FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK
I am back. Yes I have signed on for another year as President of SBR and I am looking to make this a turnaround year for this league. SBR as well as almost every other softball league in the area has seen a reduced number of girls come out to play the great game of softball. This year I would like that to change. My goal as president is to bring in enough players for every division to have three or more teams. It is important to strengthen our numbers especially in the lower division. I will be renewing my commitment to the 6u and 8u divisions as they are the future of this league. We need to get the younger girls out to play and an emphasis at these levels is very important. Helping players at these levels learn to love the sport will strengthen the league as a whole.
SBR softball has five divisions for the spring recreation season:
- 6u which includes players ages 4-6 on 12/31/17
- 8u which includes players ages 7-8 on 12/31/17
- 10u which includes players ages 9-10 on 12/31/17
- 12u which includes players ages 11-12 on 12/31/17
- 16u which includes players ages 13-16 on 12/31/17
If we were to have three teams in each division that means we need at least 150 girls to sign up. That is a large number of girls for this league but I know our league, I know we can do this. This is a great game and the memories each player makes playing this game will last them a life time. We will need help from the community, our schools, and our parents. If we are dedicated to making this league great we can reach this goal.
To help reach this goal I am proposing a new incentive called “Bring a Friend”. Currently the price to join the spring league is $80 for 8u and above and $40 for the 6u division. If any of the current players of this league or new players brings a friend who did not play softball with SBR last year with them and they both sign up to play… both will get a 25% discount towards the registration cost for the year. This will drop the cost from $80 to $60 for 8u and above and $40 to $30 for the 6u division. If everyone brings a friend we will meet my goal in year one!
I would like to also propose that all our coaches (or at the minimum head coaches) become USA Softball Certified in order to coach. There are a number of reasons I would like to push for this certification:
- USA Softball requires coaches to be certified every year, it is not one time certification for life
- USA Softball has a number of excellent training videos for softball coaches put on by USA Olympic coaches and available year round to coaches
- USA Softball certification comes with a mandatory back ground check
- USA softball certification is the recognized certification for every league outside of Babe Ruth
- I would like to tell every parent entrusting their player to us that the coaches we bring in are certified and safe for everyone involved.
The cost of certification is only $25 for level 1 and $20 for every other level. If the cost becomes prohibitive to the coaches we can look into refunding $10 for each coach that volunteers to coach a team and shows that they are certified by USA softball for that year. This is the cost of the back ground check we as a league would have to do if they were not certified.
I would also like to institute a mandatory coaches meeting run by the director of coaching. During this meeting we will go over the coaches’ responsibility to the player, the parents and the league. We will provide resources to the coaches in the form of binders that will include league policy, consent forms, player/parent contracts and other important information they will need during the season. I would also like to find someone to come in to instruct the coaches on basic first aid and concussion protocols for the players. I would like to open up this portion of the meeting to all coaches in the area for a minimal cost. This meeting should be held at the end of March beginning of April.
Finally we need to partner with the businesses in the area to improve our facilities. We have placed finances aside for the rebuilding of the concession stand and are half way there. Material cost are on the rise and I would like to see some improvements to the fields before our next tournament in June of 2018. These improvements should include the following:
- Fixing the fencing around the field
- New stands and picnic tables for fans
- Scoreboard for each field (putting up the one we currently have)
- New and improved concession stand
Beyond this I would like to see the following in the future:
- Shortening up the field to 200 ft. length with a six foot padded fence with warning track.
- Third 150’ field for 10u and below behind the current fields after we shorten the current fields to 200’.
- Extension of the fence up another tier behind home plate on both A and B fields to reduce the amount of softballs fouled into the fans watching the game.
- Dugout repairs and improvements.
- Parking lot leveled with more mix so that we do not have to mow the parking area.
- Scorer’s booth/equipment storage above the two dugouts that are next to each other. (Picture the little league setup in Somersworth)
All of this takes money that we currently do not have in the league. I do not want to increase the cost to the parents. We need to reach out to businesses multiple times if we are going to get this to happen. Softball is just as important as any other sport and we as a board need to advocate for the players in our league. Reaching out to businesses in the area to improve what we have and to increase our profile in the area as the best place to play softball.
We cannot just rely on the business in the area to help. We as a league need to make sure we are doing our best to raise funds. Having options for each spring team to fund raise for the league as a whole. If it is a car wash or a night of service at a restaurant or donating time to some fund raiser put on by the Somersworth Athletic Association. We need to make sure we are doing our part, so businesses realize we are not just relying on them for money. Emphasizing our successes fund raising and asking them to get us across the line is better than asking them to run the race for us.
I know this is long. I hope everyone was able to get to this point and did not just stop reading. If you did you must want to be part of what is happening this year. I hope to put these out monthly to keep everyone informed as to what is happening with SBR Softball. Please visit the league website, email the league with any ideas you might have for fund raising and above all else let’s get the girls out this spring to play Softball!
14u Seacoast Storm Manager