The Kaien Island Slo Pitch League (KISL) held their annual general meeting last week to discuss possible rule changes and entry fees for the upcoming season, which begins in May.
Crystal MacLeod and Tim Younghusband led the discussion, which touched on subjects such as the ratio of women on each team (minimum of two), the designated youth rule, where a player 15 or younger can substitute in for an absent female, and an agreed-upon $500 entry fee for each team.
No rule changes were recorded from last season, which saw nine teams take to the diamond and organizers are hoping to reach well into the double digits for this year.
“(Nine teams) is a long-time low,” said Younghusband.
“In the ’80s there were teams in the 40s, and (the year before last) there was around 12.”
Teams can find corporate sponsors around the city. Younghusband points out, the sponsors exist, the teams just have to find them.
“There used to be a lot of teams and they all had sponsors. Now there are fewer, but the (old) sponsors are still out there,” he said.
“Businesses are willing, they just have to go ask.”
Alternatively, team members can pay the fee out of their own pocket, which decreases as more members join each team.
“We have one team that does that every year,” said Younghusband.
The games run from Monday to Thursday each week, typically with starting time slots of 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. every night. The league toyed with the idea of having an umpire clinic as well, to be determined based on the interest of participants willing to learn.
Another topic of debate was new sand to be used for the diamond, but the executive team explained that it’s the city that determines what type of sand or dirt is used and how much is used. The league has allegedly offered to buy its own, but to do so would require approximately $10,000 in funds, money that would shut down the KISL for at least one season.
The city has stated that its diamonds need to use the sand that’s available and there is little money to buy new dirt.
After Labour Day weekend, the KISL holds its awards banquet to give out its individual and team-based awards.
“The trophies were created when we had 40 teams, so we can pretty much give everybody trophies,” Younghusband chuckled.
“We still try to make them earn it.”
The playoff format consists of double elimination games in two group stages, a higher-tiered division A (based on the regular season standings) and a division B.
Rosters must be set in early June. Anyone looking to join an existing team or new team can contact MacLeod on KISL’s Facebook page.