A Captain's meeting was held on Tuesday, March 21, 2006. We had 14 teams represented. To all of those who attended the Captain's meeting, thank you. For those who were not able to attend and for those who did attend, here is a recap. Please note that I have added some details when relevant.
The Agenda was as follows:
v Expectation of Captain's
v Overview of field space
v League Fee
v Code of Conduct / End of Game Procedures
v Banned Bats
v Extra Hitter
v Extra Hitter #2 – Bonus Hitter
v Pitching Styles
v Mercy Rule
v Field Condition and Maintenance
v Who was Kevin?
v Bulk purchasing of equipment and Uniforms
v Distribution of Scorebooks
v Open Discussion
v Final Thoughts
Captains are my 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.
Late last season, I had put together a new captain’s guide. If I have time over the next week, I’ll update it and post it on the League website.
I updated everyone on where we stand so far for the permits for this season. Again, I reiterated that the Parks Department had purchased a new software system for ball field scheduling that has been delaying the process and creating some confusion.
Parks Department Update
We'll again be on Commodore Barry fields 01 and 02. We will be starting on April 17th.
Parks Department Update
The Manhattan permit office had some confusion related to our permits. I’m not expecting us to have similar space as last year playing on the East River and at Dewitt Clinton. Times will vary from 6 to 9 pm.
I have spoken with Con Edison and expect that we will again receive the fields to use starting in July.
We will now have 14 dates at Murry Bergtraum this year. We’ll have usage starting in April through June on Monday’s and then in July on Friday’s. We’ll return to Monday’s for August. This field is one that is closely watched. It is by far the most expensive field that we use and our costs have gone up dramatically for this year as they’ve recently added a number of additional charges. Unfortunately, I have set the league fee and will find a way to make things work.
There is still an outside chance that we may acquire some additional space in Manhattan on the upper west side at Riverside Park. If you know of any location, public or private, that may have space, please let me know.
The League Fee this year will be $1100. The fee is due by Monday, April 3, 2006. Any team that has not paid the fee in full will not be part of this year's league. Currently, we have 24 teams slated to participate this year. Depending if I can secure some additional space, I may be able to add 2 more teams.
The price of the permits for public space remained the same for this season. As of 2003, the permit cost is now either $16 or $32 plus the cost of lights. You may see these differences in costs on the front of the permit that you bring to game. Murry Bergtraum is a private field that has its own cost structure. It is now about five to six times the cost to use this field.
In addition, I informed everyone that the Personal Liability insurance that the league takes out per team was raised again. These costs are included in the League Fee.
If you require an invoice or a W-2 to be filled out, please let me know via email and I will produce an invoice or complete a form for you.
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. There were a couple of incidents last year that were embarrassing to a few players and their teams. This is a reflection of the league and depending upon who was present could potentially result in us losing the permits.
There was some conversation regarding the behavior and timeliness of 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.
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. This will further assist you if you have a problem with any of the umpires. When submitting your results this season, please include the name of the umpire who did your game, as I will be tracking more closely this season. 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.
I reminded everyone that ASA had banned a bunch of bats last season. All players are recommended to read the rules as I’ve 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 bat’s status is uncertain, then the team should remove the bat from play.
The Extra Hitter often creates a lot of unnecessary confusion. The Extra Hitter may be substituted in and out of the game as long as the individual remains in the same spot in the batting order. Only ten fielders may be in the field at any point in time.
Today the lineup may consist of 11 batters. A request was made to enable for a 12th batter if and only if a team chooses to bat a 12th player. To reiterate, only 10 players would be eligible for the field for any given inning. Effectively, this rule introduces a second Extra Hitter now referred to as Bonus Hitter. Like the Extra Hitter, this player may be substituted in and out of the game as long as the individual remains in the same spot in the batting order.