Q&A collected from our 2017 Survey

FEEDBACK:

Question: As many parents who have pulled their kids from program have cited overall top leadership is very poor and inept. Too self centered and not truly focused on ALL players rather than so called stars. Bullying of players is swept under rug and ignored.

Answer: Managers & coaches do their best to prevent/stop any bullying or clique culture on SLL teams. Bullying by anyone of any age is not tolerated by SLL.

Question: The quality of baseball has gone down hill in recent years because we are losing the athletes to lacross and we are losing the baseball takent to AAU.

Answer: The League is working to find a balance between multiple sport athletes and families.

Question: Having multiple children playing multiple sports I feel the fees are a little high.

Answer: SLL tries to keep field fees, uniform/equiptment costs, umpire costs, etc. within a reasonable amount. Unfortunatly the registration amount reflects most of those costs assumed by SLL. There are scholarships available if a family needs it. SLL always attempts to keep costs reasonable to families. The registration fee each season goes to pay for many different elements of the program, including uniforms, player equipment, field maintenance equipment, lime, speedy dry, umpire fees, Town of Shrewsbury field fees, insurance, etc. SLL is a volunteer-based, non-profit orgainzation.

FIELD DAY:

Question: It’s a very busy time of year, we had other commitments and we’re honestly happy to have a weekend without baseball by that time. Also my children really weren’t interested in attending.

Answer: Sorry to hear, there are fun activites for all ages, dunk the coach, face painting, food, games.

Question: It was ok, not great. So glad you included a moms vs daughters this year. Previous focus always has been on the boys’ teams, so it’s about time the girls were included too.

Answer: The moms vs daughters game was a lot of fun & well received by the participants. It will continue in future years.

Question: Felt like it was more of a baseball event.

Answer: We try to make Field Day a celebration of Little League families, for all baseball and softball families.

Question: Dunk tanks were great. More fun stuff to do would be great.

Answer: Please email the BOD with any fun suggestions for future events. We are always receptive to new ideas for Field Day activities.

IMPROVEMENTS:

Question: Some of the opposing coaches were very sarcastic & unsportsmanlike so their players acted the same toward others

Answer: There is a code of conduct coaches are supposed to follow. If you see unsportsmanlike conduct, please report it to the board or commisioner of your league so it can be addressed.

Question: Batting cage somewhere to practice on our own time.

Answer: There is ongoing discussion & planning about league improvements to fields, including batting cages. We agree that it would be a tremendous benefit to baseball & softball players to have batting cages at multiple locations in town for use.

Question: There was a lot of preferential treatment made to coaches children this year and there were many players who were not given a fair shot despite their abilities being greater than some coaches children. I saw this across teams and it was far more prevalent than when my older son came up through the little league system.

Answer: If you feel a coach is showing undue preferential treatment to players, please report it to the board or commissioner of your league so it can be addressed.

Question: I think the coaches need to take a class on correct behavior before getting to coach the girls. Some of the coaches were incredibly intense and obnoxious, pushing the girls to extreme plays or excessive runs, and at the rookie and minors levels, there are no scholarships. This is about teaching the girls skills and improvement and having fun.

Answer: There is a code of conduct coaches are supposed to follow. If you see unsportsmanlike conduct, please report it to the board or commissioner of your league so it can be addressed.

Question: We need to improve the field aesthetics by making capital improvements (dugouts, bleachers, lights, etc.) for the girls. The fields also need work to make them first rate like other surrounding communities.

Answer: There is ongoing discussion & planning about league improvements to softball fields and baseball fields. SLL does not own any of the fields, so any improvements have to be approved by the Parks & Rec commission. We have a number of initiatives that we are working on now for improvements to the softball field over the next year, and the goal is to make capital improvements on a yearly basis that will benefit both softball and baseball programs.

Question: The fields. The condition of the fields at Beal and UMass are horrible.

Answer: The infield material at Beal is one of the best draining materials at any of our fields. It’s up to all volunteers/parents to continue to rake and screen infields over the course of the season. The Beal field itself is not in horrible condition and serves the 6U and 8U program very well. There is a plan with the town to improve the dugouts there this year.

Question: Recognize basically zero players will go pro or even play top college or high school ball and stop focusing on the so called “star” players Give every one a chance to play any position they want. Get a President and Junior Commissioner that have a clue to life and that have ethical and moral values. The roles need people with more than a 50% IQ and a pulse. They are both the WORST ever in my 11 years with SLL and the best is yet to come. All a matter of timing.

Answer: I’m not sure what the definition of a “50% IQ” is. Pretty sure that’s not a recognized quantitative measurement …

Question: Promote a fair system at picking all star teams. What is the criteria to be an all star? Not a transparent process.

Answer: Please refer to commitment letter and online rules for each division which detail all star process.

Question: Girls teams should be kept together year to year like the boy’s teams are. That way you develop friendships. If you are not one of the girls most sought after you basically become an expendable part – somebody is forced to take you. If the girls stayed together they would get closer and it would have a better feel.

Answer: In the GSB program, we have a smaller number of teams in each division, and a good amount of turnover from season to season, with a high percentage moving up a division each season. In order to try to keep teams competitively balanced, we redraft teams each spring. We see a benefit in mixing players and coaches each year in that even more friendships are made and more exposure to different coaching concepts is given to the kids.

Question: Not having girls who play club softball play for Shrewsbury at the same time.

Answer: Players are allowed to play on more than team or for more than 1 sport at once. We encourage all parents to communicate to their coaches about schedule conflicts and to be honest and realistic about their commitment to their LL team. But we cannot deny a player who plays on a club team a spot on a LL team. We are an inclusive league and want to welcome all Shrewsbury girls to play softball, at all skill levels.

Question: Have the snack shack and field prep run with the sign up genius or have a team parent be in charge of in… it seems to always fall on the managers/coaches and they do a lot already, it is just that one more thing they end up organizing and worrying about

Answer: It is part of the manager’s responsibility, any team parent can step up and design a sign up genius, usually its just an email asking for volunteers, the manager is alreay sending emails.

Question: My daughter would like an opportunity to play on a comparable field as the 2 baseball fields at Dean. She would also like an opportunity to play in a summer softball tournament.

Answer: We are working on capital improvements to all fields over the coming years. LL GSB fields a tournament team for 12U Majors and 14U Juniors, but the vast majority of tournament/club teams that play in the summer are independent of LL are actually ASA/USA tournaments and teams. An online search for ASA/USA summer tournament teams will give you more information.

FIELDS:

Question: More trash barrels on Coolidge fields 2 & 3

Answer: SLL does not maintain dean park trash cans. This is maintained by the town.

Question: Upkeep of porta-potties

Answer: SLL pays for an outside company to provide and maintain the portapotties. If there are problems with them, please contact SLL and we will contact the servicer to come fix them.

Question: Covered dugout at Dean

Answer: The policy on no dugouts is a town policy.

Question: The fields need to allow sponsorship banners. It would help the league raise a lot of more money for other expenditures. It would look more like a real baseball park with signage. We could use the money to improve the fields along with the town.

Answer: The policy on no signage at Dean park is a town policy.

Question: Enforce no parking in dean park and make entrance and exit a one way traffic flow.

Answer: The town determines traffic flow in Dean Park.

Question: I’d really like them to get rid of that awful smell around the restroom at Dean Park.

Answer: The town maintains Dean Park. We can contact them to have them look at the bathrooms.

Question: As we play around the area in all-star tournaments it is striking how poor the Dean Park facilities are compared with nearly all of the fields in surrounding towns. The dugouts, with no roofs are a complete embarrassment. Other fields have neat and sometimes innovative features that not only make the baseball experience more enjoyable, but prove much more functional for the kids, such as batting cages, practice areas, etc. Most fields around the area are in similar condition to ours, but I would say our fields could definitely benefit from some work to level lips in the infields, add more dirt to infield and mound surfaces and fix holes in outfileds. But the bigges issue is the dugouts. Ours are a complete embarrassment and not a fun experience for the kids as we try to play through poor weather in the spring on rainy days/nights with no cover for them. The boys really enjoy the “cool” dugouts at various other towns fields. The cost to add a roof to our dugouts (just as a start) would be quite minimal. It is something we absolutely should do for next season. I’d also recommend adding advertising to the fences at a minimum. It is great for the advertisers, who will surely enjoy seeing their logos out on the fence every day/night of the season and beyond. Plus it provides an old-school fun feel to the park, while providing much needed revenue for the league. It is a real win-win for everyone and therefore makes no sense to prohibit.

Answer: The town policy has been no dugouts or signage at Dean Park. SLL will continue to work with the town to try and figure out a solution.

Question: I heard that girls have no chance to play under lights with snack shack- seems infant. Especially for playoff games!!!!

Answer: The boys and girls fields are not the same. The boys fields are not skinned to dirt. There is a cut out infield. If softball wants to play under the lights for play offs or other games on Dean 1 or 3, I am sure that could be arranged, but typically because the fields are different this is not desired. Snack shack is always available to be opened. Contact Katie Walker for keys and it can be opened and closed by any parents willing to run it that night.

Question: Cleaner bathrooms and having the snack shack opened at every game.

Answer: The snack shack is always available to be opened during any boys or girls game. If a team would like to open the snack shack and run it during any season game, please contact Katie Walker and she can the team keys to open, close and run the snack shack during their game.

Question: The fields and facilities are excellent! If I had to pick one thing it would be to have (or allow) a food truck (s) on site to help us feed our families dinner at the park on game nights. Options are so limited trying to get from work to fields and still get healthy options. Hot dogs and Swedish fish can only go so far 🙂

Answer:You can always pick up Dean Park pizza and have a picnic. The snack shack does have limitations being run by all volunteers.

Question: Town needs to allow sponsorship to improve overall quality of fields, stands and dugouts.

Answer: SLL and the town are always working on ways to improve.

Question: Fields are an eyesore and Dean Park fields are actual safety hazard! You will be sued in near future if not addressed as someone will be hurt

Answer: The town and SLL try to improve fields each year. If you have a specific safety concern, please email the town and SLL to get it corrected asap.

SCHEDULE:

Question: 7:30 pm games start too late if 5:30 game is long.

Answer: Due to scheduling constraints half the teams need to play at 5:30 and half at 7:30. Not enough fields for the amount of teams playing.

OTHER:

Question: Perhaps we could expand the food selection at the snack shack. Only having the option to eat a hot dog is pretty limiting. Any way to add a burger or maybe pizza slices or something would probably bring in more revenue for the league. You can only eat so many hot dogs from the concession stand in a season… 🙂

Answer: The hotdogs are good! Being an all volunteer league there are limitations on what we can provide while also complying with the Board of Health.

Question: Let the girls have their own snack shack and let the funds support softball specifically.

Answer: We are Shrewsbury Little League baseball and softball all funds go to both softball and baseball.

Question: Why not staff the snack stand with High School kids looking for Community Service Hours?

Answer: By incorporating all families to volunteer we are creating a community involved environment for our children, showing that to run a league like this we need all the support and volunteers we can get. It is a great way to give back to the league by helping out once or twice a season. That said it certainly is something to look into.

Question: Are cups required in Minors?

Answer: Its always helpful for the boys to be protected and get used to it for when they move on.

 

 

 

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