should be indicated.
Starting in the 2013 Season, the League has established a Twitter Handle of @GWhyNotSoftball
Expectation of Teams and Team Members
When the game starts, the Umpire owns the game. If I am present or reachable by phone, the Umpire is still in charge.†
Along the same lines, team members must maintain courteous and competitive behavior. Taunting, fighting, and lewd behavior will not be accepted.† Unless I have missed something, this is a recreational softball league.† No one is going to the majors and we all participate in order to have a good time in a competitive and sportsmanlike atmosphere. Most teams in the league are corporate teams that are made up of players with different skill levels.† Any incidents could potentially result in us losing the permits.
There was some conversation regarding the umpires. We contract the umpiring to the Big Apple Umpiring Association, which is a group of umpires who are certified by the ASA.† I communicate regularly with the Umpire Chief and raise issues with him regarding umpires timeliness, skill level, and professionalism. If you have any complaints about umpires, please contact me and explain the situation. I will then follow up with the Umpire Chief.†
Prior to the game, the umpire should be made aware of the primary contact for the team.† Only that individual may stop the game and speak with the umpire.† Effective this season, both teams are required to capture the umpires name prior to the game.† In the 2013 Season, we had a tracking dispute with one umpire and the plan is to now have even more detailed accounting.†
Upon completion of your games, it is necessary to have the umpire sign your scorebook in order for you to have a record of which umpire did your game. When submitting your results this season, please include the name of the umpire who did your game.† Along the same lines, we have a ton of great umpires.† If there is an umpire that you have positive feedback on, feel free to share that information as well. Positive feedback is appreciated and helps me work with the umpire chief in selecting the umpires to officiate during the playoffs.
Rosters mostly work on the honor system.† Please use proper judgment and try to maintain a consistent group of players during the season!† Playoffs require 4 games of participation.
Effective since the 2011 season, Iím requiring all of the teams to complete a team waiver and to have the waiver sent to the Commissioner as well as with you at all games.† The League purchases ASA Team Insurance each season and in return gains minimal coverage and also entitles each team to receive a scorebook and rule book.
The existing waiver form is located at http://www.gwhynot.com/2011Waiver.pdf
It will be reviewed and updated if required.
Permit Status and Game Times
The city has switched to a new permit system this year.† There are some additional benefits and some drawbacks with the new system.† The key difference is that the permit looks much different. Please be aware of this change.
As of the Captainís Meeting, the Manhattan permits for the East River and DeWitt Clinton have been received.† The Commodore Barry permits are almost completed after some initial feedback and the Prospect Park office seems behind.†
Two things were discussed.
First, the annual Modellís Team Week Coupon for 15% off is available through 4/20 and may be found at http://www.gwhynot.com/ModellsSpring2014.pdf
Please notify the Commissioner if there are any problems or safety concerns at the fields.† With all of the technology available, please do not hesitate to take a photo.† Moreover, please leverage 311 as they pride themselves as being responsive and every issue will then be logged and reviewed.† This includes everything from the grass needing to be cut to that there are overflowing trash cans.†
Smartphone users can download the 311 application and report problems at http://www1.nyc.gov/connect/applications.page,
311 is available as well by phone. All calls to 311 are answered by a 311 Call Center Representative, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Assistance is available in over 170 languages.† Within New York City dial 311 and outside of NYC call (212) 639-9675.† The website is located at http://nyc.gov/apps/311/homepage.htm.
To help monitor and understand the conditions of the fields, I am requesting that 2 or 3 people volunteer to provide feedback to me on field conditions.†† There is no formal responsibility, but to keep me up to date on how the fields are being taken care of and if there are unsafe playing situations.
Scheduling is always an inexact science and one of the most challenging aspects of running any type of league or organization.† The completion of the Contact Forms serves as a guideline for me.†
The season is slated to start the first full week of April.† Please be patient the first few weeks as Iím still processing payments before working on the schedule.
Playoff Ranking and Breakout
Everyone makes the playoffs and depending on the number of teams, there is often a bye.† The Strength of Schedule is used as the primary tiebreaker.† It is a custom formula that I apply.
Umpires are assigned by the Umpire Chief who receives the game days and times from the Commissioner. Umpires are usually at the field 15 minutes before game time.† At times, there are emergencies like last season where an umpire was in a car accident and did not attend.† Please follow the League Rules around the Missing Umpire if an umpire is late or does not attend.†
As a reminder, if no umpire is present, the rules state for the teams to communicate what their desire would be if no umpire ever comes to the game as defined in Rule 3.11.† The options are to both take a win or to reschedule the game. This only applies after the completion of the third inning of the game.† In the interim, a member of the offensive team will serve as the umpire standing behind the pitching mound as the game is played
Never ever pay an umpire at the field. If the umpire asks for money, he is not one of our certified Big Apple Umpires. The umpires should know any of the following:† Big Apple Umpires; Mr. Johnson; or my name.† If they do not know any of these, please contact me.† The League Fee covers the umpires.
Field Requires Maintenance
Please contact the Commissioner and follow the 311 process.
The weather is always a challenge throughout the season.† Games are usually decided on inclement weather days 2 hours before game time. If there is a weather expert among the teams, please contact the Commissioner.
The plan is to try and use DarkSky this year for its prognosis.† Derek also volunteered to lend a hand as a weather aficionado.
Forfeits are inconvenient and frustrating for all those involved.† If you have to forfeit, please allow as much time as possible in order for the Commissioner to notify the other team.† Forfeits require a phone call to the Commissioner as emails are not always instantly reviewed.
Room for Improvement
There are always ways to improve the League.† If there a field scout or a group of members of the League who go by the fields, any information on inclement days are always appreciated.† Likewise, a report on the condition of the fields is always helpful.
Finally, it is a dream to have a good solid logo for the League.† If anyone is a good designer and would like to take on this task, please contact the Commissioner.†
Potential Rule Changes
This was where we spent the majority of the meeting and there were three main topics:
2. Courtesy Runners
3. Extending the Batting Order
ASA rules require runners to slide at 2nd and 3rd base when there is a play.† Failure to slide gives the umpire the ability to call the runner out.† Due to the vast conditions at the field, it will be required to discuss plays at the plate with the umpire prior to the game. †Catchers should not block the plate when there is no play.† For plays the plate, collisions should be avoided. The umpire and the team captainís will establish the safety possibilities at the plate.
There was an animated discussion around the Courtesy Runners and a proposal was made to limit the number of runners per team with courtesy runners to 2.† A League Wide vote will be required to make the formal change. Additionally, it was discussed that the two runners must be declared prior to the game.† If a player becomes injured during the game than an additional courtesy runner may be granted.
A desire was raised to extend the Batting Order to allow more people the opportunity to hit.† After a short debate, there was a consensus to set a maximum of 14 batters.† It is not required to bat all 14, but is an option afforded to the Captains.† The batters will be treated like Extra Hitters and may play the field.
Sometimes I am contacted by players looking to join a team and Iíve had luck placing them in the past. If you have an open roster spot, please let me know.†
Contacting the Commissioner
I do not go anywhere without my cellphone.† I always try to have it near me around game time.† If there is a problem, please text, call, and email to make certain that I have been made aware of your concerns.† This especially includes forfeits.† Again, my cell is 917-807-0947 and email for the League is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I reminded everyone that ASA had banned a bunch of bats last season.† All players are recommended to read the rules as Iíve listed the previously banned list.† Use of an Altered Bat will result in immediate suspension.† Cracked, worn, or damaged bats are not altered bats, but will be removed from play. This list is final and not open to debate.
A list of approved bats may be found at http://www.asasoftball.com/about/certified_equipment.asp. †You should look for the ASA approved seal.† If a batís status is uncertain, then the team should remove the bat from play.
This was discussed above, but the name of the umpire must be submitted with every game result.
In preparation for the All Star Game and also for postseason award consideration, Iím asking that with each result, you highlight three stars of the game for both teams.† I will use this as the season progresses.
To try and get a feel of the League each week, Iím going to try and send out a Weekly Recap targeted for Fridayís called Softball Scoop Fridayís.† It will highlight the state of the League weekly.† It will evolve as the season progresses.