On building divisions..looong reply to Dale warning...
Posted by 2Dale..my reply TM60+ on April 20, 2020, 3:21 pm
In a thread down below Dale said I would not reply to this question from him. |
I have waited for the right time to answer because I knew IT WAS GOING TO BE A LONG REPLY.
Dales question to me******Why do I think it’s important to rebuild the A division locally before we need to rebuild the B, C and D divisions locally?
First..I have never made that argument..But...I will attempt to discuss a version of it.
I believe, based on how softball was while it was growing into the number one rec game in the nation, every division..even Major needs some kind of roster/region restrictions.
Yes, I know the tklan question will soon arise with when has major ever had restrictions..and my answer has always will be...it’s meaningless to discuss a division that has never been able to survive on its own.
I believe every division should be localized... some more then others.
It should be obvious why softball was healthier when it was localized...
Cost for sponsons
Cost away from family for players
Cost away from work/careers for players
Comradely for entire regions
Locals teaching local newbies with talent to help them move up in caliber to make the old guys with knowledge’s team’s
Let’s just Take some examples
Minnesota ... Spectrum
Washington...Ozzy and Slow Pitch news
Norcal... American Reality, Computerland, Dan Smith
Socal... Whoever Ron Whittleton was coaching at the time.
Michigan.. Bunca, Mt Top
Great lakes ...Hague
I am sure there are many more examples but just listing those was easy...
Every one of those teams during the period they were localized, helped lower level players and sponsors see there was a more competitive division just a little
ahead of them..
Everyone of those teams when they were localized showed every player there was a more competitive division they could
move up to with limited travel, cost changes.
Everyone of those teams took young, ignorant of the sport talented players and showed them softball could be competitive and taught them how they could challenge themselves and improve their game.
That was the norm...it is NOT the norm any longer..and this hurts the tournament level of the game. It also hurts participation levels of the game.
As proof...I will share MY personal example...
When I first started playing A league...I didn’t believe I had the ability to be an A league player even if I worked on my game.
I was on a Sunday night D league team (and had played in it for two years) and I had the opportunity to see a bat rep homerun sales show.
In the middle of our sunday league it was advertised that a player that played in our A league was going to give a HR demonstration with a new bat he was selling.
It was the Black Worth Tennessee Thumper.
A five o’clock he showed up and set out his bats...
He proceeded to hit ball after ball 100 feet over the fence...the fence was 295 straight away and 325 down the lines.
For another year and a half..I thought every A league player was of his caliber (I never went out to see the wednesday night A league).
In the middle of our summer league I played in my first tourney..it was a Mormon Ward tourney..The pitcher for our league team snuck me in.
We played on an open baseball field with dead grass in the outfield in right field..I was a oppo field hitter and hit probably 12 homeruns..we won the tourney.
After the event..and older guy (probably in his early 30s) came
up to me and asked where I played..when I told him D league in Walnut Creek he said..he played in the walnut creek A league..He asked if I ever hit any balls out of field one..I say..yah, normally one or two a game but they never go out by much.
We had just beat his team in a couple game and I called
BS on him playing A league because he was
not all that special
as a player /remember.. my view on ALL A LEAGUE players was the guy selling those worth bats that had his HR display..
But this older guy insisted he did play A league and asked if I would to come out and play the next wednesday... It was playoffs he said, but..no one will care if you come play.
I showed up for the playoff game..on the same
field the A league guy gave his HR demonstration/bat selling on.
We played against that HR display guys team...they beat us and that guy and another one or two players on his A league team hit balls way out of sight but...for the most part I had more power then most of the other guys that played that night...or better said...I figured I was in the top 10%.
Seeing a competitive level of softball, and something that with work I thought I could be kinda good at changed softball from beers with buddies into let’s compete..
Very quickly I learned many tips from my older teammate that made me a better player.
That one older guy that saw some talent in me during a church tourney and took a chance that maybe I could help
his A league team compounded, through my later teams, into hundreds of norcal players having the opportunity to see softball as more them recreational...
Almost to a man..not one the many teammates, many of whom I drug into upper ball, would have ever been their if costs and travel today were the norm back then...I know I would not have done it...
Oh...yah...That HR derby guy, and his two teammates I played against in my first A game (even thought it was just A league with mostly B and C/D tourney players) were..
1) HR Derby guy Greg Fruhman
2) Uptown Denny Jones
3) Al White
Every one of them in future times taught me things to improve my hitting.
I guess what I am long winded-ly trying to say is...not even taking into consideration travel costs..
The harder you make it for money sponsors to just buy players...THE MORE REWARD YOU GIVE TO THOSE THAT TEACH THE GAME......the better the game will be. and...to achieve that..the games needs to be regionalized with strict roster limits.
Why do 30 teams deserve three divisions? or maybe 50 teams warrant four divisions?