We know some of you believe we are being hard on some teams, some even resorting to saying we are ruining the league.
In the effort of transparency we want you to understand why it is important to have accurate rosters and on time payments, and why we have decided to resort to these punishments and deadlines to make sure we do get these items.
First and foremost the team rosters need to be kept on hand for 3 years minimum as required by ASA. This is for liability purposes. Each calendar year the league has submit the new team rosters to include the managers name and address and pay a fee per team (team manager). If that manager changes during the calendar year or a team is added to the league the league needs to repay that fee and send that information to ASA. This is for insurance purposes. These rosters need to be in our hands before any player or manager takes the field by ASA regulations, City requirements, and insurance purposes.
Once the rosters are submitted to the ASA Arizona Commissioner, a liability policy is sent to the City. The City requires this every year for us to play on their fields. The league also has to pay the player fees for every rostered player for each season for ASA participation.
All it would take is one non rostered player to get injured and decide sue the league and or city and we would be shut down financially for good. This is why rosters and roster additions and payments are so important and why we are taking this seriously and why going forward if a player is not rostered and paid up they will not be able to play. With no exceptions. This is also why the deadline is in effect for next season and all future seasons and anyone who misses the deadline will not be scheduled with no exceptions.
In the past this has been an issue and it is an odds game. If nothing happens, great but if something were to happen there would be consequences. This is no longer an appropriate approach. No other league in Arizona does it that way.
As for the payments that have not been submitted. For each season the City requires a fee for the fields. The ASA requires a fee for the players. The umpires need to be paid for games. New balls need to be purchased. Chalk for the fields needs to be purchased. Someone needs to chalk the fields. Also permits and fees need to be submitted at least 60 days in advance for special events such as the all-star game. Improvements need to be made, such as a storage shed and starting to build up memorial park in center field so that we can use the space. As I posted before, we are pretty much in line with every other league. Just because it is a small league does not mean that the costs are any different per player and for the field usage.
Teams and players that have not paid and do not pay are essentially taking from the league. Which belongs to every player, manager, and umpire who participates.The league has to eat those costs and pay for their participation regardless. In the past exceptions have been made and deadlines have been stretched. This has been unfair to the teams and players that pay on time.The board are all volunteers and their job is to make sure these things get taken care of, or else we would not have umpires scheduled, fields to play on, relationships with the city, and balls among other things. I would hope that going forward as some of our board members are moving on after years of working hard to make the league run, that younger league members will step up to assist and volunteer to perform these activities.
It is unfortunate that this year some teams had to be punished for not getting certain things in on time but it was a necessary measure to ensure going forward that we as a league would not only be covered legally, but be able to move forward on the items that collectively we have decided to improve such as the center field memorial park, the secure storage shed for the equipment, the return of the all-star game, securing umpires, the possibly addition of field 4 so we can grow and add tournaments, and hopefully the return of fun things like the end of season league barbecue. Every effort was made to get the word out and accommodate teams and players that had outstanding rosters and payment. How else would people understand that we are serious about this and these things are important going forward. We are serious. Every one of us wants to have a league to play in going forward.
It is not unreasonable to ask that people follow the rules, act like adults, submit accurate rosters, and pay their fees on time. This is our league and these measures have been taken to ensure that we continue to have a league, foster relationships with the city that allows us to play there, and respect the other organizations that we share the fields with. There have been an extraordinary amount of complaints which gives a poor perception of our league and makes it harder to get things done and to grow as well as to attract new sponsors, players, and or existing players fed up with the behavior. The leagues perception and reputation is very important to its stability, growth, and existence.
Going forward into next season everyone would like to see changes in behavior in regards to alcohol use and smoking at the fields, both of which are prohibited by City Ordinance and will no longer be tolerated on the fields or in the dugouts. Also the treatment of the umpires and fellow managers and players needs to be better. Foul language directed at umpires, threats, taunting players, and the poor sportsmanship needs to be corrected. If you do not agree, maybe you are not a good fit for this league. Thankfully for you, there are options such as purchasing your own land and starting your own private league that you can run by your rules without worrying about the City or anyone sharing the fields, playing in Kingman or Bullhead City by their rules, or just not playing or spectating and staying away from the fields.. There will be enforcement and consequences going forward with no tolerance. They will be discussed at our mandatory meeting for coaches and umpires.
Just go out to do what we are all out there to do: play a sport we love, socialize with friends, and have fun. Whether you win or lose, whether you agree with the call or not, the game and the league goes on. Hopefully no more examples will need to be set and we can just focus on playing softball and moving forward as a league.