We are happy to announce, after much deliberation among the Softball Leinster committee, that we are going ahead with a separate Prem League. There have been a lot of different ideas that have been tossed around, but I think we have come up with a balanced approach on how we will improve the Prem division by forming it as it’s own league, while also giving players from the 1st and 2nd divisions the opportunity to play at the highest level. We expect that we will see an improved level of play in Prem and an increased interest in play at the highest level.
What this means for the teams playing in the 1st and 2nd divisions, in what will be designated as the Rec League, is that there will be a small group of players who will play in both the Prem League and the Rec League. We will have team captains designate on their team roster which is their primary team that they play for, and SL will monitor which players play on which team over the course of the season. By tracking players games we will be able to determine how this season operates with a separate Prem League and how much it differs from the exemptions between 1st and 2nd divisions and Prem division in previous years.
Here are some other exciting changes you can expect with the separate Prem League.
- There will be no limit to player registration, there can be 10 or 100 players registered on a Prem team.
- Registration for the Prem League will open on the 13th of March and will close on the 31st of March.
- Prem team registration will be €250 per team – yes you read that right, an extra €100 per team. Here is what you get for that extra €100: with our increased umpire pool, thanks to some great interest in our umpire courses – the Prem League will have two umpires in as many games as possible. The second umpire will be paid directly by Softball Leinster and the extra €100 will help finance that.
- There is no added SI player registration cost for being registered on more than one team.
SL did want to have the Prem League play 5-5, which would have helped us better compete with our European competitors, but we understand that the number of men playing slow pitch softball is greater than woman and there was limited time for Prem teams to recruit more women, so we will continue on with the gender split of 6-4 or 7-5 when batting 12. Teams are still welcome to play 5-5 or even 4-6 if they so desire. I’m sure this topic will be revisited again in the future.
What else can you expect from the Prem League? We want to reintroduce the “Game of the Week”, with each Prem team playing at least one Friday night game, either as the home team or the away team. We are asking for teams to volunteer their home ground on a Friday night. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org please let us know.
We are not limiting the number of teams who can play in the Prem League, so whether it is 6, 8 or 9 teams, we will ensure that the new League is an exciting addition to Softball Leinster, causing little disruption with the other teams in the Rec League. I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming season as much as we are.