Howdy and happy holidays to all of you and your families! I wanted to take a few moments and catch you up on the latest and greatest from the convention and give you some insight into our plans for the 2015 season.
On the convention front really only one major change. We're now allowing homeruns in D, two in fact, and it's a change that was too long coming. We're going to adjust our state rules across the board. I'll be meeting with the CC guys in January where they'll vote on their rule but we'll go to a minimum of four across the board for all CC games. If they want more it'll be up to them in a vote. In D we'll follow the national rule in all events. In E we'll use the national rule for all NIT and State events but modify for qualifiers. In qualifiers we'll drop the offensive ejection and go with an inning ending out only.
I think there were a few other changes-they modified the women's run rule again and they're gonna get tougher on military rosters. They put in a slide or give yourself up rule that I thought was kind of understood. Now it's codified. They have given me a little more wiggle room helping you get to Worlds roster wise after you're frozen. Once I have full details on all I'll pass them along.
USSSA has acquired the Global Sports League (GSL) and that means we now have still another sanction here in Colorado. I'm proud to say that in addition to my duties with USSSA, I've been appointed to head up the new sanction here in our state. They only offer play in men's and coed and claim to draw their rules from the best of the existing associations. A quick read the other day revealed that they look much like our rules but are more liberal on homeruns and substitutions. They have a very transparent and well thought out policy on rosters that I think you'll all enjoy. I don't know what we're gonna look like on the GSL front exactly yet but expect us to offer a few of their events in 2015.
Given what I just mentioned, my next topic is going to seem a little counter-intuitive. I have been of the opinion for several years now that we have reached a saturation point on the tournament front. With Ernie, Jay, Tony and now me with two sanctions, you've never had so many options on what and where to play. Competition is a good thing but it ultimately hurts everybody. As directors we don't see nearly the participation we should week to week and as teams, you play in smaller tournaments.
While it's clear we're the market leader here in Colorado, the numbers don't lie; we've contributed to this saturation issue more than any. In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, we've offered more and more events; first offering two and even three events a weekend and then taking the unprecedented step of offering events from November to February.
As Colorado's only true state wide organization, we're going to take the lead and at least on the USSSA front, offer you more by offering you less. We're going to focus more on running premium quality events and get off the quantity train we've been on the last few years. In 2014 we offered upwards of 70 events. In 2015 we'll be much closer to 40 overall offering only one quality event somewhere in the state most weekends. You'll still have plenty of options with other organizations of course but for those of you that choose to play USSSA, our hope is that by decreasing supply, we'll increase demand and see more of you in the same place each weekend. Watch for more details on prizes, etc in the coming weeks.
I have the schedule more or less done but am waiting for some final confirmations. Some highlights....we start play with a few CHC events in February weather permitting. The Hall of Fame Benefit is March 7th. An additional early season NIT is on the docket and on the turf at Skyview! The Denver Omelette makes it's return to the ASP and as an NIT! State Tournaments at new venues this year in Erie and Colorado Springs! Really excited for the 2015 season.
Keep your eyes peeled for the schedule! All our best to you here at USSSA and have a wonderful holiday season.
The annual USSSA Hall of Fame Induction Banquet is right around the corner on November 1st. This year we'll be honoring inductees Gary Boehler, Scott Cameron, John Casale and Chris McTigue as well as our 2014 Murl Skalla Team and Manager of the Year; Stars and Will Sanchez.
The cost of the banquet is 30.00 and includes dinner. There will be a cash bar available. We are required to give a head count in advance of the banquet so we can't take any walk up attendees. The cost is 30.00 whether you come for dinner or just the awards and we are unable to give a discount for kiddos.
If planning to attend you must RSVP and send payment to Dan Neely. The deadline is October 27th. Send to:
Colorado USSSA HOF
8545 Depew St
Arvada, Co 80003
If you have questions you can contact Dan at 303-428-3080
The banquet will be held on Saturday November 1st with cocktails starting at 5pm, dinner at 6pm and awards to follow around 7pm. We'll once again be at:
Airport Holiday Inn and Suites
6900 Tower Rd
Denver, Co 80249
We can only take about 150 people and the banquet always sells out so don't delay. Hope to see you there!
Skyview has been made available to us at months end and so we've added another Halloween event down south. Hope to see all of you not playing mixed for our men's open event Ghouls and Goblins on October 25-26.
Due to a scheduling conflict I have on Sunday August 24th, we have moved the Mixed State Championship scheduled for The Ballpark at Erie on that day to the following weekend at Skyview. Ken Reynolds will be running the event on the turf at Skyview on Sunday August 31st. To enter contact Ken at 719-229-6720. Details to follow.
We're happy to announce that we've found a home for Bill Lomelino's tourney scheduled for June 14-15. Spring Into Summer will be held at Barnes in Loveland as a men's open event. This will give our CC teams an opportunity to pick up some swings as desired as well as give our northern teams a place to play closer to home.
Today's portion of the Centennial State NIT has been cancelled due to inclement weather. We will attempt to make it up at a later date. Stay tuned.
Since joining Facebook way back when I've been dual purposing my personal page and using it to promote RMUSSSA as well. I created a new page specific to the business of USSSA softball tonight and will be taking most of my softball related posts there. We'll posts tourney announcements, any major policy and procedure changes and of course pics from our weekends together....a catch all to keep you all up to speed and have some fun.
I invite you to LIKE us at www.facebook.com/rmusssa and look forward to seeing you all out at the ballfields in the coming weeks
Happy New Year and welcome to Rocky Mountain USSSA's 11th season here in Colorado. We're proud to announce the release of our 2014 schedule which can be found here
We've expanded service this year to give all of you more opportunities to play more often. Exciting news in the Springs where we'll playing all season on new turf fields. This is kind of a new thing here in Colorado and unless you've traveled you probably haven't seen it too many times. Do yourself a favor and make the trip at least once this year to see Ken Reynolds down at Skyview.
We're also making a return to the mixed softball scene in a big way! We have a bunch of tournaments available for this division for only 175.00! Full service, great rules, amazing venues and an outstanding prize package. Winners will nearly double their entry fee! Stay tuned for the full announcement on that front and be ready to play as we kick off the mixed season March 30th in Erie.
I'm relatively happy with the schedule. A few holes here and there that I'll try to fix as the season progresses but I think we've given all of you an opportunity to play as much USSSA softball as you'd like this year.
Two major rule changes this year you'll need to be aware of and I'll elaborate in my annual Policy and Procedure threads on our message boards in the next couple of weeks. First, USSSA has eliminated the courtesy foul. You'll now play with a 3-2 count and no courtesy in all tournaments. I have to get with the leagues but I expect they'll follow the policy as well. Second, we're trying the courtesy runner on a trial basis here in Colorado. More details to follow but the short version is you'll get one runner per inning, anyone can run and you have to be careful about getting them caught on base on the off chance they're supposed to bat.
Once again welcome to your 2014 season. On behalf of all of our directors and umpires, I look forward to seeing you all at the ballfields soon. Now let's get rid of this snow and PLAY BALL!