I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that participated in making the 2013 Bourbon Street Classic such a great success!
This tournament is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Nola Softball League and has become one of the favorites in the country. The amount of work that it takes to prepare and host a tournament is unbelievable. It cannot be done by one person. I am so thankful to have had support from so many people.
I would like to thank the members of the NSL Board for their support. A special “thank you” is in order to Jon Ratliff, Tournament Director, CJ Davidson, Assistant Commissioner, and Susanne Lusk, Competition Coordinator.
Thank you to all of our volunteers. This simply could not have been pulled off without the assistance of so many people that volunteered. From running around town securing donations, to stuffing player bags, to selling merchandise, you helped make this tournament happen. A big “Bravo” goes to Nick Vitaro that spearheaded all of the advertising, designing of logos, and keeping us all organized during the past few months.
Our sponsors have been nothing but outstanding. Avita Drugs Pharmacy was our tournament sponsor and did so much to help us make this tournament such a success. Good Friends Bar, The Bourbon Pub, The Phoenix Bar, Ketel One, and Pabst Blue Ribbon were instrumental in providing for our pre and after game events.
Over the course of the past few months, I have been fortunate to meet commissioners from different leagues around the country. They are always amazed at the amount of sponsors that we have for our tournament. After seeing our sponsor list, a commissioner stated, “I wish we could get a third of the amount of sponsors that you guys have.” That is such a compliment and indicative of how much our community supports us. Please look at THE SPONSOR LIST, go to their places of business, buy their products/services, and make sure you let them know that you are with Nola Softball and that you appreciate their support. They are vital to us.
It is now time for us to take a little break and enjoy time with our friends and family over the holidays. Softball will be back in February with recruitment days and play begins in March. Please check out the NSL CALENDAR for a look ahead at 2014.
Again, thank you for your hard work before and during the 2013 Bourbon Street Classic, and I can’t wait for the NSL Spring 2014 Season.
I am pleased to report that Nola Softball has been moving full steam ahead thanks to our members, our sponsors, and our supporters!
Fall Ball began the first Friday of October with a tremendous turnout that included 15 new recruits! Thanks to those that helped get the largest ever Fall Ball off the ground and organized. I’m even happier to report that those new recruits have been back week after week. If you have friends that are interested in playing, bring them out. As always, NSL has room for everyone.
I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of NOLA Pride this past week to discuss opportunities to support each other. I recently attended Atlanta Pride and was thrilled to see how much their NAGAAA softball teams were integrated into the parade and other activities. I know this past year, NSL had a presence in the parade here in NOLA, but I hope to see that increase in the years to come.
Our first joint venture with NOLA Pride will be on November 23 beginning at 7:00 pm with NOLA Pride’s 3rd Annual Pub Crawl. Fifteen bars will be participating in this crawl (Nola Pride will be announcing those participating bars soon). Tickets for the crawl will be $20 which includes a tee-shirt and wrist band for drink discounts and free shots for those “fast crawlers”. For every $20 ticket that is sold by a NSL member, $10 will go to NOLA Softball. This is a great opportunity for us to have a fun social event AND bring in funds to the league. Managers will be given tickets very soon. Please do your best to sell a coupe of tickets.
Most of my attention has been focused on The Bourbon Street Classic over the past two months. I am happy to report that we have Avita Drugs as the tournament sponsor with a donation of $5000. Good Friends Bar and Queen’s Head Pub secured their spot as tournament registration/party site by donating $2500. Phoenix Bar and Ketel One Vodka donated $1000 and will host a BSC Block Party this year. I am asking all NSL members to attend these events to show our sponsors that their investment in our league and our tournament is a worthy one. Facebook events have been made for each event. Please take a moment and invite your friends (both local and those you have met while playing in other cities).
We have MANY more sponsors that will be listed on the Bourbon Street Classic website on November 1. At registration, each player will receive a backpack filled with discount coupons, flyers, and other goodies to support all those individuals and local companies that have donated. I am currently in talks with the 2014 Gay Games Commissioner about sponsorship opportunities for them. As soon as details are ironed out, I will update you on that partnership. In the coming weeks, we will be asking for volunteers to assist during the Bourbon Street Classic.
As I wrote in my first report, I want to try my best to keep communication flowing throughout the league. In order to assist with that, we have created a new league calendar that can be found on the website. If you click or hover over the title of the event, details will be given. All deadlines, game days and other activities are listed. Of course, events can change, so check the calendar periodically. We will also make Facebook events for league activities. If you have not “liked” Nola Softball League on Facebook, please do so. Information will also be posted there. We hope to be able to use the texting system in the Spring to push information to you that is time sensitive. Additionally, the Manager’s Council will meet monthly during the Spring season so that any issues that arise can be dealt with in a timely manner.
Growing the league has been another priority. At this time, I am happy to report that we have three new teams planning to join the league next season, and a very good possibility of at least one additional one. Again, please encourage your friends to come out and enjoy the fun that softball can offer.
Lastly, I want to thank the Board, Managers, Coaches, and those that have come out to play Fall Ball. The teamwork and sportsmanship has been amazing. You, as veteran players, have been tremendously welcoming to the new recruits, and I truly appreciate that.
I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to the new Nola Softball League’s website. It is the hope of the NSL Board of Directors and myself that this site will provide our members and our fans with a means on increasing information sharing. I am a firm believer in communication and also believe that many times the lack of communication or misinformation is the root cause of frustration in any organization. I surely hope this helps.
Firstly, I wish our Gay Softball World Series bound Avita de Lis all the best as they represent our league in Washington, D.C. next week. Updates from the series will be posted to this website as soon as possible throughout the week.
Our NSL Annual Meeting is coming up on September 14. Time and location will be announced soon. If any member has suggestions or recommendations, please submit them to our new email firstname.lastname@example.org so that it may be added to the agenda.
Fall Ball 2013 is right around the corner. This year Fall Ball will be each Friday evening from 6 pm to 10 pm in October and November at The City Park Quad. The first two weeks will be open recruitment for new players from 6 PM to 8 PM. Please share this information with those that are interested in playing. Remember, if you paid for Spring 2013 regular season softball, your Fall Ball dues are already paid. Any new recruits will be charged $25 to participate in Fall Ball. Even if your Spring team isn’t participating in Fall Ball, you are still welcomed to participate. There will be room for anyone interested. More details will be posted very soon concerning Fall Ball. Facebook events will also be created.
Our Bourbon Street Classic is fast approaching as well. This tournament also has a new website. Visit it at bourbonstreetclassic.org. The board will be meeting within the next few weeks to start setting up committees and sub-committees for BSC. If you would be interested in helping on any of these committees, please email us at the league email address listed above. At this time, over 50 teams across the country have registered.
Lastly, I would like to address league morale. Mark Boline, founder of the NSL, did a wonderful job growing our league to where it is today. We all owe him a deep gratitude for developing something that has brought us so much joy and fun. The league has grown and matured over these past few years. With growth, comes growing pains. Spring 2013 was not only wet, but painful for many. I want that to change. I want softball to be fun. I want softball to be a place where we give it our all on the field and walk off the field and share laughs and drinks together.
In any competitive sport, tempers will flare at times. That’s normal and expected, but there has to be limits. I want our league to be known as THE most gracious league in all of NAGAAA. I know each of you, and I also know that being that type of league is what you all want also. The Board and I have pledged to be fair and consistent in all decisions. When I accepted this position, I promised myself that I would always try to make the fair and right decision no matter how difficult the decision may be for me personally. I have tried hard to fulfill that promise.
During Fall Ball, I have asked those that will be making the plans to incorporate one Friday as a kickball night. Members will be randomly placed on teams. Also, one Friday will be a “Mix and Match” scrimmage night with members being dispersed on different teams to bring us all together as one united league. If you have other suggestions on building morale, please feel free to make suggestions.
I am looking forward to all the fun NSL events ahead of us. It is a busy time, but I know that we will enjoy every minute of it.