Fall 2021 Softcourt Meeting Minutes


Fall 2021 Soft Court Meeting Minutes
August 19, 2021

The Women’s Soft Court League of Birmingham held the Fall Meeting on August 19, 2021, at 9:30 am at Riverchase Country Club. All Club Representatives were present. All Level Coordinators were present except 4.5. All Officers were present. There were 21 Members in attendance including Officers.

President, Kelly Miles, welcomed everyone to the meeting and called the meeting to order. Cindy Speake, Secretary, called roll. Cindy asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the Spring Meeting as posted on the Website. Motion made to accept Minutes by Janet Simonetti, seconded by Betty Austin and approved. The Club Information page for the Website was passed around for changes to be noted.

Treasurer Melody Debardelaben presented the Financial Report. We began the Spring 2021 Season with cash balance of $9,405.31. Total Expenses were $5,372.94-- $320.00 Website renewal/upgrades, $52.94 printing, and $5,000.00 spring prizes (gift cards). Fall fees collected were $7,700.00. Total cash balance beginning the Fall 2021 Season is $11,732.37. A motion to approve the Treasurer’s report was made, seconded, and approved.
Kelly announced the winners and runners-up for the Spring Season 2021. Taziki’s gift cards were awarded to the winners and runner-up teams.

Vice President, Janet Simonetti reported that we have 110 teams enrolled, with 11 divisions including 2 divisions for the 2.5 level, 3.5 level and the 4.0 level for the Fall Season. This is the highest enrollment since the Spring of 2016. The schedules have been entered and are final. The season will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

• Janet reminded club representatives that strength rosters MUST be turned in by midnight September 6. (see Rule Book: TEAMS; Section 5 Strength Roster; Part a) Failure to comply will result in 1ST set of each court being forfeited for each match until Strength Roster is entered. Janet asks that the Club Reps encourage all Team Captains to print out the Strength Roster and have it available for every match.
• There is a new Scoresheet with instructions, it is available on the website. It will make the scoring and score entering much easier. Match Day Helper is also on the website.
• Kelly explained the definitions of Completed, Forfeit, Retired and Default. These definitions are on the new Scoresheets, Match Day Helper and the Website and will be included in the next printing of the Rule Book.
• Please remember that if there is a Default you must talk to the level coordinator before this is recorded.
• Scoresheets should be signed at the end of the match unless there is a dispute.
• Club Reps make sure the Fall 2021 Match Day Helper and the new Scoresheets are forwarded to the Team Captains.

The following new business was discussed:
• Kelly announced the Spring 2021 Stat winners. Level Coordinators please keep an eye on the players who will stay at current level and must play #1.
• Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 Move Down requests- Kelly asks Level Coordinators to ensure players honoring the conditions they were given to move down. Meredith Vinson, Past President, explained that each move down request is presented to the Ethics Committee without any identifying information- only facts and stats are shown.
• LETT requested a donation of $3000.00 from Women’s Softcourt League. A motion was made by Licky Randolph and seconded by Melody Debardeleben. The motion was approved.
• Website updates:
o Kelly informed us that the Website is now a secure website. This is costing us a little bit more to do this.
o Home phone numbers of players removed from Website. Default number is now cell number. This change resulted in the loss of some information. Please have Captains look at the team roster to ensure cell number listed as well as email. If not, please add this to the team roster on the Website.
o Updated the scheduling site to match the new forms used for scheduling, Club Rep phone number added to Club page, E -form for Move-Down Requests more characters added for reason (from 20 characters to 200)
o Discussion concerning players talking on their watches and using cellphones during matches.
We agreed to update the language in the Rule Book to match current technology:
MATCH PLAY 8. Cell Phones Electronic Devices - No electronic devices of any kind may be used during play. All devices must be in silent mode - they may not be on vibrate. An electronic device that disrupts play on your court, any neighboring courts or use of the device during play will result in loss of the game in progress or the next game if during changeover.

Rule Book Updates:
o Opening paragraph reflects the goals of the Softcourt League
o Executive Board: All changes to major rules or policies requires a 2/3 majority vote of the Executive Board present.
o Definitions of Complete, Forfeit, Retired, Default clearly defined to align more closely with USTA definitions (when relevant). These definitions are on the new Score Sheet, Match Day Helpers, and the Rule Book- all of these are on the Website. Definitions will be in next reprint of the Rule Book (Spring 2022). Please ensure the team captains understand these definitions.
• Rules and Policies- Proposed Changes
o Proposed change to PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES, 4. Substitutes
CURRENT “…. A sub from a lower level may play 3 times for any team at a higher level. Any player who subs for more than three times becomes a member of that team, forfeiting all the sets played for the lower-level team.
PROPOSED” …. A sub from a lower level may play 3 times for any team at a higher level. Any player who subs for more than three times becomes a member of that team but will forfeit all sets played to date on the higher-level team as a consequence of violating the sub limit rule.”
Motion to adopt: Susan Compton Second: Betty Austin Approved unanimously
THIS IS IN EFFECT IMMEDIATELY for the Fall 2021 Season
o Proposal carried over from Spring 2021 Meeting: Proposed change to MATCH PLAY, CURRENT: 3. Singles Play, a. “play will begin at 9 am …” and 4. Doubles Play, a. “Doubles teams must be present at 10:30”
PROPOSED: Begin Doubles at 9 am and have Singles play begin at the conclusion of Doubles. (Essentially this will flip Singles and Doubles current order)
Motion to vote on proposal: Romana Cunningham Second: Beth Shea
0 in favor DID NOT PASS
• Food Policy for the Fall 2021 Season: Vote between:
1. Keep similar policy as last Spring, which was discretionary by Club. Some provided boxed meals, some provided snacks, some provided nothing
2. Return to stated policy in Rule Book TEAM, 3. “Host Team must provide new balls, refreshments and have 4 courts…”
Vote- #1: 20- Yes, 1- No #2: 1-Yes, 20-No
We will keep the Food Policy like last Spring. Club Reps please encourage each Captain to communicate with opposing Captain about what will be provided at each home match.
• Player Eligibility for Softcourt
PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES, 1. “….She must be at least 18 years old and a dues paying member in good standing with her club.”
We are asking for each Club Rep to ensure that this rule is being upheld. Different facilities have different definitions of what constitutes a member. Softcourt cannot define membership for a Club, but to maintain the integrity of the rule, we are requesting that each club follow this rule. If you become aware of this rule being violated, please contact the Board.

Melody Debardelaben awarded 11 gift cards as door prizes.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 am.

The following email prefaced the meeting:

Hello team!
It’s hard to believe that summer is starting to wind down and it’s time for FALL REGISTRATION! The deadline for registration is Monday August 2, 2021. Just a few reminders as we get started.

1. I have attached the Registration form to this email. It is also available on the Softcourt website under “Forms”. You will notice it is a new format. It is only one page and we’ve cut unnecessary information off of the old format. Please feel free to reach out to me or Janet if you have any questions about the new form.
2. Your registration IS NOT COMPLETE until we have received your payment of $70 per team and until you enter your rosters on the website. We do not enter these. This is the responsibility of the clubs to enter their teams and players. There must be a minimum of 8 players to make a valid team.
3. I have also attached a copy of the players who made their stats for Spring 2021 and what they have decided to play for Fall. Please move the players to their appropriate rosters. Also, if a player opts to stay at their current level, they must play in the #1 position on whichever court (singles and/or doubles) they made stats on.
4. I’d like to remind everyone that per the Softcourt Rules & Policies under PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES 1. Requirements: “… She must be at least 18 years old and a dues paying member in good standing with her club. IF a soft court player is and employee or the wife of an employee of her club the player will need a letter from that club’s manger/owner verifying that the player has (playing) privileges.” Unfortunately we have been running into situations in which this rule is being violated. In an effort to ensure fairness across the board, the Softcourt Ethics committee does reserve the right to cross check tennis rosters and club membership roles. Please ensure that everyone on your teams is compliant with this rule. For any employees playing for the Fall Season, please have your managers/directors email me with a letter confirming playing privileges.
5. Play will begin Tuesday, September 7th.
6. Please mark your calendars. I am hoping (fingers and toes crossed) to have an in person kick off meeting. I tentatively have that scheduled for Thursday August 19th at 9:30 am at Riverchase Country Club. I will need an RSVP from each club rep (or fill in), each level coordinator and each officer. RSVP by August 9th. Obviously we will watch the progression of things regarding Covid and adjust this plan if needed.

Looking forward to a great Fall tennis season!!

Kelly Miles
President, Women’s Softcourt League

Respectfully submitted,
Cindy Speake, Secretary