A Message from our League President ... Bill SeDoris
After the April General Board meeting, many of those in attendance walked around the fields, with the lights on. We were doing our first light check of the year. It was so beautiful out there on the fields. Softball season is back.
Creedence Clearwater had a big hit back in the seventies with "Who'll Stop the Rain." I wish I would've paid attention to who that person was, so we could call on them again. Mother Nature has been very tough on us as we begin our 51st season. Most of our practices during the first two weeks, including our first set of practice games have been rained out. Hopefully that will be past us and we'll be able to start playing ball again.
At last count, we have 374 girls registered to play this year. We continue to get phone calls and request for more to join. I don't ever remember us having this many girls playing. We finally have enough players in the Adult Women's League to field a third team. This has been a personal goal of mine since my oldest daughter played. Union Township teams will be playing in our league again this year. There will be at least one Union Township team in every division except our 4U, only because Union Township had to consolidate their 4U and 6U teams. We are also working closely with Portage again this year. In addition to all our regular season games and our Mid Season Tournament, we will have a weekend tournament with Portage for all divisions. Our 8U and 10U teams will also have a weekend tournament in Union Township. The girls are going to get a lot of playing time this year. As long as Mother Nature cooperates, we will still have the season completed for all divisions by July 4th; except for the 16U and the Adult Women. The 16U division will be having their season ending tournament the week after the 4th, and the Adult Women will complete their season with a tournament at the end of July in Portage this year. All Stars selection will take place in Mid June, with the games starting after July 4th.
There will be a big change this year when it comes time for All Stars. The league's All Star Committee has been meeting and there will be several changes to how the team and managers are selected. We will no longer ask the girls to vote. Instead, all the managers from the division will convene and select a team. Each manager will be responsible for being prepared to evaluate all the girls in the division. Once a team has been selected, the managers will then vote on the Manager for the team. The girls and the Manager will then have to be approved by the Executive Board. The All Star Committee is working on a procedure document that once completed and approved by the Executive Board, will be available for review upon request.
In case you have not heard, we are adding a new women's restroom this year. Construction is underway and will be completed by opening day. The new restroom will have 3 regular, and one handicap accessible stall. It will have 3 sinks and a baby changing station. We are very excited about this project finally getting done. It has been on the wish list for a long time. We will take the former restrooms and convert them to men's restrooms. Hopefully in a year or two, we will be able to remodel them as well. Other improvements at the complex include continued work on our Fields 4 and 5. They now have permanent bases and pitching plates. We are working on getting fenced dugouts for them as well. We are also working to improve our pitching warm up areas. Two are near completion, more ag-lime is needed. We have another one under construction and will start the other ones soon. We are also looking into replacing the netting over the stands between Fields 1 and 2. The existing netting is over 12 years old, and can no longer be repaired. The concession stand has also undergone some major remodeling. In addition to new paint, all of our countertops have been covered in stainless steel. We have rearranged some of the equipment and have made the entire workspace more functional. A special thanks to the Leonard family and Area Sheet Metal, for the new countertops.
Some very important dates to remember or mark on your calendars: May 10th is Pictures Day. May 11th is Opening Day. May 25th is the Presidents Ball. This event is our fundraising effort for our Scholarship program. We had a great time last year. Tickets will be available soon.
With that, we, the Executive Board welcome you all. We hope your daughters have a great time this season. We believe we have a great organization and are always looking for opportunities to improve. I encourage everyone to attend our General Board meetings. They are every third Sunday of the month, at 7:00. Meetings usually last about an hour and your input into how we run the league is greatly appreciated.
See you all at the ball park,
Hobart Girls Softball