Every dude that played sports in high school likely hasn’t felt the thrill of competition in the same way since. This is especially true for baseball players. Finding adult baseball or softball leagues to play on isn’t always the easiest of tasks, and local rec leagues can be lacking. If you’re looking for a way to head back out to the diamond and get back into the swing of things (pun intended) consider taking the reins and starting an adult softball league in your city.
You can’t start a league without interest. It can actually be quite hard to get a team together for a first-time league, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to gather other player. Start asking around; check with local buddies, ask around at work, and consider posting on a site like Meetup.com. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of social media. Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and spread your net far and wide. You’ll also have to decide what type of league you’d like to create while looking for interested players. Are you looking to create a co-ed team? Or do you want to keep the team all male?
Choosing Your Venue
Your first priority should be finding the venue or facility you need. If you already have a venue available, you’re one of the lucky few. Otherwise you’ll need to hop on the phone and start calling around. Get in contact with high schools and local colleges. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to find a facility. It’s important to book the venue before the season and make sure you get a timeslot that works for the bulk of people interested in filling up the league’s teams. You can also contact local churches and community centers, and look into any available sports complexes in your area.
Hiring an Umpire
In order to make your softball league great, and at the very least, effective, you’ll need to hire a solid umpire. You don’t need a professional, but putting in the time to finding a consistent and assertive umpire will do your league a world of good. Hire an umpire that’s knowledgeable in the sport, makes fair calls, and is great at conflict resolution. It can be difficult to find an umpire that has all these skills, and remember that you’ll need to pay at least 12 dollars an hour to attract an umpire worth or her salt.
You’ll have to buy equipment, there’s no getting around the fact. It’s important to invest in quality gear that will last more than a season. Softball tends to be easier, as most former baseball players still have their glove or a bat lying around. However, if that’s not the case, or you simply want to provide a full-service experience, consider sourcing your equipment from companies other than local sporting goods stores. The markups in these stores is exorbitant, and you can find better deals online or from local sellers. If you’re looking for brand spanking new equipment, use a site like BaseballMonkey.com to get quality softball gloves at wholesale prices. Okay with buying used equipment? Check out sites like OfferUp, where local sellers offer their old sports gear for awesome prices. You may also consider looking for various sponsors for the league.
Building From the Ground Up
As your league gets underway, make sure you’re hosting quality events each and every time. This isn’t a small endeavor, and it’s important to have everything lined up before beginning. From creating rules and guidelines to establishing sportsmanship regulations, there’s a bevy of facets to consider. Get out there and get to know everyone involved. If the league is enjoyable and professionally run from the beginning, news will travel fast. Players will spread word to their friends, the league will grow, and within a few years’ time you could have a highly successful softball league on your hands. Also make sure you’re on top of organization. You may consider investing in time tracking software, or use a site like Mint.com to help track your league spending.