Changes from Spring to Summer, 2019

Thanks for playing, everyone! In our efforts to constantly improve our league, we have made a few small changes to the game rules for Summer League. These changes have been made based on feedback from players and umpires and they are designed to make the game more enjoyable for everyone.

  • Batters will start with a 1-1 count. This will speed up the game, allowing games to play more innings and get players in the field back to their water bottles faster.
  • Batters will receive a Courtesy Foul on the 2nd Strike. If you hit a foul with 2 strikes, you’ll receive one “free” foul ball. After that, the next foul ball is an OUT.
  • Less restrictive defensive requirements in the event of a missing Female player. If a team is forced to take an OUT every inning because they do not have 3 or more Females, that team may still play a Female at Catcher on defense. Previously, both Females were required to play in the field, with a Male playing Catcher.

That is it! Relatively minor changes, right? As we grow, we hope we’re getting closer to a more permanent rule structure. If / when we make another change, we will continue to explain our rationale for the changes and promise to always consider they player’s interests when we structure our game.

Because we reduced the number of regular season games from 10 to 9, we’re also guaranteeing that everyone will also play a Playoff Game!

  • Two tournaments: Championship (Top 8) and Consolation (Bottom 8)
    • Week 1: First Round games for both Tournaments, 4/each, 8/total
    • Week 2: Final Four and Championship Games for both Tournaments, 3/each, 6/total

As always, Teams will earn $50 bonuses for their charities for every Playoff win! This year, all of the Consolation Games will be worth the same amount as the Championship Games! That means we will have TWELVE games that will have $50 on the line for charity, plus TWO MORE Championship Games with $200 up for donation. There will be a total of $1,500 on the line for the Summer Playoffs, overall, so it should be a pretty fun finish to the season!

2019 Player Waiver: Download

2019 Field Changes

Hello!

I hope you all had a fun softball season! This post explains why the Durham Softball League is moving fields this season and what to expect from our new facility.

Last season, I started Durham Softball through a partnership with the RTP Foundation. We recruited 12 great local non-profits to join our cause and I received tremendous feedback and support from the community about the idea. More than 220 people played softball for charity this season and we were able to donate more than $2,500 to local charities. In June, we won a $10,000 grant from the Durham Bulls based on our proposal to renovate RTP Field #2 because the Bulls wanted to support our mission.

In July 2018, I met with Directors at RTP that would be involved in the project to discuss the plans for the field’s improvements. I expected excitement about the opportunity to renovate the fields and gain public recognition for helping local charities. Instead, I learned a lot about the corporate structure of the Research Triangle Park organization and why this news put them in a difficult situation. There are rules that restrict the fields from being used by non-RTP employees and the tax structure of the organization meant they had a hard time accepting funds from outside sources, like our grant.

Because of that difficulty, the RTP Foundation has decided that they cannot be partnered with Durham Softball in 2019. Further, RTP requested that the two leagues become separate entities and that my involvement with Durham Softball was a potential conflict of interest for RTP Softball. I was forced to resign as RTP Softball Commissioner. It was also determined that Durham Softball would not be allowed to renovate RTP Field #2 or play on the field next season, so those plans have been cancelled.

The good news, however, is that we didn’t give up. Durham Softball is now operated by Play NC, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit, founded by Ryan Mentock, that has no relationship with the RTP Softball League or the RTP Foundation. After being forced to find a new home for our league, I had the idea to partner with a local school to help fix their fields. It was a lot more work than expected and the project took over the majority of my free time for the last 6 months, but it was worth it.

The Durham Softball League is moving to Shepard Magnet Middle School at 2401 Dakota St, Durham, NC 27707 for the 2019 Season. We will be partnering with Shepard to renovate their baseball field so that the improvements we make will benefit our league and the kids of Shepard at the same time.

Last season, our league spent exactly $0 in field maintenance expenses. This season, we have committed a substantial amount of funds to help renovate and maintain the Shepard field. Some of the renovations will be paid for by our league’s grant winnings, but that alone will not be enough to cover our anticipated renovations over the next few years. To make a better field for everyone, we have increased our registration fees by $5 per player, per season. This will help us subsidize the field’s renovations and make for a better long-term facility.

We hope this explains the change in locations and that you’ll understand the added $5 value of not only improving our league’s field, but improving the field that the Shepard kids play on, as well. Our league’s entire purpose is to benefit the Durham community, so we thought this partnership would be a perfect fit for our league.

Ryan

2018 Final Budget Report

Budget for Durham Softball, a charity softball league in Durham, NC
Final 2018 Budget Report for Durham Softball! Thanks to everyone for playing and making this year possible. Here is the recap of a few goals we had for the league this year and how close we came to achieving them:

1. Field a league with 8 teams of players. 
We only had 5 in the Spring, but we had 11 in the Summer. We averaged 8 teams per season, so we’ll call that a SUCCESS.

2. Donate 40% of our revenues. 
We definitely underestimated the cost of certain items in our budget, but they ended up being necessary to build a foundation for future seasons. Still, I think hindsight has shown that was way too optimistic. After going through Year 1, I’d now say 22.75% is pretty solid, but we FAILED on this one.

3. Donate more than $3,000. 
We *only* donated $2,800 in cash and didn’t quite hit $3,000, but our physical item donation drives were much more successful than I anticipated. With an estimated value of an additional $2,500 worth of items donated, I think we should call this a SUCCESS.

4. Get the Durham Bulls Baseball Club to acknowledge our league’s existence. 
We were really just hoping for a Twitter shout out or something, but we won their $10,000 Ballpark Renovation Grant and got invited onto the DBAP field to represent our league at a Bulls game. That was incredible. I still can’t believe it happened, but there are photos so I’m pretty sure it was real. Huge SUCCESS here.

5. Reach 500 Facebook Followers. 
We didn’t make it to 500, but the Followers we do have are great. If you’ve read this far and you’re still reading because you care about this league, you’re extra awesome. We FAILED, but maybe we’ll get there before next season!

Going 3 for 5 sounds like a pretty good game, so we’ll take it! Thanks again for playing everyone!

Donation Drive #2 – Dog Toys for Hope Animal Rescue

Donation Drive #2 - Dog Toys for Hope Animal Rescue!

Donate your dog toys to Hope Animal Rescue this weekend!

 

I hope everyone had a great bye week and got to spend some time with their family. Our sock drive was a big success a few weeks ago, so I’m excited about our next donation drive this weekend! It looks like we are going to have some trouble with the rain, but we can at least pretend it’ll happen for now. If we get rained out this week, both of our events will be rescheduled.

DOG TOY DONATION DRIVE: The team that donates the most dog toys to Hope Animal Rescue this week will earn a $25 bonus donation towards their team sponsor’s charity. Any type, size, or style of dog toy will be accepted. If a dog is supposed to chew on it and use it for fun or exercise, it counts as a dog toy. Items must be new or lightly used, with at least ~75% of its usable life still left. Donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game of the day.

VEGGIE DAY: Dig It Farm will be out at the fields this weekend with a free serving of veggies for all players! They should have some extra produce to sell to fans and players if you want more locally grown, fresh picked veggies to take home with you. Their Spring CSA is just getting started and the Summer CSA starts in a couple months at $10/week. Highly recommended!

Hope for good weather!

2018 Spring Sponsor Donation Pool

2018 Durham Softball Budget

SPONSOR DONATION POOL – 2018 Pre-Season Projection

To make the games mean something, the teams are also playing for bonus donation amounts that are distributed from the Sponsor Donation Pool. Teams can earn extra bonuses for their Sponsors by achieving several different goals during the season.

Charity Distributions $ Donated
Divided by All Teams $4.00 / Game
Game Winner $3.00 / Game
Tournament Winner $100 / Season
Tournament Runner-Up $50 / Season
Regular Season 1st $100 / Season
Regular Season 2nd $50 / Season
7 Weekly Donation Drive Events $25 / Event
  • Play a single game. Each charity receives $2 per game just for playing.
  • Win a single game. Each charity receives an extra $3 per victory during the regular season.
  • Finish in 1st place. The first-place regular season team will earn $100 for their charity.
  • Finish in 2nd place. The second-place regular season team will earn $50 for their charity.
  • Win the Tournament. The tournament winner will earn $100 for their charity.
  • Runner-Up in Tournament. The tournament’s runner-up will earn $50 for their charity.
  • Win a Donation Drive Event. Win $25 for your charity by donating the most of a particular item during the contest.
  • Umpire’s Charity. Any amounts left at the end of the season will be given to one charity selected by the umpire based on each team’s attitude and sportsmanship during the season.

TOTAL PROJECTED DONATIONS FOR SPRING 2018: $800

TOTAL PAID REGISTRATIONS: 56

TOTAL “SPONSORED” REGISTRATIONS: 14

AVERAGE DONATION PER PAID PLAYER: $14.29

Including our weekly donation contests, we are projecting a minimum donation of $800 for our 2018 Spring Season. The donation range for each of our 8 charities will be between a $28 and $214, depending on how many games the team wins, where they place in the regular season, and how well they do in the tournament.

The amount of the 5th place team’s regular season earnings will also be donated to South Durham Little League, Kidznotes, and Meals on Wheels. All donations will be made with a one-time payment to the Sponsor at the end of the season, once the final amounts have been calculated.

Captain’s Interview: Housing for New Hope

Housing for New Hope

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

Housing for New Hope

Co-Captain’s Name:
Christy Thompson

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Development Director

Personal Background:
I am a native of North Carolina, having grown up in Tarboro. I attended UNC-CH for undergraduate school and Pfeiffer University for graduate school. I am guardian and primary caregiver for my 13 year old great niece and two fur babies.

Softball Background:
I loved softball in 8th grade. I played in high school a little, and again when employed at a local psychiatric hospital. Since that time, many moons ago, I’ve not had the opportunity to participate in the game. I am an excellent cheerleader though! Heyyy batter batter!!

What do you like most about Housing for New Hope?
I love that Housing for New Hope is bringing awareness and understanding to an issue that can be very uncomfortable to deal with – homelessness. We are responding to the needs of our community by doing outreach to those living unsheltered, helping families move from shelters to a home of their own, and providing necessary supports to those who need to build self-sufficiency skills to live independently. But, my favorite thing is that we are helping to change the common misconception of what homelessness looks like and who it impacts.

Please describe Housing for New Hope and what they do for the Durham community.
Housing for New Hope works to prevent and end homelessness in our community.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
Donations will likely assist one of two programs:

  • Welcoming New Families Home – Help us purchase needed household items for families moving from homelessness to home!
  • Life Skills Management Classes- Provide bus passes and needed class materials (notebooks, pens, binders, etc…) for our tenants add they learn self-sufficiency skills.

Why did Housing for New Hope want to join the Durham Softball League?
We were flattered to be invited to participate in this league. Although we’ve been around for 26 years, we aren’t as well-known as we’d like. Joining the Durham Softball league gave us the opportunity to share our mission with our community and have a little fun in the process!

What would Housing for New Hope do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
A $200 donation would help us purchase 5 welcome kits for families moving into new homes. A $1000 donation would completely furnish a new home for TWO families moving from homelessness to a new home.

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
There are so many wonderful nonprofits in this league. I find value in each of them and feel as though they provide essential services to our community.

Featured Week Donation Item: Bath Towels!

One of the missions at Housing for New Hope is to help the community understand how they can be a part of the solution and be an advocate for our neighbors who have no voice. Things that are often taken for granted by many of us are extremely important to others. Did you happen to get an extra set of bath towels as a present that have been sitting in a closet for months? Re-paint the bathroom and have to get all new matching everything? Order the wrong monogram and/or change your name? We want your new and lightly used Bath Towels! Any new or lightly used bath towels, including hand towels and bath mats, will be accepted.

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate BATH TOWELS to Housing for New Hope. The team that combines to bring the most bath towels will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! You’ll earn a point per towel and donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week.

Thanks for your support!

Captain’s Interview: Girls on the Run of the Triangle

Girls on the Run of the Triangle

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

Girls on the Run of the Triangle

Co-Captain’s Name:
Mia Xavier

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Director of Development

Personal Background:
I’ve been a huge baseball fan all my life. Grew up with family tickets to see the Angels, seen many a Red Sox game and their farm team, the Pawtucket Red Sox. Never played softball myself, but my 14 yo son plays baseball and I love being his throwing partner!

What do you like most about Girls on the Run?
I am grateful to be part of a team that helps young girls develop their confidence, grow their character, become more compassionate and caring, and to have an impact on our next generation of women leaders.

Please describe Girls on the Run and what they do for the Durham community.
Girls on the Run of the Triangle is a nonprofit, physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in Durham County in 3rd through 8th grades designed to develop and enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. Our mission is to create a world full of joyful, healthy, and confident girls acting on their values and opportunities. As the name implies, running is a part of the program, but our primary focus is empowerment. Our experience-based curriculum is designed to help girls across the Triangle activate their limitless potential.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
Proceeds from the softball league will go toward our Annual Scholarship Fund. Since our inception in 2000, we have served over 17,000 girls throughout Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties. One in three girls receives scholarship assistance, and in 2018 we will award $115,000 in scholarship funds. It is our priority to ensure that no girl is ever denied the opportunity to participate in one of our programs, regardless of her family’s ability to pay.

Why did Girls on the Run want to join the Durham Softball League?
We seek ways to collaborate with other nonprofits to grow our programs and expand our reach. To us, this is a fun way to meet other nonprofit leaders, learn what issues their work is addressing, and find ways to partner.

What would Girls on the Run do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
The cost of our program is $205 per girl. All funds go directly to our Annual Scholarship Fund, so a donation of $200 would fund one scholarship. A donation of $1,000 would fund (5) scholarships.

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
Preferred not to make a selection

Featured Week Donation Item: Colored Makers/Pencils!

We want people to know that Girls on the Run is not a running program. GOTR is a character-development and empowerment program for girls in elementary and middle school that gives girls the tools and resources to make good choices and life a life of joy, health and confidence. The program includes projects for the girls to complete that require items like colored markers and pencils, so we can help Girls on the Run by helping cover the cost of these supplies. Any new, unused box of colored markers, or any new or lightly used box of colored pencils, will be accepted.

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate COLORED MARKERS OR PENCILS to Girls on the Run of the Triangle. The team that combines to bring the most colored markers/pencils will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! You’ll earn a point per marker/pencil, rather than per box, and donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week.

Thanks for your support!

Captain’s Interview: STEM in the Park

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

STEM in the Park

Co-Captain’s Name:
Sarah Windsor

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Director

Personal Background:
I’m am from the area originally, having gone to NCSU for undergrad and UNC for graduate school. Because I’m from here, I am passionate about lifting up under-served students of the area towards interests and careers in the STEM field. My background as a microbiologist lends itself to cool and gross stories about bacteria!

What is your softball experience level?
Minor league for sure. Sitting this season out because our first kid is due in May!

What does you like most about STEM in the Park?
The mission of STEM in the Park is close to my heart as a local product of Wake and Durham County public schools, two local public universities and as a STEM professional myself.

Please describe STEM in the Park and what they do for the Durham community.
The mission of STEM in the Park is to give students, who are traditionally underserved in the STEM workforce, exposure to STEM activities and mentoring with local STEM professionals. In addition, we aim to develop an effective pipeline of exposure and knowledge of real world STEM applications to educators, as well as equip STEM companies and higher education institutions with tools to establish and grow their own outreach events.

In 2017 alone, we served 209 students and 44 educators with programming through our STEM Expos and Educator Externtrips. Since 2014, we have established over 220 community partnerships, served 6,226 students across NC and engaged 1,467 volunteers in over 13,000 hours of service.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
Contributions from Durham softball will help us extend our services to local teachers to include not only more Educator Externtrips (STEM immersion field trips to local STEM companies) but invest in an educator mentoring program with those same local STEM companies.

Why did STEM in the Park want to join the Durham Softball League?
We love the community of RTP and the region! This is chance to have some fun, sweat a little, and contribute towards 10 local organizations that make a positive impact on our city!

What would STEM in the Park do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
A $200 donation will go towards funding local students to attend one of our STEM Expos that happen twice a year! During this event, students interact with local STEM companies through hands-on demonstrations, develop and pitch a STEM product during STEM Tank and can meet and get to know STEM professionals through Speed Mentoring. If you are a STEM professional, looking to get involved in our work, head to our webpage.

A $1000 donation would go towards the establishment of an educator mentoring program through our Educator Externtrips. This would be a time to extend the learnings of a 3 hour experience at a STEM company to longer term meetings with a local STEM employee to transform classroom teaching!

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
We love our musical buddies over at Kidznotes!

Featured Week Donation Item: Brain Food!

Help fill a “STEM in the Park Bag” at our STEM Expos! During each Expo, STEM in the Park gives all students a large bag to collect STEM materials at the event, store business cards of STEM professionals, and take home finished experiments from a fun-filled day of STEM in Research Triangle Park. These bags come pre-filled with essentials the students will need during the day, including snacks. Our goal is to help STEM in the Park fill their student bags with quick, individual-sized portions of various snack foods to feed their students. All individual-sized bags of pretzels, chips, trail mix, goldfish, peanuts, etc. will be accepted.

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate BRAIN FOOD to STEM in the Park. The team that combines to bring the most bags of brain-food-eligible items to give to STEM students will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! Points will be awarded per bag and donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week.

Thanks for your support!

Weekly Promotions During the Regular Season

All 8 of Our Non-Profit Sponsor Organizations

During each week of the season, we will try to hold weekly promotions that encourage players from all teams to come together and support one of our causes. This will give players a reason to learn about each organization in the league and understand why the work they do is important. We hope the concept will help bring the players from different teams together under the same common goal of helping the Durham community through softball.

To encourage participation and give players another way to help all of the causes in the league, we will host a contest to reward the team that collects the most of a particular item each week. During each promotion, a Prize Pool will be set and the top 2 donating teams will earn a portion of the pool for their charity.

Specific dates are still TBD, but here are the details of the feature weeks we have planned so far:

  • Central Piedmont Community Action
    • Two Clothing Drives – one for Socks and one for Coats – to support the CPCA’s Clothes Closet project. Any pair of socks and any type of coat made for humans will be accepted, regardless of size. Items must be new or lightly used, with no stains/holes/rips/tears.
  • Hope Animal Rescue
    • Dog Toys – Any new or lightly used Dog Toy will be accepted.
  • Meals on Wheels
    • Nutrition Bars – Any low-sodium, healthy breakfast / nutrition / granola bar will be accepted.
  • STEM in the Park
    • Brain Food – All individual-sized bags of pretzels, chips, trail mix, goldfish, peanuts, etc. will be accepted.d.
  • Girls on the Run of the Triangle
    • Colored Pencils / Markers – Any new, unused box of colored markers, or any new or lightly used box of colored pencils, will be accepted.
  • Housing for New Hope
    • Bath Towels – Any new or lightly used bath towels, including hand towels and bath mats, will be accepted.

Donations will be accepted at the field by the umpire until the last out of the last game of the day.

We appreciate your help! We hope this encourages more direct giving and participation so all of our teams can support a sponsor even if they aren’t on their team. Where possible, weeks will be sponsored by other local businesses who support our mission and want to give back to the Durham community.