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 Spring Playoff Structure

With 16 Teams in the League, only the TOP 8 TEAMS during the Regular Season will advance to the 2019 Durham Softball Spring Playoffs. The Teams that make the Playoffs will be determined by:

  1. Win-Loss Record.
  2. Head-to-Head Record.
  3. Run Differential.
  4. Runs Scored.

The Top 8 Teams will play a single elimination tournament to determine the winner.

To keep the Bottom 8 Teams interested, the Top 8 Teams will be “adopting” one of the other charities to also compete for their cause during the Playoffs. These Sponsors will receive an additional 50% of the donations won by each Team during the Playoffs. Partner Organizations will be assigned in reverse order of finish, with #1 paired with #16, #2 paired with #15, #3 paired with #14, etc.

  • Each Game will earn $50 for the Winning Team’s Charity, with their Partner Charity also receiving $25, for a total of a $75 donation per game.
  • The Championship Team will earn $200, with their Partner Charity also receiving $100, for a total of a $300 donation on the line during the Championship.
  • A total of $750 in donations will be awarded between our 16 Charities during the Playoffs.

Everyone is still encouraged to come out and watch the games, support our charities, and visit Bralie’s after the game for a free beer!

Playoff Structure

We are lucky enough to have 16 Teams of Players join our league this season, with each group of 16 players supporting a great local cause with their efforts on the field. The game is fun and friendly, but we also want to keep it competitive. To work within the limitations of our facilities and schedule, while also making the Regular Season more meaningful, only the Top 8 Teams will make the Playoffs during the 2019 Spring Season.

At the end of the Regular Season, the Top 8 Teams will face off in a 1-week, single-elimination tournament to decide the overall League Champion. If your Team makes the Top 8 for the Regular Season, you will play 1, 2, or 3 games on a single day for the Playoffs. If your Team finishes ranked 9-16, you will have a Bye week and a break before the Summer League.

To keep the Bottom 8 Teams interested in the outcome, the Top 8 Teams will each be paired with one of the Bottom 8 charities to also earn donations for their cause during the Playoffs! The Team will “adopt” a second charity for the Playoffs by competing for an ADDITIONAL 50% of the donations they raise for their own charity to the other Team’s cause. Basically, the Teams that make the playoffs will be competing to earn donations for two causes during the playoffs.

For example: 

  • The #1 Seed will be paired with the #16 seed’s charity. If the #1 Seed wins a $50 game, the #16 Charity will receive a $25 donation. If the #1 Seed wins a $200 Championship, the #16 Charity also receives a $100 donation!
  • All Pairings:
    • #1 with #16
    • #2 with #15
    • #3 with #14
    • #4 with #13
    • $5 with #12
    • #6 with #11
    • $7 with #10
    • #8 with #9
  • For every $1 that a Team IN the Playoffs earns, their Partner Team that was OUT of the Playoffs will earn an additional $.50.

Pitch, Hit, & Throw Fundraiser!

Pitch, Hit, & Throw Fundraiser Event

To kick off the Spring 2019 Durham Softball season and introduce everyone to our new home at Shepard Magnet Middle School, we are hosting a fundraiser!

MARCH 17, 2019 from 10:00am to 2:00pm

We will be playing three “Carnival-Style” softball games, with a chance to win prizes, t-shirts, and gift cards! For $10, you’ll receive a ticket to play all three games.

PITCH: You’ll throw 7 pitches. +1 point for every pitch that hits the plate.
HIT: You’ll hit 7 balls (tossed to yourself or off a tee). +1 point for hitting the target.
THROW: You’ll throw 7 balls at three balls placed on tees. +1 point for each you knock off.

There will be a grand prize for the person with the best overall score, and random prizes given out to all entrants. Your score will be recorded on the card and entered into the overall leaderboard. The Player with the highest total number of points, wins.

The grand prize winner will receive a Durham Softball Fan Shirt, an engraved softball with their award and title, and two Free Registrations for Durham Softball’s Summer 2019 season. All entrants will be entered into a random drawing to receive Fan Shirts and other items donated by event sponsors.

For each entry’s tie-breaker, we’re also collecting CANNED FRUITS AND VEGGIES for PORCH-Durham‘s Backpack Buddies program! Your tie-breaker score will be your Bozo Wiffle Bucket Toss score multiplied by the number of cans you donate, so help support a good cause and improve your chances of winning!

Thanks to Once Upon A Child Durham and Family Care supporting our cause and donating gift certificates and prizes for the event!

If you have any questions, please let us know!

How Team Assignments Are Determined

We have 16 amazing charities to choose from and believe every Team Sponsor is worthy of your efforts, but we understand that there might be several players or teams who would prefer to play for the same specific charity. Since we are growing this year and have a lot of teams returning, I thought it would be helpful to outline exactly how the teams are being assigned this season. Because we have more full teams returning, the priority system is a little more complicated this year.

Team Assignments will be determined in the following order:

  1. Previous Year’s Team Renews. If a group played for a particular charity last season and brings back at least half of the same group, they will have first priority to retain their previous Charity. This priority expires on 3/1, at which time the team becomes available to outside Players.
  2. New Teams. If a Group signs up to play for a brand new Team Sponsor (eg. NCFFF, C2C), it is first come, first serve. Unless 9+ Free Agents have already signed up for their Team, these Teams are taken as soon as a Group pays for them.
  3. Order of Registration. If you sign up first, you win any tie-breakers against anyone else that may be competing for the same roster spot.
  4. Groups Stay Together. Because we prioritize keeping your Group together, your Team Assignment may be forced based on other Group registrations. Your Group will always play together, but may be assigned to different teams to balance rosters.
  5. Male / Female Balance. If necessary, Teams may be cut off from adding either Males or Females. The goal is to have 10 Males and 6 Females per team.

That covers the basics, but we’re glad to answer any questions about Team Assignments by contacting us here. There is probably going to be a bit of wiggle room and compromise within this structure, so hopefully we make a fun and balanced league.

Regardless of how the Teams play on the field, here is a description of the causes we are helping through our 16 local non-profit Sponsors:

Good luck to everyone!

2019 Durham Softball Haiku Contest

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


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


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.


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, 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!