Spring 2019 Meeting Minutes


Spring Soft Court Meeting Minutes
February 19, 2019

The Women’s SoftCourt League of Birmingham held the spring meeting at the Country Club of Birmingham on February 19, 2019 at 9:30am. All club representatives were present except Greystone Country Club and Lake Cyrus. There were 25 members in attendance.

President, LaVonda Keel, welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order. After blessing the food, LaVonda introduced the officers and level coordinators. In the absence of Kelly Miles, Secretary, LaVonda called roll and asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the fall meeting as posted on the website. Motion made to accept minutes by Tracy Crutchfield, seconded by Annemarie Wilson and approved.

LaVonda recognized Past President Sally McClanahan and thanked her for her service and dedication to the Women’s SoftCourt League of Birmingham.

LaVonda informed everyone that the officer email addresses had been removed from the website homepage for security reasons and that the “contact us” option would be directed to her email.

Treasurer Melody Debardelaben presented the financial report. The beginning checkbook balance as of August 14, 2018, was $19,323.21. After fall season expenses of $5,948.26, which included donations to LETT ($3,000) and Alabama Adapted Athletics ($2,000); and fall prizes ($4,903.09) plus deposits for spring registrations (106 teams x $70), we have an ending checkbook balance of $15,891.86.

LaVonda reported that there are plans to update the website at a cost estimate of $2,000. The prize for first place was a WSL stainless steel bottle and the prize for second place was a WSL wine tumbler.

Vice President Meredith Vinson reported that 106 teams were scheduled for spring league. The schedules are now final. The season will begin the week of March 4, 2019. Additional rule books are available on the registration table and the league rules in PDF format are on the website.

Suzie Harris from the LETT organization gave the following update:
• Several PE teachers from the Birmingham city schools have been trained and given tennis equipment;
• School skills competition is being planned at Highland Racquet Club in April;
• School tennis league to start in the fall;
• Family lessons and after-school programs are underway;
• LETT appreciates all the support from WSL and invited all to volunteer;

Licky Randolph made a motion to donate $3,000 to LETT for 2019. Betty Austin seconded that motion and all approved.

LaVonda directed everyone to review the stat winners from the fall season and those approved for move down. Level Coordinators were reminded to make sure players were playing at the correct level.

LaVonda reminded everyone that the strength roster deadline is midnight before the first match even if the first week is a bye. Match day helper sheets are in the packet.

A question was raised regarding team move up procedures. The answer was that there is always room for negotiation with the WSL Board on this. The entire team does not necessarily have to move up.

The “club hopping” issue was raised. This occurs when a player moves to a different club with more lenient move up rules to play at a higher level and then returns to their original club to play on the higher level team thus circumventing that club’s move up rules. Board feels that policing this is beyond the scope of WSL and should be better enforced by club pros. It was also noted that some players do not play at the correct level and asked if website modifications could be added to help level coordinators police this.

A SoftCourt format change proposal was submitted by Annemarie Wilson asking the committee to consider abbreviating the SoftCourt format to one of the following options:
• 2 courts of singles followed by 4 courts of doubles
• 3 courts of singles followed by 4 courts of doubles
• 2 courts of singles followed by 3 courts of doubles
• 3 courts of singles followed by 3 courts of doubles

Prior to opening discussion, LaVonda reviewed 3 responses she received via email.
1. Level 5.5 teams are not in favor of an abbreviated format as they play less other leagues and more WSL.
2. Suggestion to eliminate the strength roster rule and play strength of the day.
3. Difficulty getting singles players as population getting older.

Licky asked if the format could differ by level. Mt. Brook Y and PRC reps indicated that less would be able to play at their clubs with an abbreviated format.

More discussion resulted in the need to call for a vote to either continue with format change discussions or keep the current format. Annemarie Wilson made a motion that we vote to either change format or keep current format. Roll call votes were called. Result - 14 in favor of keeping the current format and 10 in favor of changing format.

Door prizes were awarded and the meeting was adjourned at 10:45am.

Respectfully submitted,
Sally McClanahan for Kelly Miles, Secretary