|How do I get started?
First you must fill out the registration form on our website. Go to Forms, Team Registration and fill out as much information as possible. Our league has a limited number of field slots, so for teams that have never participated in the league, we work on a first come, first serve basis for any team avalability not taken by a returning team from the previous season. We will make our best effort to accommodate every team that wants to have fun playing softball.
What are the league costs?
The cost of the league varies depending on the amount of teams and the number of games played in the regular season. As these numbers can change at anytime during the registration period, including teams dropping out at the last moment, a good range to estimate is between $900. This is a non-profit league, so all money goes to paying for field rental, lights, umpires, game balls, liability insurance, ASA registration and field maintenance fees. This registration fee is all-inclusive, there are no extra fees for umpires and/or game balls.
Are there any ways to defray this cost?
Yes! First off, there are team sponsors, local business or restaurants that are happy to have their business name in the West Chester Daily Local and on our website. Some sponsors are willing to pay the entire registration fee, some sponsors will pay part of the registration fee. Itís all up to your sales pitch or contacts. Restaurant/bar sponsors are a good place to start since they like your teamís business for post-game celebrations or lamentations. The other way to defray costs is to sell sponsorship signs that are placed on the fences around the Westtown Complex fields. These signs cost businesses $500 for 5 years, a very cheap method of marketing to the thousands of athletes and spectators that visit the Complex each season. Teams that sell sponsorship signs get $50 off their registration fee for each sign sold. A win-win proposition. For more information on sponsorship signs, please email Chris Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What am I responsible for as a team manager?
As stated above, game balls will be provided for each game. We will give managers enough game balls at the managerís meeting to last the season; it is your responsibility to keep these balls in good shape. Teams are responsible for their own jerseys/t-shirts and their own single-wall bats. Please check the legal bat list for eligible bats. We also require managers to help setup and breakdown the fields before and after games, as well as turning on and turning off the lights if your team is playing a late game. We will be giving you a set of keys at the managerís meeting to get into the lights room and lock boxes for the bases for each field. We also ask teams to rake around the bases after games as a courtesy to teams playing after you. Donít worry though, we will make sure a league member is there to show you the ropes the first time you need to perform these tasks.
What constitutes a starting lineup?
Our starting lineups consist of 10 fielding players and an optional 2 extra hitters. Teams MUST have a minimum of 3 women fielders at all times. Extra hitters can be either gender and can bat at any place in your lineup. We added these 2 extra hitters to help teams get players playoff eligible. The minimum amount of players needed to start a game is 8, with a minimum of 2 women. Teams will forfeit their game if less than 2 women, or less than 8 players show up. Please do your best to have at least 10 players at every game, since playing against or playing for a team with 8 players is very frustrating, and not very fun. There are penalties from not having the proper number of players and/or women at a game. Please check the rules and regulations page for their penalties.
What should our roster size be?
It is good practice to estimate between 15-17 people on a roster, taking into consideration vacations, business travel and unexpected absences from your players. Of course, you run your own teams, and many managers have methods other than the aforementioned that seem to work well for them. Keep in mind, though, that playoff time for the Spring season (July-August) is a popular vacation time, and it is best to at least get a certain amount of players "playoff eligible" (see rules for current game requirements) so you donít end up short during the best part of the season.
How long does the season last?
Our Spring/Summer regular season goes from late April to early July, depending on rainouts. The playoffs immediately follow and usually last around three weeks, sometimes going pretty deep into August. Our Fall season including playoffs goes from early September to late October, although sometimes we are forced to play a few games in November.
What days of the week do we play? What times are the games? How many games are we expected to play each week?
Our field slots are always changing, but generally we play games Sunday thru Friday each week. This year the plan is to have Sunday night games at 6pm, 7:15pm and 8:30pm, Monday thru Thursday games at 6:30pm and 7:45pm and Friday games at 8pm. During the majority of the regular season the maximum amount of games your team will play a week is two (2). Typically your team will play 1 to 2 games per week. The exception is the end of the season and the playoffs, as we are rushing to get rainouts played and teams MAY have to play 3 games during a week.
What if there are bad dates or times for our team to play?
We do our best to work our league schedule around your teamís wishes, to a point. Obviously if a team says that they can only play Tuesday at 7:45pm, that is a problem. Once the schedule is set (in early April), no changes can be made since we wonít have any free time slots until the end of the season, when rainouts need to be played. If your team has a company outing on June 24th or has trouble with early Monday games or has three people in class on Tuesday nights, please let us know... we will do our best to work around this. There is nothing more frustrating than having 6 players tell you a couple days before a game that they cannot make it. So, do the groundwork early... email your players and find out vacations, bad days, bad times etc. This will not solve every problem, but it is a good gauge on figuring out when it will be tough for you to field a full squad. Then let us know before the schedule comes out and weíll do our best to work around it.
How are rainouts handled?
This is the single most frustrating area for both managers and league officers in determining when games are rained out. Rainouts will be handled through the website. We do our best to make decisions on cancellations by 4pm each day. Sometimes this is impossible, as the rain often decides to hold out until JUST before or JUST after the first game starts. As stated before, we have a limited season length and a minimum amount of field slots, so we cannot just cancel games on a whim. Teams DO NOT have final say in whether games are cancelled, although managers and/or players from teams can visit the fields early on a game day and give us updates on what condition the field is in. If we let teams decide when to cancel games, weíd have a mess on our hands at the end of the season. We apologize in advance for any game your team travels to that is cancelled. The website will be used for all cancellations UNLESS a game is cancelled less than one hour before the game starts. In this case, we will call the primary contact of each team, then the secondary contact if the primary contact is not available. It is the managerís responsibility then to inform his or her teammates. This is where your team contact info comes in handy.
How do I decide which division my team should participate in?
New in 2010 for the Spring League, we have split the teams into four separate divisions, the Northern League (most competitive), Southern League, Eastern League and Western League (least competitive). Regardless of the classifications, we expect ALL leagues to be competitive and fun, as all leagues will have their own playoffs to determine a champion. Why did we do this? We have no system other than past performance to determine what "class" teams fall into according to the ASA softball classifications. We have teams ranging from low B level to high E level and have found that many of the games between these teams at opposite ends of the spectrum have resulted in 4 or 5 inning mercy rule games. This is not fun for either team. We want teams to get their monies worth and play against teams of similar talent levels. How good are the teams in the competitive league? Weíd like to think pretty good, since several of our teams have participated and won local tournaments against very good competition. At the end of each year, based on results, teams may be moved up or moved down division levels. Knowing all this, if you are new to the league and still think your team can compete in our Competitive League, please send us information on your teamís past performance in other area leagues. Our Fall league contains a mix of teams from all divisions playing against each other, i.e. there are no classifications. The reason being that our Fall league is a very short, very fast paced season and it is impossible to run separate divisional playoffs in this limited time period. We do provide a double elimination tournament as the playoffs for the Fall season where all teams qualify.
Can players play on two teams?
The answer is no. Once a player has logged an official game with a team, he or she is locked into that team for the remainder of the season.