Team Sign up for 2019!

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60 teams have signed up for the 2019 season already and spots are getting close to being filled. If you wish to better secure your night and competitive spot for the 2019 season please submit your team now. Be aware while we try to honor all requests, teams that finished top 4 in their division last year will be moved up for 2019.

As always Monday and Tuesday nights fill up the quickest. So if your team plays on that night, make sure your manager has got your team on the list.

We’re looking forward to a great season of competitive ball!

2019 League Manager Meetings

2019’s First Manager’s Meeting is Next Week

January 24th – 7:00pm

Please join us at Shenanigans Sports Bar & Grill
1903 S Ellis Rd, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

2019 League Meeting Schedule

Tentatively all meetings will be held at Shenanigans Bar and Grill:

  • Thursday, January 24th, 2019 – 7pm
  • Thursday, February 28th, 2019 – 7pm – First half of league fees due.
  • Thursday, March 28th, 2019 – 7pm – Second half of league fees due.

All meetings are mandatory for managers, but open to public.

Sign Up Now

2019 News and Changes

A special thank you must be extended out to the 260 participants who filled out the survey this past month. The survey provided us with a wealth of insight about our league, and the participation rate was excellent. It remains clear to us that players in our league are a passionate group who care about the league beyond their place in it. The full results of the survey are available on this post.

The board and head of umpires met on December 13, 2018 to discuss these results and to lay out a plan to make changes. Present at the meeting were board members Jeff Oltmanns, Jordan Gillis, Steve Riswold, and Lucas Smith. Also included were Umpire-in-Chief Chuck Buchheim and his assistant, Jerry Micke. Doug Wagner was not present.

COST-SAVING MEASURES

The survey results indicated that team costs need to be maintained, if not lowered. Accordingly, the cost of the league for teams has stayed the same the last three seasons, and our goal is to improve on that. However, the league did not make money in 2018. To reach our goal of keeping team fees the same or even lowering them, the following cost-saving measures will be taken in 2019:

  1. Eliminating Friday night league play.
  2. Reducing board position and pay.
  3. Addressing game scheduling, start times, and use of field lights.
  4. Developing an inclement weather communication policy.
  5. Implementing ruling changes.

ELIMINATION OF FRIDAY NIGHT LEAGUE SOFTBALL

The first major change for the 2019 season will be the elimination of Friday nights in 2019. Moving Sioux Falls Slow Pitch to four primary nights allows us to eliminate one board position, and reduce costs associated with field maintenance, lights, and umpire staffing, among other miscellaneous costs. We understand that to those Friday teams, this will not be a popular decision. However, for the long-term health of the league, we can no longer feasibly run divisions at a financial loss.

With that, all Friday night teams returning into the 2019 season will have priority in the Monday divisions. From there, there will be movement up through the entire system. It will be more imperative this year than ever before in Sioux Falls Slow Pitch to sign up for the 2019 season early and pay the team’s first-half league fees sooner to get placed in the proper division. Because we now have more precise data on players and team rosters over the last two years, we feel much more comfortable placing and moving teams to help us ensure competitive balance. While we understand that for the individual, it is often important to play on a desired night, for the long-term health of the league and for competitive balance, we need to ensure the integrity of the divisions from the bottom to the top.

BOARD CHANGES

In light of this change, we’ve made the determination to eliminate a board member position. Thus, Lucas Smith has resigned from the Sioux Falls Men’s Slow Pitch Board effective immediately. Lucas has been a valued board member since 2016, and we want to thank him for his service to the league. In addition to Lucas leaving the board, all board members will serve shorter terms, decreasing from three years to two years, in an effort to increase accountability and variety and to keep the face of the league fresh.

Eliminating a board position and cutting pay to the other four board members and umpire in chief will provide a significant savings going forward to help keep the league affordable. These cost saving changes will reduce the overhead of the board and administration by 30% compared to years past.

In addition to this change, there are currently two board positions open (those currently held by Jeff Oltmanns and Doug Wagner). A vote will be held on February 28, 2019, at the first managers meeting. If you have any interest in running for the board position, please reach out to sfmsps@gmail.com for more information. Going forward, there will always be two board spots available, with next year’s open positions being those currently held by Jordan Gillis and Steve Riswold.

LIGHTS, SCHEDULING + START TIMES

One of the biggest variable expenses that our league has is paying for lights. In 2018, the league paid approximately $12,000 in electricity. Any way that we can work on making the schedule more efficient and keep the pace of play quicker, we will take advantage of. The survey results indicated overwhelming support for more teams to have back-to-back scheduled games and for teams to be scheduled against the same teams less often.

To do that, we will be changing our schedule templates going forward so that teams do play fairer and more consistent schedules. Examples of these schedule templates will be posted prior to the season. In addition to the scheduling changes for games, procedural changes will also take place in 2019. If at the end of any night, there is an open diamond and there are two teams who are ready to play, the game can be moved to that open diamond. This should ensure that nights end sooner, which also saves light fees. Furthermore, to conserve energy, lights will be shut off ten minutes after a diamond has ended play for the night.

Scheduled start times for games will be moved up by ten minutes in an effort to keep games going. In 2019, games will be scheduled to start at 6:30p, 7:20p, 8:10p, and 9:00p. The umpires will afford managers 5 minutes past this time to gather their team before enforcing a forfeit.

Finally, the league will be returning to a split-season format. In the past, Sioux Falls ran on a split-season format, which helped the league move the top two teams from a night’s lower division up and swapping the bottom two teams from a night’s upper division down, and we will return to this model for the 2019 season. What’s important, however, is that a team’s scheduled night of play WILL NOT CHANGE in the middle of the season.

COMMUNICATION IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER

With South Dakota weather always being unpredictable, many difficult game-time decisions have had to be made in the past by our league board. Starting in 2019, based on survey results, the board will make an inclement weather decision at 4:30pm for games. Because the City of Sioux Falls does not work on the fields past 3:30pm, if the fields are ready to go, we will attempt to play all games. If the fields are not ready by 4:30pm, the call will be made. Because we cannot predict the future, we know that in some cases, the wrong decision (in hindsight) will have been made. But, we take the responsibility of serving everyone’s busy schedule and travel considerations seriously, and we hope to do best by everyone.

OTHER RULING CHANGES

In 2019, in order to reduce forfeits due to players arriving late, we will allow teams to start games with 8 players who are dressed and ready; this is a change from the previous requirement of 9 players. However, teams with 8 players at the start of the game will have to take two outs at the bottom of their line-up until their remaining player(s) is/are present.

Additionally, the survey results indicated a need for increasing the number of home runs allotted per team. In 2019, Thursday nights will be afforded 8 home runs per game, Wednesday nights will be permitted 6 home runs per game, Tuesday nights can hit 4 home runs per game, and Monday nights will be allowed 2 home runs per game.

Finally, according to survey results, the two-team rule was determined to be a success overall. In light of this, the program will be expanded upon and simplified in the 2019 season. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday players will be allowed to play on a second team of any other night. Thursday players who are nationally rated C or higher can play for a second team, but that team must be a Wednesday night team. Thursday players rated below a C can play down further. All Monday teams may add one Thursday (D-rated or below) player to their roster. All Tuesday teams may add two (D-rated or below) Thursday players. All Wednesday teams may add three (any rating) Thursday players to their roster. This allows players to play with their friends and lowers the impact of clustering to create major competitive disadvantages to lower divisions. By allowing lower-night players to fill in for teams on other nights, it is our intention that this flexibility will allow managers to more quickly find fill-ins to avoid forfeits. In addition, adding and removing players from the rosters in 2019 will be addressed in order to make that process easier.

We are open for discussions either by team or individual inquiry. We will be at the manager meetings as long as necessary to answer any and all questions as best we can. To reach out to any of us individually please call or text us. This pertains to any rules or team placement in 2019.

CONCLUSION

While it is our goal to improve the integrity and the quality of competition within our league, we understand that change is hard, and that it affects everyone differently. We have heard your concerns and are actively trying to enact changes that will allow the league to function better both competitively and financially. Please know that now, more than ever before, your thoughts, opinions, concerns and suggestions are being heard and considered. We ask you to continue this conversation by attending the scheduled managers meetings in 2019.

2019 Managers Meeting Schedule at Shenanigans Bar and Grill:

January 24, 2019 – 7pm

February 28, 2019 – 7pm – First half of league fees due.

March 28, 2019 – 7pm – Second half of league fees due.

Contact the Board: sfmsps@gmail.com

Jeff – 605.929.7859          | Jordan – 605.254.3627

Steve – 605.212.0657      | Doug – 605.838.5031

2018 Finances 2019 Projection Change
Total Income $120,069.61 Projected Income $119,600.00 -0.39%
City Fees $18,420.00 City Fees $18,320.00 -0.54%
Administration $22,590.78 Administration $15,750.00 -30.28%
USA Fees $3,880.00 USA Fees $3,840.00 -1.03%
Electricity $11,974.86 Electricity $10,980.00 -8.31%
Awards and Softballs $12,867.87 Awards and Softballs $10,000.00 -22.29%
Umpires $49,030.00 Umpires $49,536.00 1.03%
Total Spent $118,763.51 Protected Spending $108,426.00 -8.70%
Net Gain $1,306.10 Projected Gain $11,174.00

2018 Slow Pitch Survey Results

Thank you everyone who participated and encouraged other to participate in the survey. We received amazing feedback and criticism from 260 submissions! The board is meeting before Christmas to set dates for manager’s meetings and to discuss these results and potential changes.

We will be in touch via the website and Facebook with any calendar notes. If you have any extra comments that you would like considered please email us at sfmsps@gmail.com

How long have you played in our league?

0-3 seasons 51
4-6 seasons 59
7-10 seasons 65
11-15 seasons 42
16+ seasons 41

How do you feel about a potential flip flop rule if the home team is down by X runs after 6, that the final inning flips (so the home team bats through 3 outs twice in a row), to potentially speed games up.

Against – 1 109
2 39
3 45
4 33
For – 5 31

How do you feel about a potential player fee paid to the league to help offset the team fee to the league?

Against – 1 103
2 32
3 72
4 26
For – 5 23

How do you feel about potentially switching to a split season format where teams potentially move up/down (within the same night) half way through the season?

Against – 1 34
2 25
3 70
4 65
For – 5 64

If there were more schedule league events at community friendly venues, would you attend?

Against – 1 15
2 39
3 110
4 60
For – 5 33

How do you feel about the new rule that allowed players to play on two teams with limitations?

Against – 1 43
2 24
3 43
4 64
For – 5 84

Currently we have a two umpire system. Most leagues in the area do not. Switching to a one umpire system would save each team roughly $100. Lean 5 for staying with 2 umpires, lean 1 for switching to a 1 umpire system.

Switch to One Ump- 1 61
2 29
3 31
4 34
Stay with 2 Ump – 5 102

There have been suggestions of switching to a progressive HR limit, where after a certain amount of home runs, teams can progressively hit more if the other team also hits home runs.

Against – 1 38
2 18
3 41
4 47
For – 5 112

Player statistics potentially on the website

I don’t care. 88
I would visit and like to see stats on the website. 80
I do not want stats on the website. 35
I would visit and like to see stats on the website., I would definitely enter my teams stats on the website. 21
I would definitely enter my teams stats on the website. 16

Preferred way of communication from the league

Website 169
Facebook 129
Text 115
Slack/GroupMe 26
Twitter 21
Email 15

Currently for potential weather issues, we wait for the last possible minute to attempt to play games as schedule. Do you…

I prefer to have a set time where games get called off/on, just make a decision and move on. 152
I prefer to play games if possible, wait as long as you can to call them. 74
I would prefer less game get called off, if the city lets us play, let’s play. 48
I would prefer more games to get called off due to cold/wet, knowing that there’s risk of NOT being able to reschedule those games. 24

Currently we hand out trophies, plaques and shirts as prizes to top finishing teams…

I like being able to receive these prizes. 118
I prefer trophies over plaques. 47
I prefer plaques over trophies. 33
I like the shirts. 122
I don’t like the shirts. 14
I don’t know what, but I prefer something else. 13

Currently we have 8 divisions playing over 5 nights. Division size ranging from 6 teams to 16 teams.

I prefer playing on a full night to not have to play the same team multiple times. 96
I don’t mind playing in small divisions to keep competitive balance. 79
I would support moving up a division if the schedule was weighted for competitive balance. 74
I want to stay in my division on my night, no matter what. 37
I’d play on a bigger night if the odds of winning prizes were better. 16

If every team paid in an extra $100 into a division prize pool, that would be 100% paid back out at the end of year division tournament that we expanded to fit all teams. For example in 16 team division there would be $1,600 split and paid out in total.

I would be very against this. 58
I support only if the tournament was single elimination. 8
I support only if the tournament was double elimination 88
If we did it, I would prefer money prize to be spread amongst top half of finishing teams. 32
If we did it, I would prefer money prize to be spread among top quarter of finishing teams. 84
If we did it, I would prefer winner take all. 18

Fields are good, Fallball starts tonight!

Quick Links

Tuesday Open

Tuesday Lower

Monday Upper

Monday Lower

Fall League 2018 Rules

August 27th-October 8th

  • $500 entry fee per team (Paid in full by August 23rd, 2018)
  • 6 weeks of double headers (12 games)
  • 13 teams per division – first come, first serve
  • Four different divisions to choose from
    • Tuesday Open: Open rosters, 6 Home Runs
    • Tuesday Lower: 3 Thursday Players, 3 Home Runs
    • Monday Upper: 2 Thursday Players, 2 Home Runs
    • Monday Lower: 1 Thursday Player, 2 Home Runs
  • Players can play on both nights of Fall League.
  • Pay fees, pick up schedules/softballs, and/or check your bats at one of two nights
    • Tuesday, August 21st, 5:30-7:00 PM (Championship Night)
    • Thursday, August 23rd, 5:30-7:00 PM
  1. Rosters may be copied from summer squads. Players can be added/dropped.
  2. All players who have signed waivers, do not need to sign again.
    1. Players that have not signed, will need to sign the waiver.
  3. All bats will need the 2018 SF Men’s USA bat sticker, bats that already have the 2018 sticker do not need to be checked.
  4. All USA Rules and SF Men’s Slow Pitcher Summer Rules will apply except for those specifically mentioned below.
    1. Each team is provided with 6 Dudley 52 COR/300 compression softballs. Additional purchased balls must be same league approved ball.
    2. All players may bat, but only ten are allowed to play in the field. You must tell the umpire at the beginning of the game how many players you will bat. In case of ejection, you must have an eligible substitute to replace the ejected player to continue play without forfeit.
    3. Females may play in our fall league.
    4. Home Run Rules
      1. Monday – 2 Home Runs
      2. Tuesday Lower – 3 Home Runs
      3. Tuesday Open – 6 Home runs
    5. Run Ahead Rules: 15 runs after 3 innings or 10 runs after 5 innings.
    6. There are no playoffs for fall league. Winners in each division will be given awards. Tie breakers will be broken as such:
      1. Head to Head Play
      2. Highest winning percentage among teams tied (3 or more) using the common record among the tied teams.
      3. Run Differential
      4. Coin toss.
    7. Players may play on both nights provided the teams still follow the roster restrictions.
      1. These players must appear on both rosters.
    8. Managers running teams below the Tuesday Open division will put an asterisk (*) by Thursday players that are playing in their line up on the official line up card.
    9. Rain outs will be determined as soon as possible. Please anticipate playing games unless notified. Makeup games, depending on how many are necessary may be played on a Thursday or Friday if necessary. Schedules, news and notes will be on the website https://sfmensslowpitch.com and on our Facebook page.
  5. The Sioux Falls Men’s Slow Pitch League reserves right to alter team’s requested placement to a division that is a fit for competition level. The league nor team are not obligated to participate until the required league fees are paid.

Championship Night 2018

The league enjoyed eight championship games last night that featured some of the best weather we have had all summer. The crowds were large for the summer season end and in the end eight champions were crowned.

Congrats to the champions!

  • Thursday: River Ridge 16 – Gateway – RPS Painting 10
  • Wednesday: Interstate Batteries 15 – Howe Electric 12
  • Tuesday Upper: Coast2Coast 16 – Wasted Talent 13
  • Tuesday Lower: Mini Critter Scorpions 16 – Corner Pub/Lawn & Snow Co 11
  • Monday Upper: The Deuce 11 – CarSwap 3
  • Monday Lower: The Rush 17 – Longview Tax Solutions 4
  • Friday Upper: Frozen Ropes 13 – Prairie Tickets 12
  • Friday Lower: Archer Rebuilders 14 – BarCode 11

Photos from last night: