Is the Villages Neighborhood Softball Losing their Focus

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2014, 03:28 PM
jerryv jerryv is offline
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Thumbs up Is the Villages Neighborhood Softball Losing their Focus

Is Villages Neighborhood Softball loosing their focus.

After reading this, what's your opinion?

I was in Spanish Springs when one of the Villages residents and constituents approached me with a problem/concern. His problem has to do with a new procedure that the Recreation Department will be enforcing within the softball program in The Villages. I told him being supervisor of District 7 his problem does not fall within my legal scope of responsibility and all I can do is give him suggestions and my opinion.

After thinking about his problem last night and seeing how upset he was about this problem I figured morally I can do something. Basically, his problem is that he has been playing softball for the last 5 years on the same team with the same players in the neighborhood league. He was told starting next season he can no longer play on his present neighborhood team. The reason why is not very clear, it seems that representatives from his league is blaming the recreation department and he is devastated that he cannot play with his friends because of this decision.

The Villages softball league is made up of 2 leagues, one the recreation league and the other is called the neighborhood league. The recreation league is much more competitive than the neighborhood league, they play twice a week, they have drafts every year which means it's very unusual that one player would stay on the same team more than one year. Within these 2 leagues they are broken down into 5 divisions. Where #1 division is the players that have the most ability and division 5 having the least ability. This is done because of safety reasons. And rules do vary from division to division because of players abilities.

In the neighborhood league they have division 3 which all players that are rated 3 will play in that division. Players rated 4/5 play in their separate division. The Villages wants to take players that are rated 5 from the 4/5 division and put them in a separate division by themselves. At first it doesn't sound so devastating but after speaking to this resident he was very upset, now he cannot play with his friends and neighbors that he has been playing with for the last 5 years or more.

In my opinion, that is the difference between the recreation league and the neighborhood league. The neighborhood league gave the residents an option to play with residents in his same neighborhood that is why it was called the neighborhood league. After speaking to this resident I asked him what is the purpose why the Villages is doing this he said no one really knew.


I was trying to justify why they are doing this and the only logical reason or excuse would be health and safety which I feel definitely does not apply. Especially in the light of a rule change that they just implemented this year. That change was if you played in division 4/5 you would have what they called the run by rule, the run by rule eliminated anybody running into another player while running to a next base. This rule was eliminated.

It's not just this one player that is upset, he has established a petition that has over 150 names. My goal in writing this email is to make residents aware and especially those residents that participate in Villages team sports. "The goal to any team sport, especially the Villages softball neighborhood league, is about camaraderie and basically just having fun." In my opinion, there is a very easy solution to this, "just grandfather in the people that have been on the same team for years".

Last edited by jerryv; 08-07-2014 at 09:31 AM.
  #2  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:06 PM
cwo4mat cwo4mat is offline
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I think the whole situation revolves around The Villages getting too big and not having enough fields available for play!! There are so many people wanting to play and only so many times available for each division! I have seen plans to build a two field complex way down on 44. There should have been a complex made more in the middle. Another option would be to light the existing fields.
  #3  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:58 PM
ureout ureout is offline
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First of all I don't think you will solve the problem by posting it on TOTV....I've been involved with the softball progran for about 12 years. In that time it has probably quadrupled in size mostly in div's 3,4,5. I took the time to go to the Neighborhood website to see how many teams there were.....presently Div. 3 lists 20 teams Div. 4/5 lists 30 teams, that would mean about 400 players in that div. I would imagine when the program started that it took 2 Div's together to make up a Div. In fact Div1 and Div 2are still combined because of the lower number of players. The fact of the matter is that it is safer for Div 4 and Div 5 players to be separated because there is a difference in their playing abilities, otherwise they would play together as one Div. in the Rec. League. If a player would like to stay in a particular Div. I believe they can ask to be reevaluated.
  #4  
Old 08-06-2014, 07:33 PM
hoseman hoseman is offline
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If a Rec League team plays twice a week, how many times a week does a Neighborhood League team play?
  #5  
Old 08-06-2014, 09:04 PM
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I don't know if this helps but in the rec leagues a player has the option of moving up or down one division. Maybe if this person is playing in division 5 then he could elect to play in division 4 thus allowing him to play with his/her friends in the neighborhood league.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2014, 12:19 PM
ureout ureout is offline
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just to give a little more info on this subject.....it was the Div 4/5 Neighborhood League board who requested the separation of 4/5 to make 2 Div's, they asked for a meeting with the Rec Dept, laid out their plan and it was ok'd
  #7  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoseman View Post
If a Rec League team plays twice a week, how many times a week does a Neighborhood League team play?
Neighborhood teams play one day a week, always on Saturday. Usually 14 games in a season, and they're three seasons a year. This Saturday is the last game of the summer season, then we'll have 3 or 4 weeks off and the fall season will start around Sept. 7th.

I'm looking forward to see what this change will do. It looks like my village (Tamarind Grove) will become a level 5 team and there are three of us who are level 4 and will go to a new team. It's not a big deal to me, I've been playing for Liberty Park this summer since our village doesn't have enough players to field a team in the summer. This has gone on the last two summers. In the winter when the snowbirds come back, we'll pick up 4 to 6 players come October and then we'll lose them after April. The team is always in flux, I have one teammate I see more than most since we both belong to MVP. Some teams I guess if they've been together a few years I could see them wanting to keep the status quo. With growth, there is change.

When I arrived here in 2011 and got evaluated my village didn't have a team yet since we were new. I got offers and played the season for Calumet Grove. The beginning of 2012 we formed a team in our village, ironically Calumet Grove team folded due to no coach and not enough players. The first year we had winning records all three seasons. Beginning in 2013 the last five seasons we have had a losing record, so I'm looking forward to maybe being on a winner. I play as much as I can, I even schedule vacations and trips between seasons. In fact I'm having cataract surgery starting next week, so I'll have both eyes done before the next season starts. Any teams looking for a good shortstop or rover, I'm available.

The Villages Florida
  #8  
Old 08-28-2014, 12:07 PM
musicjack999 musicjack999 is offline
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I am also caught in this situation. I play in rec. Div. 5 and neighborhood 4.the new rule is that you must play in the same level in both leagues. They say they did this for safety reasons. The flaw is that there are not enough div.4 teams in the rec. League to accommodate all the players evaluated as a 4. The only exception is for managers and their wives. I guess their safety is not as important. In prior years, Neighborhood Div 4/5 was separated into several divisions. The better teams were all put in one division while the weaker teams were put in others. So division 4 players played with division 4 players- likewise for div.5. Safety, as far as I could tell was never an issue, even though there some older players who can't run, catch, throw, field or hit. I'm all for including everyone, but if the league was really interested in safety they would have minimum standards of ability.
This would insure the safety of those players. The lowest evaluation is a 5, but there are players who are not even close to being a five and are given that rating anyway.
  #9  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:44 PM
rodie rodie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_W View Post
Neighborhood teams play one day a week, always on Saturday. Usually 14 games in a season, and they're three seasons a year. This Saturday is the last game of the summer season, then we'll have 3 or 4 weeks off and the fall season will start around Sept. 7th.

I'm looking forward to see what this change will do. It looks like my village (Tamarind Grove) will become a level 5 team and there are three of us who are level 4 and will go to a new team. It's not a big deal to me, I've been playing for Liberty Park this summer since our village doesn't have enough players to field a team in the summer. This has gone on the last two summers. In the winter when the snowbirds come back, we'll pick up 4 to 6 players come October and then we'll lose them after April. The team is always in flux, I have one teammate I see more than most since we both belong to MVP. Some teams I guess if they've been together a few years I could see them wanting to keep the status quo. With growth, there is change.


When I arrived here in 2011 and got evaluated my village didn't have a team yet since we were new. I got offers and played the season for Calumet Grove. The beginning of 2012 we formed a team in our village, ironically Calumet Grove team folded due to no coach and not enough players. The first year we had winning records all three seasons. Beginning in 2013 the last five seasons we have had a losing record, so I'm looking forward to maybe being on a winner. I play as much as I can, I even schedule vacations and trips between seasons. In fact I'm having cataract surgery starting next week, so I'll have both eyes done before the next season starts. Any teams looking for a good shortstop or rover, I'm available.

The Villages Florida
Are you still available for a level 4 neighborhood league?
  #10  
Old 08-29-2014, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
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Are you still available for a level 4 neighborhood league?
No, Thanks for asking. I've been assigned to Amelia 4 and will be playing for Roger.
  #11  
Old 08-29-2014, 01:04 PM
tomwed tomwed is offline
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If they are loosing their focus maybe they could switch to a six inch ball.
  #12  
Old 09-11-2014, 12:00 PM
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slee317 slee317 is offline
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Do competitive softball leagues use 11" or 12" softballs? Couldn't find any other place to put this question?
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