Here's how the Millennium Sunday Softball League decided which divisions played yesterday.
It didn't take long yesterday morning for Millennium Sunday commissioner and division captains to realize that the entire league could very well be rained out for a third time this season.
It may seem like eons ago but it was just last year on Sunday, June 21st (Father's Day) when the first rainout of the combination of Millennium Sunday Spring/Summer and Fall Softball Leagues in over two years occured.
The amount of time between rainouts was the following.
2 - Years
1 - Month
2 - Days
With exactly 50 weeks of doubleheaders scheduled in that time span and with an average of 15 players on each teams roster and with taking in the 60 teams in the Spring/Summer and 40 teams in the Fall it is estimated that over 42,000 players took to the fields in those Millennium Sunday Softball Leagues over 763 days without being rained out.
Things have certainly changed since then and the drought of not being rained out over an extended period of time is over.
So with the threat of a third league rainout the challenge became how to have some of the divisions that really needed to - play yesterday.
The decision to try and have the Millennium Sunday "A/B" & "Rec" Divsions play was based on the following.
The Millennium Sunday "A/B" Division has many teams who participate in ASA of PA state championships that are scheduled in July during the time of the league's playoffs.
To have the "A/B" Division get backed up with even more make-ups weeks would make it that much more difficult to schedule league playoffs at the same time of state championships - it always is.
An the other hand, the importance of the Millennium Sunday "Rec" Division getting their games in yesterday was because of the dreaded bye week the division has.
The Millennium Sunday "Rec" Division plays a ten week schedule that takes eleven weeks to play - before the playoffs even begin.
Imagine if your team was Hunt's Annex Lounge #1 in the "Rec" Division and you haven't played a league game since April 24th - that would have been six weeks your team didn't play between being on the bye week, rainouts and holidays (Mother's Day and Memerial Day Weekend).
Maybe that's why the team didn't score a run in the first game of their doubleheader yesterday before bouncing back to make the second game more competitive, it had been a month since they last played.
That is the reason the Millennium Sunday "Rec" Division was selected as a division that the league needed to try and do everything possible to get their games played.
The league was up and running yesterday morning a little earlier than usual around 7:50 a.m. assessing the hourly weather and radar report in trying to gather as much information as possible before setting the wheels in motion of getting field reports from the league's division captains and volunteers.
First to hit the road at 8:00 a.m. was Bill Marcone the "E" division captain - who traveled to Hoffman Park where his team was scheduled to play and reported on field conditions.
Bill also stopped at the Sharon Hill Field and thought it would be better if Barnaby's of Ridley/Danese Softball, the home team, make the decision on the field - within a half-hour Phil Cassidy the coach of Barnaby's called me and said the field was unplayable.
After Sharon Hill he drove to the 69th Street Fields which are integral fields if the entire league was going to be able to play yesterday's games.
To much chagrin the fields were not going to be playable no matter how much teams tried to get them ready - but there was Chris Hoffman from J.D. McGillicuddy's Brookline working hard for over an hour tryng to get the Pavilion Field ready for his teams 10:00 a.m. doubleheader.
Thanks for your effort Chris - but if it makes you feel any better when Steve Michael from Quan Ta Productions/Slurricanes arrived to check out the condition of the field for his teams 1:00 p.m. doubleheader,
he realized immediately that it would be fruitless to even begin to get the field ready.
The 69th Street Fields were down - not good.
Steve Prescott the captain of the "C" & "D" Divisions was giving me even more unfavorable reports.
During the same time frame Keith Woodbury the captain of the "Rec" Division and one of his teammates from J.D. McGillicuddy's of Tinicum were taking a hard look on whether or not the Manor (Front) Field was going to be playable and their conclusion was that it would be.
At the same time Andy Ruhf the "A/B" Division captain was grabbing a cup of coffee at his local Wawa before traveling to the Prospect Park field to check on field conditions - the report was incorrigible.
But that didn't stop Rich Deyarmin from Marty Magee's Hops from getting his teammates together from his Prospect Park sponsored team to make a gallant effort to get the field ready including leaf blowers - which they did successfully.
Andy then went over to the Interboro HS JV Field with a report that simply said - underwater.
If it wasn't known beforehand, it was now clear that the entire league had no chance of getting their games played - The time was 8:56 a.m. - a message board post was needed and it was made at 9:00 a.m.
But the question still remained, could any division find a way to get their games in - the clock was ticking - with over twenty umpires ready to get on the road to travel to their fields - they needed to be notified immediately.
The umpires who work Millennium Sunday know that the league makes every effort to play their games.
That's where the league's umpire assigners come in and do an incredible job of contacting their umpires with the postponed games and working with the league commissioner on rescheduling games to a different field and even a different start time yesterday.
Those umpire assigners, and it takes three of them to assign the biggest men's slow pitch softball league in the state of Pennsylvania, deserve a lot of recognition for everything they did yesterday.
Here's a special thanks to those assigners - Sonny Pompilii, Jim Egan and Franny King - you are the best!
One last report was needed on the field conditions at Camp Upland to assure the "Rec" Division teams could play and with the help of coaches Brandon Burnside (Jimmy Mac's Wolfpack) and Chuck Mullenix (Hunt's Annex Lounge I) they found a way to play on makeshift fields.
Joe Fuller, coach of Upland A.C. and Vinnie Long, coach of Bridgewater Inn helped with the decision making on the playability of the Upland Main Street Field and Camp Upland.
John Burgos the coach of Ram's Head Tavern #1 offered to drive over to Incinerator Field in Broomall and reported the field was definitely unplayable.
Also thanks to Anthony SanFilippo the coach of Double Edge Sports Grille who helped with the strategy and logistics of playing the league games and Tom Kane the coach of the Brick & Brew Brawlers for the work he and his team did with getting their field ready.
Only the Brick & Brew Brawlers & Double Edge were able to play on their scheduled field - all the other teams in the "A/B" division had to move to a different field in order to play their games.
Thanks to those teams and players in the "A/B" division who moved to different fields for their cooperation.
All of the above happened in a window of only two hours (8:00 a.m - 10:00 a.m.) an incredible feat that only the dedicated division captains, teams, players and umpires in the best Men's Sunday Slow Pitch League could accomplish.