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NSF-MSF Softball Report - May 16, 2013
By Steve Ketter
2013 Softball Season Plans Set
Despite the late spring, enthusiasm for the 2013 softball season is running high with qualifying tournaments just around the corner followed by state and national tournament play.
All-Star Series on Tap
The 25th Anniversary Girls High School Coaches Association All-Star Series administered by the Minnesota Sports Federation is set for Caswell Park in North Mankato on Sunday, June 9.
The event features six games played by the top 72 high school senior girls fastpitch players in the state of Minnesota. Games begin at noon. This is the 25th year the MSF and Minnesota High School Girls Fastpitch Coaches Association have partnered to stage the event.
Softball Hall of Fame National Qualifiers
2013 sees the return of national qualifiers for the Nationals Softball Federation’s 2013 North American Championships in Sauk Rapids, MN on August 30-Sept. 2.
The first national qualifier is on June 1-2 in Detroit Lakes, followed by Faribault on June 8-9 and Cambridge on July 13-14. Our thanks to the three local softball associations that are hosting these events which allow men’s slowpitch teams that are interested in playing in a national event to qualify early and thus make requesting time off from work and travel planning much easier.
Sauk Rapids Softball Association to Host NSF North American Championships
The Sauk Rapids Softball Association, known for conducting quality softball events, will try to pick up where the Faribault Softball Association left off last year by accepting the mantle for this year’s tournament.
Men’s teams qualify for the event via national qualifier and state tournament play and women’s teams qualify via state tournament play.
Minnesota’s teams are asked to help promote the event to teams from outside our state by forwarding the national tournament flyer to teams from outside the state they know.
NSF • MSF Program Continues Broad Appeal
The NSF • MSF postseason softball tournament program last year had five times as many teams participate in it than our former affiliate and more than twice as many member umpires. League membership was 13 times greater.
Play with the best and biggest postseason softball tournament program in Minnesota again in 2013, the NSF • MSF program.
Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame
The 27th Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame Banquet will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25, at a southern Minnesota location to be determined. Visit msf1.org for nomination forms and information. Nominees can be team sponsors, players, managers, coaches, organizers, promoters, media, benefactors, administrators or others who have left their mark on the game!
Girls Fastpitch Softball Leagues Back in Fold
After a one-year experiment where some leagues affiliated with our former national affiliate, most greater Minnesota girls fastpitch leagues and associations have returned to the MSF “fold” for 2013 with several expressing their dissatisfaction with the organization of state tournaments last season. Welcome back and we promise the same high level of service and organization as in the past largely due to our conscientious and professional tournament hosts!
District Softball Tournaments Eliminated
Based on survey feedback from men’s softball teams, district softball tournaments have been shelved in favor of two geographic state tournaments in class EE (North and South).
New 52/300 Ball Not Met With Rave Reviews
The new 52/300 ball meant to enhance safety and cut down on home runs has not been met with rave reviews by men’s slowpitch players. Any safety benefits seem to have been offset by the erratic nature of the ball’s bounce. Also, the ball being so dead results in too few home runs for the masses of players. It seems a better approach to increasing safety would be to restrict the bats thus allowing the use of a “normal” ball. This would have the added benefit of decreasing the cost of a competitive bat from $300 to $75 or less.
Players and league directors should watch for a survey this fall on this issue and those of you who use the 52/300 ball this year may provide us your feedback to email@example.com at any time. With two Minnesota pitchers already losing sight in one eye and the number of recreational softball players decreasing, the time may have come for bifurcation in softball.
Best wishes from the NSF • MSF staff and board of directors for a safe and enjoyable season. If we can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.