December 13, 2019


IN ATTENDANCE:  S. Baranick (SB); R. Barnhart (RB); T. Jadwin (TJ); R. Schemp (RS); G. Stevenson (GS)
ABSENT:  J. Hansell (JH)

GUESTS: Hank Alberts (HA), Jack Buss (JB)

1.  Action Items
a. Assignments
(1) TJ  and JH got approval from Adrian/BLD to display a 3’ x 5’ MVUDSS league banner at BLD at no cost.
RS to get his graphic artist to design and produce the banner.
(2) TJ  provided 2 strike zone mats with regulation dimensions 34 1/2” x 19”; they will be used starting 12/16.
(3) JH contacted Stephanie Hopkins/SSUSA; certificates of insurance are expected around late Dec/early Jan.
(4) Without vote, but by unanimous consensus, SB will purchase $25 XMAS gift cards for umpires.

b. MVUDSS Budget Balance – SB indicated a -$43.88 projected balance at end of 2019 Fall season based on additional costs for 2 strike zone mats, parts/repairs of 3 pitching screens, new manager gifts, and awards. 

2.  MVUDSS-hosted tournaments
a.  “Toys for Kids” tournament, Thu, 12/19 – Sun, 12/22
(MVUDSS portion Thu, 12/19 – Fri, 12/20 for teams 65 – 70 – 75 – 80)
3 fields will be utilized. Dennis Morehouse and Charles Pickett will umpire; one more umpire is needed.

 7 (possibly 8) teams, so far.

b. BKMT4, Wed, 2/26/20
RB will contact Elite Sports regarding the cost of 72 T-shirts including design.
We are requesting 12 shirts (3 XXL, 5 XL, 3 L, 1 M) for each of the 5 division champions plus 12 extra shirts;
i.e. 12 shirts x 5 teams + 12 extra shirts = 72 shirts

Discussed the issue of how many players ages 55-59 should be allowed to play on 60M division teams.
Remains an open item.

14 teams, so far.

3.  SSUSA 2020 Rule Changes/Additions/Clarifications to consider 
Several rule changes/clarifications were approved by the SSUSA Rules Committee and went into effect on December 6, 2019.
Of the 37 proposed rule changes, only the following 2 were considered for our league.

a.  Expansion of 1-1 Starting Count
SSUSA voted to expand the 1-1 starting count with a courtesy foul for all age groups.
Vote by SSUSA: Passes 12-0

Discussion regarding this rule centered around SSUSA’s intent and its applicability to our league.
It was agreed that SSUSA wanted to speed up the game and this is not a concern for our league, but we do try to incorporate significant SSUSA rule changes into our league.
RB motioned and GS seconded to adopt the SSUSA rule change for our league effective at the start of the 2020 Spring Season.
MVUDSS Rule 19, regarding a batted ball hitting the pitching screen twice in the same at bat, would not affected by this change.
Motion passed 4-2 (SB/JH’s proxy).  Refer to JH’s e-mail below.

b.  Update illegal substitution rules, Section 4.7
SSUSA to remove ejection for unreported substitution. 
Vote by SSUSA: Passes 10-1 

The board will review this very detailed rule change and discuss it at the next board meeting.
Remains an open item.

4. League Players
a. John Buchanan (1) to Pool/WL, rated by RB and later by SB on 11/26
b. Frank Camou  (formerly a 2) would like to be added to the Pool/WL
c. John Renwick (formerly a 5); Jim Blanscet (formerly a 1); and Bob Herrera (4), rated on 12/13 by RB and GS, are expected to be added to the Pool/WL for the 2020 Spring Season

5.  Redraft for the 2020 Spring Season
There appears to be as many as 9 players interested in being added to our league as full-time players.
(Subsequent to the meeting on 12/15, Joe Silva (formerly a 4) requested he be added as a full-time player; he would be the 10th player.)

Since the league is currently full and the next player draft isn’t scheduled until late August, these players may not be able to be placed on a team as a full-time player until the 2020 Fall Season next September.

In an attempt to bring these players into the league sooner, the following suggestions were proposed:
(1)  Although there would be an imbalance with the other 6 local teams with respect to ratings; nevertheless, form a 7th local team comprised of these players in order to give them an opportunity to play as a full-time player without having to wait until the 2020 Fall Season next September. SB motioned and RS seconded that, due to the ratings imbalance, we add a 7th team as an exhibition team.
The board did not like the idea of an “exhibition” team and the Motion failed 1 (JH’s proxy) – 5.

(2)  Redraft for the 2020 Spring Season
GS motioned and RS seconded that we redraft 7 local teams from a draft list consisting of the current league players plus the new players.
This redraft will be implemented for the upcoming spring season only; it will not necessarily be implemented for future spring seasons.
Motion passed 5 – 1 (JH’s proxy)

RS has volunteered to manage a team.
Board members will contact the potential new players to ensure their availability for the spring season.
SB, with input from the local team managers, will generate a draft list to be reviewed at the next board meeting. 

(Subsequent to the meeting, SB e-mailed all 6 current local managers requesting that they poll their players regarding availability and any other pertinent information required for the draft list.
In addition, SB prepared a preliminary draft list, a 9-team game schedule, and a budget for the spring season.
Tentative start date – January 13, 2020
Tentative end date – June 1, 2020
Assumptions: 9 teams, 2 doubleheaders/local team, play on MLK Day, no rainouts)

(Subsequent to the meeting, JH received the certificates of insurance and invoice from Stephanie Hopkins/SSUSA.  JH will forward the invoice to SB for payment.  The $360 received invoice is for 8 teams, which is what JH communicated to SSUSA over a month ago.  The league will be charged another $45 for a 9th team.)


Excerpt from an e-mail sent to SB from JH and presented at this board meeting.  See agenda item 3.a.

1)  Going to a 1-1 count severely limits a pitcher’s ability to use any kind of strategy relative to pitching to any batter.  A pitcher’s role becomes more mechanical under a 1-1 count.

2)   As with 1) above, a 1-1 count can also, negatively, impact the hitter.  Feeling the “need” to swing at the first pitch that comes close to being a strike isn’t going to make for better hitters, nor, IMHO, will it make for better games.  For many, but not all, hitters, there is a strategy in terms of what pitch he wants to look for; wait for certain pitches based on the circumstances (i.e. runners on base, # of outs, inning in question, score, etc.)  A 1-1 count removes much of that.  

3)  Strategy has always been an integral part of baseball/softball in many aspects of the game. Senior softball has enough limitations which impact strategy.  We don’t need more limitations. Items 1) and 2) above alone are arguments against further limitations.

4)  Probably like most players in the Monday league, I have played in non-SSUSA tournaments with 1-1 counts.  I’m a fairly patient batter, and I was able to make necessary accommodations in fairly short order.  I say this because I believe if our league was to remain at a 0-0 count, our players would also make quick adjustments when playing in a 1-1 tournament sanctioned by SSUSA.  Our tournament caliber players are adaptable.  

5)  SSUSA has a self-serving reason to make this change.  For obvious reasons ($) they want more and more teams.  More teams mean they cannot increase seeding/RR game times beyond the current 65 minutes, or bracket games from the current 70 minutes.  Ostensibly, they are going to a 1-1 count because “too many” games are not going a full 7 innings.  I say ostensibly, because I read their minutes relative to this change, and there was no significant “support” cited for this change.  There was a recent “thread” on the SSUSA Message Board on this subject.

While the greater majority, but not all, responding were in favor of this change, at most, there were 15 guys “opining” on this subject.  Not exactly a groundswell of support.  In any event, they are making this change to speed up games in order to complete more 7 inning games in seeding and bracket play.  Maybe that will work for them.  I have my doubts.

6)  Although the Monday league attempts to comply with most, significant, SSUSA rule changes, we are not obligated to do so, and, over the years, have not made some rule changes that were made by SSUSA.  

7)  In addition to taking all the above into consideration relative to this issue, I now offer what is, to me, the most persuasive reason not to make this change.  The Monday league is not faced with the same concern on this issue that faces SSUSA.  With very few exceptions, with a 75 minute game time limit, our games go the full 7 innings.  If SSUSA had not made this change, we would not be giving any consideration to such a change.  We don’t need to make this change. We don’t have an issue in this regard.