2019 Durham Softball Haiku Contest

I know you were all waiting for it, so here we go…

THE 2019 DURHAM SOFTBALL HAIKU CONTEST IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

Still with us? Cool! This year we’re trying a little different format.

Starting on Thursday, February 21, we will be accepting entries to our annual softball/baseball haiku contest. The contest is free to enter and anyone is eligible to win. Poets who wish to enter the contest must submit their haiku as a Guest Post on our Facebook page’s 2019 Haiku Contest Event Page before March 1, 2019.

All valid entries will then be included on a single ballot, beginning March 2, 2019. Members of the general public will have the opportunity to submit their votes for the “Best” haiku, according to these general standards:

  1. Relates to the game of softball or baseball. The haiku must be about softball or baseball. A haiku about soccer will not win (don’t even try it, Joe). The more specific and authentic to the core nature of the sport, the better.
  2. Sounds like a haiku. Make it poetic, abstract, and beautiful. Don’t be obvious. Leave room for interpretation.
  3. Build excitement for the game. Inspire someone to go play catch. Or, pick up a bat and take some practice swings. They’re gonna kill it this year, and they know it. Encourage them.

After all votes are tallied, we’ll settle on a Final 3. These finalists will then go up against each other in a public vote (on Facebook) for the Grand Prize.

The winner will receive a Free Durham Softball Fan Shirt, an engraved softball with their name, and the prestigious title of 2019 Durham Softball Haiku Champion!

If you have any questions about the contest, please ask!

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

2019 League Schedule

The Durham Softball League starts playing games during the first week of April each year. Easter is on April 21 this season, so the 2019 season will start on Sunday, March 31. The year will be split into two separate seasons (Spring and Summer), with the second season beginning one week after the first season’s Championship game.

Season Schedule

During 2019, there are 25 eligible weeks during the year where Durham Softball League games may be played:

Date Week of Games
Sunday, March 31, 2019 1
Sunday, April 7, 2019 2
Sunday, April 14, 2019 3
Sunday, April 21, 2019 NO GAMES – EASTER
Sunday, April 28, 2019 4
Sunday, May 5, 2019 5
Sunday, May 12, 2019 NO GAMES – MOTHER’S DAY
Sunday, May 19, 2019 6
Sunday, May 26, 2019 NO GAMES – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Sunday, June 2, 2019 7
Sunday, June 9, 2019 8
Sunday, June 16, 2019 NO GAMES – FATHER’S DAY
Sunday, June 23, 2019 9
Sunday, June 30, 2019 10
Sunday, July 7, 2019 NO GAMES – JULY 4TH WEEKEND
Sunday, July 14, 2019 11
Sunday, July 21, 2019 12
Sunday, July 28, 2019 13
Sunday, August 4, 2019 14
Sunday, August 11, 2019 15
Sunday, August 18, 2019 16
Sunday, August 25, 2019 17
Sunday, September 1, 2019 NO GAMES – LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Sunday, September 8, 2019 18
Sunday, September 15, 2019 19
Sunday, September 22, 2019 20
Sunday, September 29, 2019 21
Sunday, October 6, 2019 22
Sunday, October 13, 2019 23
Sunday, October 20, 2019 24
Sunday, October 27, 2019 25
Sunday, November 3, 2019 26
Sunday, November 10, 2019 NO GAMES – VETERAN’S DAY WEEKEND
Sunday, November 17, 2019 27
Sunday, November 24, 2019 28
Sunday, December 1, 2019 29
Sunday, December 8, 2019 30
Sunday, December 15, 2019 31
TOTAL 31 Weeks to Play 22 Weeks

The league does not play games on Sunday when national holidays fall on a Sunday or Monday during the year.

With 8 Regular Season Weeks and 1 Playoff Week, the two seasons will require a total of 18 Sundays each year. With 26 Eligible Sundays between April 8 and November 1, we have 8 “built-in” weeks to accommodate rain-out reschedules and still get both seasons in before the end of the year.

Spring Season: Starts Sunday, March 31, 2019; ends after 10 eligible weeks.

The Spring league has the potential to finish on July 14th, which is the 11th eligible week of the season. With at least a couple rain-outs likely, a more realistic date for the Championship game might be July 21 or July 28. Whenever the Championship game from the Spring season is played, the Summer season will begin exactly one week later.

Summer Season: Starts 1 weeks after Spring Season ends; ends after 10 eligible weeks.

If the Summer season’s “one week later” start date lands on a holiday, the season will start two weeks later. This means the earliest that the Summer season might begin is July 21, because it is one week after the earliest date that the Spring season could end. Because it is unlikely for the Spring season to be completed with out any rain-outs, a more realistic date for the Summer season’s Opening Day is July 28 or August 4.

With good weather, it is possible to end both seasons as early as October 6th, the 22nd eligible week of the season. For each rain-out during the year, the seasons would get one week longer.

Weekly Schedule

Games are played on Sundays and start between 10am and 5pm.

  • Each team will play a single game each day.
  • The regular season will consist of 10 games.
  • The 11th week of each season will feature two single-elimination tournaments. The Consolation Tournament will be played between the Bottom 4 teams competing for 5th Place; the Championship Tournament will be played by the Top 4 teams competing for 1st Place.

“Featured Organization” Each Week

All teams will have a single week where their non-profit is featured to highlight and promote their non-profit to the other members of the league. The captain of the team, or a representative of the non-profit, is invited and encouraged to stay for the remaining games to talk with the other teams before their game, let them know more about your organization, and collect any donated items that teams may bring to the fields.

Rain-Outs / Rescheduling Games

When a week gets rained out, all games are rescheduled for the last week of the regular season. This makes sure that most games on the schedule are played as originally scheduled at the start of the season so players can better plan their weekends ahead of time.

If some games are played, but other games need to be rescheduled, those games would always be made up during the last week of the season, even if other games get rained out after them. In an emergency, alternate arrangements to play games earlier/later in the day may be considered if both teams agree to the accommodations.

Due to time restrictions, the Spring season must end no later than the end of July, with the Summer season ending no later than the end of October. If we get rained out more than 4 times, games that cannot meet these time frames may be forced to cancel entirely.

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!

2018 Summer Playoff Format

With four teams now half way through their regular season schedule, here is a reminder of this season’s playoff structure. Just like last season, each victory in the playoffs will earn $50 for that team’s sponsor! The Championship Bracket’s winner will earn $200 for their charity, so we’ll have at least $600 up for grabs over the two week tournament. Should be a fun couple of weeks!

Durham Bulls Ballpark Renovation Project Award Presentation

Durham Bulls Ballpark Project

Our league applied for the $10,000 Durham Bulls and Coastal Credit Union Ballpark Renovation Project grant, awarded to four deserving organizations in the Triangle area. And we won! From Capital Broadcasting:

Four organizations have been chosen as the inaugural winners of the Durham Bulls Ballpark Project presented by Coastal Credit Union. Person High School, Bull City Little League, Durham Softball and Hillsborough Youth Athletic Association have each earned a $10,000 donation for facility renovations.

“This was an extremely tough decision for our committee, as every application was well-done,” Durham Bulls Vice President Mike Birling said. “In the end, these four organizations stood out not only as worthy groups, but as locations which will help to grow the sports of baseball and softball for years to come.”

Person High School will have renovations made to both its baseball and softball fields, and Bull City Little League will see an improvement to its facility which houses three fields. The Durham Softball facility will have an overhaul for the first time since it was built, and Hillsborough Youth Athletic League will see renovations for its over 500 children who participate in its leagues each year.

Each facility will be renovated in the coming months, with a list of priorities submitted by each location. Additionally, representatives from each organization will be honored on-field at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday, August 7.

I am super excited about what this means for our league and our future in Durham sports. I want to thank all the players for believing in the concept and making this amazing league possible.

To celebrate, get your Durham Bulls tickets for Tuesday, August 7 through this link! The Bulls and Columbus Clippers will play a doubleheader (two 7-inning games) starting at 6:05pm.

As if $2 Taco Tuesday wasn’t enough motivation to attend, we get to accept the $10,000 check for our league on the field in-between the two games! Special tickets are discounted down to just $8.99 and two sections of tickets have been reserved for all winners!

Represent our league and wear your Durham Softball shirt, if you can. I’ll make a cool, custom Durham Softball keychain for anyone who wears their Durham Softball jersey and tags our league in a Facebook post on your personal timeline or on our page’s timeline. Show off your Durham Softball pride and help support the other three deserving winners during the ceremony in-between games of the double header! I hope to see you there!

https://groupmatics.events/event/BallparkChallenge

Softball Haiku Contest

We recently held a Softball Haiku contest on our Facebook page, so I thought I’d post the entries here. The winner will receive a custom engraved softball with their name and poem, plus the title of Durham Softball Haiku Champion! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Lila #1

Softball Sundays are
Always fun. Hear the bat crack
And watch the ball fly

Lila #2

Watch them swing the bat
There’s a crack and the ball flies
Run the bases, Go!!!

Jeremy

Hot humid we play
Help the charity today
Play softball all day

Alex

Bull City Softball
Hit the ball, round the bases
Charity wins! BEER!!

Michael

Bases and count: full.
Smell of leather, caked in dirt,
Glory in a swing

Samantha (WINNER!)

Two by nine we dance,
through fields of chalk and diamonds,
we’ll find our way home

Teresa

Hear the ball go crack.
See the bat that splits in half.
Cheer and shout: HOMERUN!

April 8 Softball Games are POSTPONED due to Rain

Unfortunately, we are forced to postpone this week’s co-ed adult slow pitch softball games due to the field conditions. The outfield is soaked and there are several lakes around the field, so there was no chance of drying by noon today. We’ll hope for better luck this week and reschedule Durham Softball’s Opening Day for Sunday, April 15. These softball games will be rescheduled and played later in the season at our home softball fields at 223 E. Institute Dr, Durham, NC, 27703.

Next Week’s Softball Schedule: http://www.durhamsoftball.com/calendar/2018-spring/

The weather looks more promising this week, so hopefully we can play ball soon!

Ryan Mentock
Commissioner

Valid Starting Lineups

Our goal is to always allow teams to play a game that counts, even if they have to play at a disadvantage. The most likely cause of an invalid roster is not having enough female players to field a full “7 Males / 3 Females” defensive lineup. To make sure the game can be played, we have relaxed the rules and requirements for a valid roster to also accommodate 1 or 2 Females on the roster. Below are the scenarios that might come up with the number of players who arrive each game.

  • 1 Female Defensive/Offensive Lineup
    • 8 Males, 1 Female, Opponent as Catcher
    • M-M-M-M-F-M-M-M-M-(Out)
    • Max. 9 Players in the Lineup
    • Additional Males can substitute in during the game
  • 2 Female Defensive/Offensive Lineup
    • 8 Males, 2 Females, Male as Catcher
    • M-M-M-M-F-M-M-M-M-F
    • Max. 10 Players in the Lineup
    • Additional Males can substitute in during the game
  • 3 Female Defensive/Offensive Lineup (Preferred Minimum Lineup)
    • 7+ Males, 3 Females, Any Player as Catcher
    • M-M-M-M-F-M-M-M-M-F-M-M-M-M-F
    • Max. 15 Players in the Lineup
  • 4+ Female Defensive/Offensive Lineup
    • 6-7+ Males, 3-4+ Females, Any Player as Catcher
    • M-M-M-M-F-M-M-F-M-M-F-M-M-M-F
    • Max. 15 Players in the Lineup

A maximum of 10 defensive players are permitted on the field at any time. At least 4 of those players must be positioned in the Outfield Grass prior to the pitch.

No more than 4 Male Batters can hit in a row. This includes the end of the lineup, where the order wraps around back to the top of the lineup.

If a team has only 1 Female Player available, the other team may volunteer a Catcher who’s only responsibility is to return pitched balls to the pitcher.

If a team has only 2 Female Players available, a Male on their own team must play catcher.