M STREET SOFTBALL 2016!
Opening Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd to mark the beginning of another M Street Softball League season - our 46th! The announced date signals that it's time to dust off those gloves and get the arm in game shape with an easy game of long toss. Some teams will look to forget last season's struggles while others will look to build upon their success. In any case, everyone will begin with a 0-0 record with hopes of making the playoffs and celebrating a championship season on the diamond at M Street.
For generations, the start of another softball season is more than a state of mind. The city fields spring to life, players from South Boston and surrounding communities gather and enjoy the camaraderie the game delivers, and local businesses (ex - The Playwright, Village Pizza, STATS Bar & Grille, Local 149, Lincoln Tavern, The Spot) see a sudden increase in revenue as the vast majority of teams walk through the doors for post game food and drink.
A former pitcher once said: "An opener is not like any other game. There's that little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. You have that anxiety to get off to a good start, for yourself and for the team. You know that when you win the first one, you can't lose 'em all."
We have seen quite a turnover in teams this year as we lost five from the 2015 season including the 7-time champions Shennanigans, but have been able to replace them with SEVEN new teams so we are in great shape. Magix Box, Handdukies, The Banshee, Corndell Club, Brawley Club, Zach Smith Club, and STATS are all new entrants and we welcome them to M Street.
With all of the new teams coming on board it makes sense to go over a few things that will make the 2016 season an enjoyable one for all. Please take the time to read and understand what's written below.
- Rosters/photos - (optional) for those of you who are interested in having your player's personal data and/or photo displayed on the "player stat page" then please forward me an email with the required data (date of birth, current home town, height, weight, bats right/left throws right/left, college attended) and include a close up photo.
Example: Player Profile
- Parking - guys please leave your cars at home if it all possible as the available parking spaces around the field is VERY limited. Most spaces are Resident only so unless you are a South Boston resident then you will most likely get a $40 ticket that the league cannot cover. Some relief (Butler Park on First Street will have 1200 parking spaces) is on the way but is still a year away. If possible, car pool, take the T, or bike/walk to the park and save yourself the headache.
- Umpire/Scorekeeper fee - please pay the umpire $25 and pay $5 to "Sully" the official scorekeeper BEFORE the game begins.
- Lights/Time limit - because of the lights being on a timer, the umpires have been instructed to use their discretion and call games that they feel will go over the time limit. For the 6pm game, a new inning shouldn't start after 715 (unless it's a pitcher's duel and the umpire feels that it can complete on time)...for the 7:30 game, the umpire shouldn't start an inning after 8:45...and for the 9pm game, the umpire shouldn't start a new inning after 10:15. Games that are tied when called will remain a tie. Guys, please be aware of the time limits and just get in and out of the field between innings and things will move smoothly.
- Forfeits - we don't like forfeits in the M Street Softball League as they cost the league money and waste people's time. With that said, if you know there is a scheduled game that is going to be a problem then let me know ASAP and I will work with you in finding additional players, rescheduling the game, and/or cancelling it all together.
- Inclement weather/rain outs - the league will usually make a decision by 5pm on whether or not the game is on or off. Once the decision is made then the league will reach out to the coaches - we will not leave you hanging. The league website (sbsports.com) will also be updated within minutes of a cancellation.
- 15 run rule - is in effect during the regular season and in the playoffs...15 runs after 5 complete innings.
- Bats - just a reminder that composite bats are illegal...however, bats that have a composite handle and metal barrel are OK. DeMarini Steel is a very popular bat in our league as is the Anderson RocketTech.
- Balls - the league provides all game balls (Dudley ASA restricted flight)
- Equipment - the league will provide bases and also has a catcher's mask that your catcher can borrow (ask Sully) on a nightly basis.
- Pitching rules - we are using the same rules as we implemented last year...that's strict modified pitching - no sling, no windmill, and no arc. It's pretty much straight back with the arm, a forward step to the plate, and deliver the ball.
- Starting lineups - reminder, we use four outfielders, P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS and if you want (optional) you can use a DH and an EH for a total of 12 players. The EH can take the field and substitute for any defensive player while the DH cannot take the field (unless injury).
- Playoffs - 14 of our 16 teams will be eligible for the playoffs. The top 6 teams will receive a preliminary round bye...the remaining 8 will play single elimination games until there are two remaining teams. These two teams will then join the 6 "bye teams" to make up the quarter finals (best of two series), semi-finals (best of five), and finals (best of five).
- Playoff eligibility - although the rosters are open there is minimum number of plate appearances or innings pitched (30) a player must meet to qualify for the playoffs.
- Stats, news, etc... - please check the league website for all the latest news, standings, stats, and more.
- Smoking - the city of Boston passed an ordinance that has banned all tobacco products from city fields. If one of our players are cited then we could lose the permit.
- Schedule - we did our best to accommodate those teams that requested certain nights. We also tried to evenly spread out the amount of start times for each team...it's not an easy or exact science. The first two weeks of the schedule is posted and the remainder of the schedule will be posted after the first week of the season is completed. The regular season runs from May to July and the playoffs start and finish in August...weather permitting of course.
Wishing you and your players a great season of softball at M Street.
M Street Softball League