The Saint Marys Little League Softball organization has slowly been growing over the last couple years. As many of you have seen, there are a lot of changes going on at the fields. We wanted to fill you in on our exciting goals for the upcoming year, and be able to supply you with some information about our changes.
BASEBALL & SOFTBALL
We are working together with baseball to make all your information more organized and in one location. We will keep you all posted on this as we put things together.
UPDATE ON LIGHTS:
The lights continue to be in the installation process. We are excited that they are here and we continue to work and push through the best we can with the weather.
This year we will schedule all the teams to play under the lights! All girls from Pee Wee’s to the Junior/Senior League will be scheduled under the lights because we want to give everyone this experience. The lights will allow us to schedule make-up games and extra practices; as well as give the league more opportunities to host events here in our town.
UPDATE ON FIELDS:
The Premier Field has received a lot of attention over the past few years. We have, and have heard, the concerns that other fields have not been getting the same attention. We agree and we hear you loud and clear! We hope to resolve that issue this year by conditioning all the fields on a regular schedule. Keep in mind it takes a lot time and money to make these things happen, so when you hear there is a work day please help by joining us.
Also, we are pursuing grants to start the renovation of the Minor Field. This will include building new dugouts, building the outfield up to infield height, working on improving the drainage, fixing up the scoreboard, reconditioning the infield, and installing a fencing system. We have so many goals for this field!!
UPDATE ON SCHEDULING:
Last year, we heard concerns about the interleague schedule. For this upcoming season we are working to schedule our league games first, and then add interleague games if possible. Our goal is to make sure our fields are open for practices and rescheduling of games for our league teams. This is something we failed to accomplish last year and are working to improve this year. So, more home games at Benzinger, yay! We plan on scheduling games until the end of July. Our girls are very important to us and we are trying to make this the best experience possible for them!
NEW INFORMATION ON THE NEWLY FORMED PEE WEE CLINIC:
The Pee Wee Division is where our girls start playing and learning the game of softball. This is such an important year for these girls as this is where they are introduced to the sport of softball, and start to build a love for it! So many of our older players in the league started here and continue to play today, even as adults!!
We have heard from parents and coaches there is a decline in the skill levels and confidence in some of the players. We have allowed this division to fall short of the expectations that Little League sets for us and we aim to start repairing this in the coming year!
Our plan is to take our 4 and 5 year old players and hold a 1 hour clinic, 2 days per week, for 5 weeks. The clinic sessions are planned out and work to teach the girls all about softball. The clinic will start with the very basics like : what is a glove, how to properly wear a glove, and use/maintain it. This clinic will focus on other basics like: where are the bases and how to run them. It reviews what a strike and a ball is, how many outs there are and so on! Little League University has laid out a great program and we are hoping to take advantage of this plan and put it to good use! Our goal is that at the end of this 5 week program, the girls will be able to play a pickup game(s) to use the skills that they have learned!
We are hoping that this will help to increase the skill level of our 6 and 7 year olds by making some minor changes to the way we play the game in order to help them learn to throw and execute plays. Even if they don’t make the big play, we want them to learn how to, and why we do it. We are hoping that this will help the girls to be ready to play in the Minor Division effectively and safely when they get there; and to help them be able to play their games without concerns of hurting the younger players. Please, if you have any questions about this change, contact a Board member. We are really trying to do everything we can to make every division a fun and exciting learning experience for all our girls!!
UPDATE ON REGISTRATION:
We apologize as we again have some registration changes this year. We are hoping it will be more convenient for all those signing up.
Our first change is that we have switched registration services. The reason behind this is that Little League International has teamed up with Dicks Sporting Goods Headquarters who owns Blue Sambora Software Services. We are now able to use this service and no longer must pay yearly fees. Also, Saint Marys Little League Baseball and Softball are all under one program now, which will make your registration process much easier. This software also has scheduling components which will integrate with our websites for easier access to the schedules.
Our second change will be that registration fees will be going up this year. We have not raised the registration fees in some time. With all the upgrades to both parks and fields our overhead has increased. It actually costs about $90.00 per player to run our league. We have been very fortunate to live in such a giving community that we are able to set our registration cost lower and use donations to offset the costs. This year, with the goal of conditioning all the fields regularly, and the addition of light usage to our budget, we will be increasing registration. The new registration fees are $60.00 for first player and $35.00 for each additional player as part of the family discount we have always done.
We are also working to give everyone the option to PAY LESS by PAYING EARLY. The Early Bird registration special will start Black Friday and we will discount $10.00 from first player. This will run through Jan 28th at midnight. Then the regular registration rate will take effect Jan 29th at $60.00. PLEASE NOTE after Feb 11th there will be a $15.00 late fee for all late registrations. To explain, when you register late, the league is then charged a setup fee for uniforms and rushed shipping of the jersey, so all of this adds up very quickly. So please register early!
This software also comes with a Payment Plan option. We know it’s the holidays and there’s a lot going on, so if you register early we are offering a payment plan as well. There will be a one time $2.00 fee for the payment plan. This is to simply cover the credit card processing fees we occur.
For the first payment, you will be charged $30.00 – minus the $10.00 early discount, for a total of $20.00 per registered child at time of registration. Then another payment of $20.00 per registered child will come out on Jan 1st. The end balance will be due on Feb 1st. Therefore, your first payment will come out when you register, the second will come out Jan. 1st, and the end balance will come out Feb. 1st. Keep in mind if you register on Jan 10th you will need to pay both the registration payment and the Jan 1st payment due to the payment dates set in system, so register early to take advantage of the payment plan.
Also the new software will allow a opt in or opt out of txt alerts, you will be able to better manage the txt you get, and we will be able to designate groups to send text to.
UPDATE ON FUNDRAISER:
Softball is working on doing something new this year for our fundraiser. It’s time to move on from candy bars. This year we will be looking at several new fundraising options with selling incentives. Such incentives may be; sell 10 get 1 free deals, to help cover the league costs. With that said the buyout for fundraising has changed, so please consider doing the fundraiser and helping the league. We make more when you sell and it costs you less.
As always, our goal is to make Saint Marys Little League Softball the best experience for all of our girls! Our Board and league consists of community members that volunteer their time, energy, and efforts. Our league runs off of the community’s generosity and kindness. We are all so thankful for all the time and effort everyone puts into this league for our girls! If anyone is interested in coming to the board meetings or helping with the upcoming season, please check the website, Facebook, and watch for text alerts. We can really use all the help we can get! Thank you so much for being part of the Saint Marys Little League Community. We look forward to seeing you this spring!