First of all, I’d like to say that 2016 was a fantastic year, so thank you to everyone for all your hard work on and off the field. The expansion to 36 teams was pulled off with only a few bumps and our new teams are all returning! We just did what we do best- drink, play schoolyard games, drink some more, and give local charities money. My name is Ben Wright and I’m honored to be your commish this year! (I’m the mouth breathing, pale Ben, not the bearded, handsome one) I fully encourage anyone with questions, comments, or absurd remarks to get in touch with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person on Sundays, all feedback is welcome.
Really Important Date Stuff
April 25th, Tuesday: Captain’s Meeting 6pm in Big 6 Room in basement of The Eldridge Hotel. We encourage both captain and co-captain to attend, but you are required to send at least one representative from your team if neither captain can attend.
April 30th, Sunday: Ref Clinic- 1pm until dark at Broken Arrow. The ref clinic (or Ref-a-Palooza) is a great way to learn and discuss rules and reffing. Any league member of any skill level is welcome.
May 7th, Sunday: Spring Charity Tournament - Starting at 12pm or 1pm. Check Facebook for more info.
May 21st, Sunday: Start of season
May 28th, Sunday: No games due to Memorial Day Weekend
June 4th, Sunday: Regular Season games resume (week 2 of regular season)
July 8th, Saturday: Girl-on-Girl Clinic
In case you hadn’t heard, three board members stepped down last year. Alex (Muddy), Jana (Corksuckers), and Staci (Harpies) have replaced Jacki, Scott, and Matt. But do not worry! Jacki, Scott, and Matt have all joined the recently constructed Advisory Board, a group of indispensable ex-board members that lend their wisdom and services to the league. Let’s try not to abuse them too much more but if you see them out there on Sunday, give them a hug (with consent) and say thanks.
2016 was a big year for charity. We gave to Penn House, Just Food, Let’s Talk, Willow, Headquarters, and sent money to folks at Standing Rock. 2017’s charity lineup in starting off as impressive. First off, all profits of the Spring Tournament will go to Girls Rock Lawrence. GRL is an organization that “provides a safe-space for girls and trans youth in the community to come together, inspire one another, and have a voice.” Obviously, we are super excited to help them out so get out there and put together a Spring Tourney team. Like them out on Facebook or check out more info at https://www.girlsrocklawrence.org/. The main focus of our 2017 charity money will be the Lawrence Humane Society. LHS just seems like a no-brainer for KVKL peeps. Unless you don’t have Facebook, you know that KVKLers take animals really, really, really seriously and the infrastructure that our community has is currently inadequate, so let’s do something about that. Go check out the Lawrence Humane Society on Facebook or at http://lawrencehumane.org/campaign/.
KVKL needs you! We are always looking for helpers and ideas of any kind. The board is fully aware that we don’t come up with all solutions, nor can we do everything by ourselves. So, if you want to help out in any way, get in touch with us. We need DJs, Podcast Sponsors, Game of the Week cooks, Sundays in the Park writers (full or part time), guests for the Podcast, merch artists, volunteer refs, and on and on. Remember, this is a privately ran league and we need your help to make the wheels turn.
Game of the Week Stuff
Starting this season each team will need to provide 4 team members to assist with GotW cleanup. Each week every team on duty will be asked if they would rather help with the scoreboard, or do merch on occasion, instead of clean up. Please remember to check the GotW cleanup schedule and watch out for out communication about preference. Also, just a friendly reminder that we are playing in a neighborhood so let’s be respectful of our community, peers, and other spectators
Weekly Event Stuff
Every week of games has an Afterparty and Podcast. The Afterparty is remaining at the Replay this year. Drink specials include $2.00 PBRs and a $10 Odells special that includes three different kinds of beer. The first Afterparty will have BBQ catered in for everyone, karaoke, the works! DJs go on at right after Game of the Week. Come out and drink a beer cause the door money goes to the Lawrence Humane Society. The Podcast is every Tuesday at the Jazzhaus. It starts at 8:00 and experts such as CJ and Cougar give you the low down on scores and gossip, feel free to stop or listen on Facebook. But you should probably go, the D-Holes do it and that’s a pretty damn good reason to.
Rules and Rando Stuff
Don’t forget to take your ref tests this year! The Captain and Co-Captain from each team need to be certified refs and the test must be passed before the first game of the season. Any extra team members that want to take the test are allowed to do so.
*Gender Ratio Change Update*
In an effort to continue to collect information on the wants and needs of league members, we will have an anonymous ballot at the Captain’s meeting asking simply whether or not they would like to see a change in the current gender ratio rules (i.e. requiring more than 3 men and 3 women on the field at a time). We ask captains to please talk with all teammates and bring a representative vote. If both captains are unable to attend the meeting, please send a rep who knows how your team wants to vote. Then at the Spring Charity Tournament for Girls Rock, we will be playing the 4-4 ratio suggested rule change and give it a trial run (i.e. the minimum will be four for men and women). All summer long we will be discussing this as spectators and players and decide as a league how we wish to proceed.
We will be choosing division names at the Captain’s Meeting on Tuesday, April 25th. Start thinking now!
This fall we will not be having the Fall Charity Tournament, unless there is support to do so. Instead, we are considering putting together an alternative fundraising event. The idea of a Bar Olympics Pub Crawl has been brought up and we want to know what everyone thinks. Once again, any suggestions are welcome.
Rule Change Stuff by Diana Garcia
Our rule changes for the 2017 season fall into two categories, administrative changes and changes to provide more clarity on the intent of some interference and base reffing rules. Changes will be in bold.
We clarified that teams must get approval from the board if they are seeking to reschedule a game. We have also changed the tournament eligibility requirement to 3 regular season games instead of 4.
Language has been added rule G.3., aka the headshot rule, to make it official that if the referee deems a ball was maliciously thrown at the head of a runner that is ducking or sliding the runner will be called safe at the base to which they were traveling.
In an effort to define inference rules we added language to make it clear that the runner has the right of way if the defender is making a play on a thrown ball or if the defender is not involved in the play. The defender has the right of way if they are making a play on a kicked ball. We also removed language that stated that the first baseman could not cross the first base line to field a throw because we know that happens often. It is only interference if the runner has to slow down avoid contact or if contact is made on a thrown ball to 1st base.
We also removed the rule “All ties will go to the runner.” Referees are too often using this rule as a crutch when not paying attention to the play. Please see the rules written out in their entirety below.
L. TEAM AND PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
3. If any team cannot field a team on a given Sunday, that team captain may reschedule that game with the consent of their opponents. Teams who reschedule a game ahead of time are still required to supply referees for games at the originally scheduled time of their game, unless other arrangements are made. The board must approve all rescheduling.
6. A player must have played at least 3 regular season games for that player to be eligible for playoff games.
3. If a referee rules that a defensive player intentionally or maliciously throws at a players head when they are sliding or ducking, the referee should STRONGLY consider expelling the defensive player from the game, and the runner will be called safe.
5. Avoiding contact between runner and fielder should be a priority for all players:
a. When a defender is making a play on a KICKED ball the runner shall not make contact with the defender or that runner shall be called out, unless the defender does not allow the runner opportunity to touch the base (blocking a base), except in the case of rule E.5.c. (catcher interference)
b. When a defender is making a play on a THROWN ball or not involved with the play they shall avoid the path of the runner and shall not make contact with the runner or that runner will be awarded an extra base (or be called safe it they do not make it safely to the next base).
c. Excessive/malicious contact by either runner or defender is grounds for ejection.
d. The first-base plane: To avoid collisions at first-base, defenders shall step only on the white side of the base; the runner shall run on the foul side of the first-base line and step on the orange side of first base. If contact is made between the runner and defender in foul territory, including the vertical plane of the foul line, the runner shall be safe. If contact is made in fair territory, the runner shall be out.
If you actually read all that, good for you! Good luck to everyone and I’m looking forward to seeing you out there.
Let me be the first to say cheers!