Sign in and Collect Keys – (Brad) Complete.
Those not in attendance:
- Kittens (no key)
- Long Shots (key returned to West End Nov 27th am)
- Royal City Beavers (no key)
- Pirates (no key)
- Line Drive (no key)
- Isotopes (key returned to West End Nov 27th am)
- Those in attendance without Key
- Unleashed (key returned to West End Nov 27th am)
- Mud Cats
31 of 37 teams in attendance. Quorum Obtained
Financial Report (Bob)
In 2018, we were $3400 to the good which will likely result in some credits for returning teams.
No questions or concerns from Team Reps.
Intro and overview of 2018 – (Jon)
Congrats to the Season and Playoff Winners from this year. Prizes were handed out to all teams at the diamonds following final games.
- Division I
- Season Champs – Rippin’ Dubs
- Playoff Champs – Sharks
- Division II
- Season Champs – Kelsey’s
- Playoff Champs – Bye Bye Baseball
- Division III
- Season Champs – Pirates
- Playoff Champs – The Unit
- Division IV
- Season Champs – Powerline
- Playoff Champs – Powerline
Team intentions for 2019 (Jon)
Discussion about returning teams. No one to date has indicated that they will not be returning. If all teams return we have 37 teams plus 2 on a waiting list.
No question or concerns from the Team Reps.
Diamond Improvement Fund (Jon)
We have placed $100 per team into the diamond improvement fund for the past 2 years and will again next year. Between the 3 leagues, we have a healthy balance to date.
The initial thought behind the fund was to expedite the building on new diamonds at Guelph Lake and to have first booking opportunity of these diamonds. We do not have any indication from the city that they are going to build new diamonds at Guelph Lake any time soon. As such, we are looking for suggestions from the league (all of you) for diamond improvements that the league would like to see. Examples so far include:
- New coping on the fences or covered dugouts.
- We have already seen pads installed in the batters boxes of all diamonds preventing excessive digging out
- The City has already extended the high fencing to help protect spectators.
Please forward any and all suggestions to Jon a/o Brad and we will record them and present them to the other 2 leagues and see what we can afford to do, or help the city pay for, to improve the diamonds.
One suggestion brought up from the Team Reps citing on going Base Maintenance issues. With the systems currently in place it is up to all of us to ensure plugs are being put back into the ground upon completion of our games. That said, we share the diamonds with unaffiliated leagues, not to mention, the parks are public so it’s very difficult to police. But we’re always looking for ways to improve on our base systems.
Another suggestion was brought up regarding lining of fields. While this may not fall under Diamond Improvement Fund, the Exec is looking into options here.
Get your voice heard! Thanks for participating!
UIC Update (Terry)
Overall we had a good season. We recognize that we had, on a few occasions, some umps late to games or we had to scramble to get replacements – but we avoided missed games all together.
Terry’s number will be included in the score books under “League Contacts” so please don’t hesitate to reach out directly (ASAP) if you find an umpire is not present for your game. He will work hard to rectify the problem. We are still looking for more umps so if you’re interested in giving back to our community (and making a little extra $$), please see Terry.
This year the UIC and Umpire’s Team will be focusing on abuse of officials. There were multiple cases of reported swearing at or conduct unbecoming toward officials last year. Many umpires chose to not officially report such conduct. This year expect umpires to hold players accountable for their behaviour.
We’re all there to have fun and play ball – let’s keep the respect in the game.
No Questions or Comments from the Team Reps.
Constitutional updates (Jon)
The Constitution maintenance has become an issue over the years. The Executive will be sitting down between now and the start of the season to review the Constitution and clean up anything that is outdated, incorrect or redundant. We have taken the Constitution offline and will put it back up when we have completed out review.
Helmets – while these are not mandatory, SPO and the league encourages players to wear helmets while on offense, while pitching or when they are on the field in general. Pitchers are also encouraged to wear a pitching mask.
As of 2019, we are implementing a New Team fee of $100. This charge allows the team to come into the league and benefit from the strong financial status of the league that has been built over the preceding year(s).
No Questions or Comments from the Team Reps.
Constitutional proposals (Jon)
To revise the playoff schedule so it is played during the week and not on a weekend. (Addressed: see playoff format revisions).
To look at the divisional alignment (Addressed: see divisional realignment revisions).
Current Rule 15(6) states: Minimum 6 ft. – Unlimited Maximum Height
Proposed Rule: Minimum 6 feet – Maximum 12 feet
- Rationale (of the presenter)
- With a restricted pitching (6 to 12) height, it doesn’t allow a good pitcher to control the game and puts the game in the hands of the defense.
- Batters will be less likely to take the pitch count to the maximum.
- The hitters have more control resulting in fewer balls unintentionally hit up the middle, reducing the risk of injury to the pitcher
This topic lead to several discussions but ultimately saw underwhelming support across the entire league. Further discussion saw the room to consider different pitching heights per division (as we once did with Masters and Elite Division). Shortcoming of this suggestion is that with teams being pushed up and/or down in any given year, it could/would fundamentally change the game for those teams should they leave an unlimited division and land in a restricted pitching division or vice versa.
This item was deferred to the February meeting to allow team reps to take the topic back to their team for greater discussion. A Vote will take place once again in February and that will decide the issue.
Playoff format revisions (Jon)
Due to Diamond restraints and increasing difficulty of teams being able to participate in our current playoff format, it was decided by the Exec that changes needed to be made to increase the value and participation of our league’s playoffs. The Exec has put a plan into place that will see RCMSPL:
- Switch the playoffs back to being played during the week, on the regular season nights that we play on all year.
- Change the format to a round robin. Round robin will consist of 2 pools of 4 teams, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 2, 4, 6, 8. Teams will play everyone in your pool once giving you 3 games, which is what you were guaranteed in the double knockout format.
- Top two teams from each pool will cross over and play a 1 game semi. Finally winners play a 3 game final (7 games are possible).
- Bottom two teams from each pool will cross over and play a 1 game semi then winners will play a 1 game final for the consolation champion.
This will be the format for EACH DIVISION. Prizes will be given to winners and runner’s up of both the championship and consolation side.
With the Regular Season finishing on September 4th, we can start playoffs on September 8th and finish playoffs as early as September 23rd if there is no delays. We have made provisions for rainouts during playoffs and have at least 3 extra nights to use if we need them.
Teams Reps seemed largely in favor of the new format.
Divisional Realignment Revisions (Jon)
The Exec has conducted a complete review of our existing divisional alignments and have decided, for the betterment of the league, that we will equalize the divisions. Starting in 2019, we will have 5 divisions of 8 teams. This will put us at the maximum number of teams (40) that we can accommodate given the existing diamond availability.
We have reviewed the standings from last year and placed all existing teams in the appropriate division to allow for equal playing caliber per division. The following strategy was used for the most part (and will be the strategy used moving forward):
- If you won your division last year, you move up a division.
- If you came 2nd last year but were clearly superior than the rest of the division, then you move up a division.
- If you lost your division you move down a division.
- If you didn’t lose but were inferior to the other teams in the rest of the division, then you moved down a division.
- If you were the 9th team, or more, in the division then you moved down a division.
All teams that were moved down had a sub 500 record last year with the exception of 2 teams that went 10-9-1. While the exec has done work on the divisional alignment for 2019 season based on last year’s results, it is incumbent on the executive to confirm team involvement before finalizing. As such, the divisional alignment has not yet been published and was not yet shared with the league.
For the 2019 season, we expect to have 8 teams in each of Divisions I through V – 40 teams in total. In 2007 we had 24 teams in this league. When Jon took over as President in 2010 we had 28 teams. Now we are at 40 teams 10 years later. Our league has experienced fantastic growth over that time and it’s important that we continue to grow with the league.
No Question or Concerns from the team reps other than pitching rule variances between divisions (Deferred to Feb) and some interest generated in the final decision of the alignment.
We do not currently have anything in our Constitution that speaks to Divisional Alignment – the Exec has agreed that we will enter this into the Constitution:
- The league will consist of equal divisions unless otherwise stated prior to start of season.
- The top team in each division at the end of regular season shall move up to the next division. The bottom team shall move down to the next lower division for the following year with the exception of the lowest division. This will ensure an even caliber of play throughout the league.
- Note: The League Executive may choose to move more than one team up or down a division in order to maintain an even caliber amongst divisions while accommodating ease of scheduling throughout the divisions or due to vacancies in divisions as a result of teams not returning.
Scheduling revisions (Jon)
We played 3 games a night last year. Every team played 2 holiday Mondays. Neither of these provisions turned out to be very popular although they were effective.
The Exec has put in place a plan to:
- Add 3 more teams next year (With a goal of 40 total).
- We have removed Holiday Mondays altogether.
- We have removed 3 games a night, unless we have an excessive amount of rainouts and have to reinstate them.
- We have reinstated Sunday nights:
- The diamonds are available.
- This will result in ALL holiday Mondays being eliminated.
- This will also eliminate 3 games per night (barring weather).
- This will shorten our regular season to allow for the new playoff format.
Every team will get 2 Sunday games instead of 2 holiday Monday games and 24 of the 40 teams will get 3 Sunday games. No team plays on either Sunday or Monday of holiday weekends.
This will allow us to start the league on May 5th as the first week in May is usually a write-off because of rain (City plans to open diamonds on April 29th). Regular Season ends on September 4th.
No Questions or Concerns from the Team Reps.
Opening Tournament Discussion
The question was posed to the team reps – “Do we even want an opening tournament?”
If we choose not to have the opening tourney, we would reduce league fees by $100 team.
This went to vote and approximately 5 Team Reps were in favor of the tourney, 5 Team Reps were opposed to the tourney and 21 Team Reps did not vote either way. The Exec requested the team reps take this item back to their teams for further discussion.
Vote deferred to February at which time a final vote will be held.
Prizing allocation (Jon/Marc)
Regular Season Winner & Runner-up
Opening Tournament Winner & Runner-up
Playoff Winner & Runner-up
Consolation Winner & Runner-up
No comments or concerns from the Team Reps.
Statistician Role (Jon)
According to Section 10 (1) of our Constitution – “The League Statistician is a paid contract position with a 1-year term.”
Someone that would like to submit a tender for this position has approached me. As this is a 1-year term, I will be sending out an e-mail to the league to see if there are any other interested parties in submitting a tender. I will detail the duties of the position and include a deadline for submission. The Executive will meet and choose the best candidate for our needs.
Anyone that submits a tender CANNOT sit on the deciding committee.
Statistician: The Statistician shall be responsible for all scheduling, including opening tournament and playoffs, and rescheduling of games. Will maintain the league website with up-to-date schedules and standings.
The Statistician will also be responsible for advising the Umpire-in-Chief and the City of any changes made to the schedule to ensure the smooth operation of the schedule and minimize associated expenses.